WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Hosting Hub Login
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to offer managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Web Hosting Hub Login
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all differ in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as an entire, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is essential to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a various method. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Web Hosting Hub Login
I’ve utilized WP Engine for different jobs given that 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” Here is their promotion 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 Login
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complex your website is, the more intricate the solutions to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a few standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an inexpensive shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
However a slow site does not indicate that you require a bigger, much better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup. Picture 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 eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to remain fast as you grow. There are plenty of services … however either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Web Hosting Hub Login
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, additional scripts, a lot of 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 information to begin packing the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or complicated the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are free to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an integrated CDN, however they also provide worldwide information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Web Hosting Hub 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 Login
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company 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 ever know if the story is since they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of cash, time and expertise.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing far better hitting all three boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has interacted with actually understood the fine workings of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Hosting Hub Login
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly since their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). But they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security basics 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a normally pricey situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Web Hosting Hub Login
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k gos to per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might 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 website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or developer time fixing issues.
Basically, if your time is much better designated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Web Hosting Hub Login
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first consumer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also 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 procedure happen. The phone support is a crucial factor, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on launching a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any previous habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make pledges and supply support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Web Hosting Hub Login
WP Engine stands out not just on existing functions however likewise on creating brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually altered radically considering that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to incorporate finest practices into application & jobs with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually 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 best suitable for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of 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 fit for some customers. I do not utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not need a lot of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Hosting Hub Login
All that stated, here are some of the bigger image drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be rather made complex– particularly if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can result in some designers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site available to the general public or just not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they already do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever describe finest practice for the basic user. Web Hosting Hub Login
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to watch that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (as soon as you get past the learning curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site lists to help troubleshoot all sorts of problems.
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 that they do all this. And in many cases, support will just look after all of it.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Web Hosting Hub Login
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or very genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, however those restrictions restrict adaptability and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured permits less flexibility also. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s also pricey to pay based on a number of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element additional hosting expenses 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 deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Company. And this point goes further if your site needs many plugins for complete functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you cannot actually do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for efficiency & not needing to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Web Hosting Hub Login
Many shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed previously that doesn’t even consist of much of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits needs additional costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t utilize them to spread out the expense of your plan,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a costly choice, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, but exactly what is best for you based upon your goals, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use an excellent service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to worry about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit 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 chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more flexibility/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer support.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Web Hosting Hub Login