WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Hosting Jsp
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to offer handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Web Hosting Jsp
While they have a lot of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all differ in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as an entire, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it’s important to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a different approach. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Web Hosting Jsp
I have actually utilized WP Engine for different tasks considering that 2012. I do not use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer 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 Jsp
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your website is, the more complex the services to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an inexpensive shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
But a slow website does not mean that you require a larger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to stay fast as you grow. There are plenty of services … however either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and determine the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Web Hosting Jsp
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to start packing the page.
It’s great to have that kind of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or intricate the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are free to focus on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, but they also supply international information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Hosting Jsp
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Hosting Jsp
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 company 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 thing about consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never understand if the story is because they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I want to look for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 require an investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually communicated with actually knew the great workings of WordPress and has actually been able 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 transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Hosting Jsp
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly since their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). 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 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 upside of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, 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 industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that although security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & ready to roll back if something occurs. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped clients who have actually been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a typically pricey circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Web Hosting Jsp
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and only as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which permit more storage & more sees (ie, generally as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & 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 month-to-month fee right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time repairing concerns.
Basically, if your time is better allocated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Web Hosting Jsp
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first client type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on development & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have 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 automated migration tool & client support to make that process happen. The phone support is an essential aspect, particularly having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site at one time.
They don’t have any previous habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Web Hosting Jsp
WP Engine excels not only on present functions however likewise on creating brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new designer features that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even general web development finest practices have changed radically given that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to integrate best practices into application & projects with designers.
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 best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous are valid because they just aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some customers. I do not utilize them for this website because I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Hosting Jsp
All that said, here are some of the larger photo drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be rather complicated– particularly if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they likewise do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can cause some developers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or simply not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they currently do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the basic user. Web Hosting Jsp
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to view that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a substantial deal (when you get past the knowing curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of website lists to assist troubleshoot all sorts of concerns.
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 they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply look after all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Web Hosting Jsp
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or extremely genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin habits for great reasons, however those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured allows for less flexibility too. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to factor extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your site needs lots of plugins for full performance.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t actually do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up needing to do a painful migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically paying for performance & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the functions you’re getting, you really do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Web Hosting Jsp
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even consist of a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits needs extra costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to expand the cost of your plan,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, but what is finest for you based upon your objectives, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a fantastic service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to stress over hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see what you think of their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more liberty/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Web Hosting Jsp