WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Hosting Kenya
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to provide handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Web Hosting Kenya
While they have plenty of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all differ in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it’s important to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a various technique. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Web Hosting Kenya
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various jobs considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer service.” 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 Kenya
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, however the general rule is that the more complex your site is, the more complex the solutions to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text site with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom-made theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site doesn’t indicate that you require a larger, better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might just have to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay quick 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 takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Web Hosting Kenya
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra 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 rapidly the server returned enough data to begin packing the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right out of package, and have it remain that method no matter how big or intricate the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are totally free to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, however they also offer international data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Hosting Kenya
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Hosting Kenya
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among 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 actually 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 customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that they talked to 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 treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to search for access, systems, and understanding, all three require an investment of loan, time and proficiency.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website through chat.
Based on their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually communicated with really knew the great operations of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Hosting Kenya
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically due to the fact that their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security basics are relatively uncomplicated:
- 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that even though security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still eventually 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 & ready to roll back if something occurs. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security concerns worldwide 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 look after it free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s frustrating, tedious & a normally costly scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Web Hosting Kenya
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which permit more storage & more visits (ie, essentially as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates 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 & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup 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 sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month 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 concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better allocated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Web Hosting Kenya
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first customer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases 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 a continuous basic website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that process happen. The phone support is an essential element, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any previous practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating 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, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Web Hosting Kenya
WP Engine stands out not only on current features but also on producing new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web development finest practices have altered significantly given that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to integrate best practices into implementation & jobs with designers.
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 very best fit for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And numerous are valid since they just aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not need many of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Hosting Kenya
All that said, here are some of the bigger picture downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be rather complicated– particularly if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they likewise do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can cause some designers making mistakes ranging from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site open to the general public or merely not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice customers than they already do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain best practice for the basic user. Web Hosting Kenya
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 sites, however I had to enjoy that video numerous 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 custom backend isn’t really going to be a big deal (as soon as you surpass 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 really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website checklists to assist fix 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 that they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply take care of it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Web Hosting Kenya
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They have 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 more to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin behavior for great factors, however those restrictions limit flexibility and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured enables less flexibility as well. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also costly to pay based on a variety of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to aspect additional hosting bills 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 deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Business. And this point goes further if your website needs numerous plugins for full functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t actually do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up having to do a painful migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for efficiency & not needing to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you actually do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Web Hosting Kenya
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) dealt with more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy 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 rather a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even include much of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to expand the expense of your strategy,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a pricey option, especially compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best overall, however what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to worry about hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more liberty/ much better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Web Hosting Kenya