WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Hosting Jobs Work From Home
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to supply handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Web Hosting Jobs Work From Home
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all vary in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is essential to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a different technique. This review 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 Jobs Work From Home
I have actually used WP Engine for different projects given that 2012. I do not utilize them for my main websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business mentioned. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” Here is their promo 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 Jobs Work From Home
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, however the general rule is that the more complicated your website is, the more complex the solutions to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a few standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally additional plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a slow website doesn’t imply that you require a larger, much better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might just need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to stay quick as you grow. There are lots of options … but either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have customized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Web Hosting Jobs Work From Home
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin filling the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that way no matter how big or intricate the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are free to focus on speed aspects that you can easily 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 global information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Web Hosting Jobs Work From Home
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Hosting Jobs Work From Home
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard aspect of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever 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 mention in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I want to look for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 require a financial investment of cash, time and expertise.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has communicated with actually knew the fine functions of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of several problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Hosting Jobs Work From Home
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly since their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are relatively 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is simple, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site 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 & all set to roll back if something happens. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped customers who have actually been. It’s aggravating, tedious & an usually pricey scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Web Hosting Jobs Work From Home
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits per 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 just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire 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 might be WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time repairing problems.
Generally, if your time is much better designated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Web Hosting Jobs Work From Home
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on development & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing fundamental site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process happen. The phone support is a crucial factor, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third client type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on launching a near-complete site at one time.
They don’t have any previous practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, so many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Web Hosting Jobs Work From Home
WP Engine excels not just on current functions however also on creating brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web development best practices have altered significantly since I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to integrate finest practices into execution & 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And many stand because they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some consumers. I don’t use them for this website since I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Hosting Jobs Work From Home
All that said, here are a few of the larger picture downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite made complex– particularly if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can result in some developers making errors varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev website available to the public or simply not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they currently do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever describe finest practice for the general user. Web Hosting Jobs Work From Home
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to watch that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (once you surpass the learning curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website lists to help repair 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.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And most of the times, support will just take care of all of it.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Web Hosting Jobs Work From Home
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for great reasons, however those bans restrict adaptability and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad 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 prices is structured permits less versatility as well. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s also expensive to pay based upon a variety of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to factor additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your website needs numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot really do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based on features.
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 rates based upon the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Web Hosting Jobs Work From Home
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how quickly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed earlier that doesn’t even consist of much of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to spread out the expense of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is an expensive option, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, but what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to stress over hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see what you think of their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more flexibility/ much better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Web Hosting Jobs Work From Home