WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Hosting Office 365
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 specifically for WordPress. Web Hosting Office 365
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all differ in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it’s important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a different approach. This review 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 Office 365
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous tasks because 2012. I don’t use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing 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 information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Office 365
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complex your website is, the more complicated the options to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text site with a few basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally extra plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish website doesn’t suggest that you need a larger, better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, however often it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may just have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay fast as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … however either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Web Hosting Office 365
They do not even enable 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 because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complicated the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are complimentary to focus 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 just provides an integrated CDN, however they also offer worldwide data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Hosting Office 365
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Hosting Office 365
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place 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 lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the hard thing about consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never know if the story is since they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of loan, time and competence.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has engaged with actually knew the fine operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of a number of problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Hosting Office 365
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That means 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 application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security essentials 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe 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 whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped customers who have been. It’s discouraging, laborious & a typically costly circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Web Hosting Office 365
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which permit more storage & more sees (ie, essentially as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire month-to-month fee right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time fixing issues.
Basically, if your time is better assigned far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Web Hosting Office 365
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on development & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that process take place. The phone support is a crucial aspect, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on launching a near-complete site all at once.
They do not have any previous practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, numerous 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, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review revision. Web Hosting Office 365
WP Engine stands out not just on current features however also on creating brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented new developer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even general web development best practices have actually changed radically given that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand adequate web development to integrate best practices into execution & jobs with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And numerous are valid because they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some consumers. I do not use them for this website because I do not need many of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Hosting Office 365
All that said, here are a few of the bigger picture drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be rather complicated– especially if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they likewise do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can cause some developers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the public or merely not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they currently do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never explain finest practice for the general user. Web Hosting Office 365
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to watch that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (once you get past the learning curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site checklists to help 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.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply take care of all of it.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Web Hosting Office 365
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or very real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, but those restrictions restrict versatility 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 sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured allows for less versatility too. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to aspect additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Business. And this point goes further if your site requires many plugins for full functionality.
The exact same goes 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 cannot truly do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another email company mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for efficiency & not having to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the functions you’re getting, you actually do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Web Hosting Office 365
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage 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 gos to in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, but 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 does not even include many 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 local storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot use them to spread out the cost of your strategy,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a costly option, especially compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, however what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & routines.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to worry about hosting issues.
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. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more freedom/ much better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Web Hosting Office 365