WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Hosting Hub Cpanel Login
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first business to offer managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Web Hosting Hub Cpanel Login
While they have lots of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all differ in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a different method. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Web Hosting Hub Cpanel Login
I have actually used WP Engine for different projects since 2012. I don’t use them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class client service.” Here is their discount pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Web Hosting Hub Cpanel Login
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your site is, the more complex the options to speed become.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a few fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with an inexpensive shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally additional plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
But a slow site doesn’t suggest that you need a bigger, much better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might just have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to remain quickly as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … but either you or a designer should execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and identify the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Web Hosting Hub Cpanel Login
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have such a customized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to begin filling the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right from package, and have it stay that way no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an integrated CDN, however they also provide international data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Hosting Hub Cpanel Login
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Hosting Hub Cpanel Login
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has grown & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult feature of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never understand if the story is due to the fact that they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I prefer to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three require an investment of loan, time and expertise.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the site through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has communicated with actually understood the fine operations of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Hosting Hub Cpanel Login
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,especially due to the fact that their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security essentials are fairly simple:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a lot of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s frustrating, tedious & an usually pricey scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Web Hosting Hub Cpanel Login
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both which permit more storage & more sees (ie, basically as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time fixing problems.
Generally, if your time is better assigned away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Web Hosting Hub Cpanel Login
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that process happen. The phone support is an essential element, particularly being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a startup website owner that has the budget and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on launching a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any previous habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make pledges and provide support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Web Hosting Hub Cpanel Login
WP Engine stands out not only on existing functions but likewise on developing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new designer features that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have actually altered significantly given that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to integrate best practices into application & tasks with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And many are valid due to the fact that they merely aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some customers. I don’t utilize them for this site since I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Hosting Hub Cpanel Login
All that said, here are some of the bigger picture downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be rather made complex– specifically if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can lead to some developers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev website open to the general public or just not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more novice clients than they currently do.
Like many custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the basic user. Web Hosting Hub Cpanel Login
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to enjoy that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (when you get past the learning curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website checklists to help troubleshoot all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons why they do all this. And in many cases, support will just take care of it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Web Hosting Hub Cpanel Login
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin behavior for good factors, however those restrictions limit versatility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured permits less versatility also. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s also costly to pay based upon a number of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to aspect extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Company. And this point goes further if your site needs many plugins for full functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you cannot actually do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up needing to do a painful migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for efficiency & not having to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the functions you’re getting, you really don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally visiting often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Web Hosting Hub Cpanel Login
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even consist of a number of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to spread out the cost of your plan,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, especially compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, however exactly what is best for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to worry about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see what you consider their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more flexibility/ much better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Web Hosting Hub Cpanel Login