WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Hosting Lincoln Ne
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to offer managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Web Hosting Lincoln Ne
While they have plenty of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater rate 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 various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as a whole, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it’s important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a various approach. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Web Hosting Lincoln Ne
I’ve used WP Engine for various jobs because 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a current client on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business mentioned. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client 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 guarantee “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class client 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 Lincoln Ne
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your website is, the more complex the options to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a few standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with an affordable shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a slow website does not imply that you need a larger, better server. It does imply that you have 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 specific order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might simply need to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain fast as you grow. There are plenty of services … but either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Web Hosting Lincoln Ne
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up 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 theme, 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 quickly the server returned enough information to start loading the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that method no matter how big or complex the website 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 since you are totally free to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, but they also offer international data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Hosting Lincoln Ne
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Hosting Lincoln Ne
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult aspect of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is because they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of loan, time and expertise.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually interacted with in fact understood the fine functions of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (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 rep was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Hosting Lincoln Ne
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly due to the fact that their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). But they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals 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 use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally 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 occurs. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have assisted customers who have actually been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a generally pricey scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Web Hosting Lincoln Ne
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reliable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both which enable more storage & more visits (ie, basically as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates every 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 regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better allocated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Web Hosting Lincoln Ne
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty 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 & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate 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 & consumer support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a crucial element, particularly 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 spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on launching a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any prior routines or customs 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 pledges and supply support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, so many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Web Hosting Lincoln Ne
WP Engine stands out not just on existing features but also on creating new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out new developer features that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web development finest practices have altered significantly considering that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to integrate best practices into application & 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And numerous stand due to the fact that they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. 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 use them for this site because I do not require many of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Hosting Lincoln Ne
All that stated, here are a few of the larger photo downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite complicated– especially if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can cause some designers making mistakes varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website available to the public or just not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice customers than they currently do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever describe best practice for the general user. Web Hosting Lincoln Ne
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to see that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (when you get past the knowing curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site checklists to assist repair 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 why they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply look after all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Web Hosting Lincoln Ne
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also 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 consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or very genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for good factors, but those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured enables less versatility too. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise costly to pay based on a variety of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to aspect extra hosting bills 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 deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your site needs many plugins for complete functionality.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you cannot actually do automatic 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 e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for efficiency & not needing to think too much about maintenance, 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 website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Web Hosting Lincoln Ne
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that does not even include much of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires extra costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to expand the expense of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, however what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & practices.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to stress over hosting problems.
If managed 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 about their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more flexibility/ much better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer care.
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 quiz to simplify things. Web Hosting Lincoln Ne