WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Hosting Price
While they have lots of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all differ in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is essential to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a different method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Web Hosting Price
I’ve used WP Engine for different jobs since 2012. I don’t use them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current client on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, powerful 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 Price
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your site is, the more complex the solutions to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text site with a couple of basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually extra plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a slow site doesn’t mean that you require a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may just have to eliminate 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 lots of services … however either you or a designer should execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have actually tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the precise chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Web Hosting Price
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to start filling the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right from package, and have it remain that method no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, however they likewise supply worldwide information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Hosting Price
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Hosting Price
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes 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:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has actually 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 stated, the hard feature of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is because they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 require an investment of cash, time and expertise.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the website via chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually engaged with really knew the great workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Hosting Price
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security essentials are fairly 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 despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site protected 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 everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped 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 group take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Web Hosting Price
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same rate from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both which enable more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes on a monthly basis. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any check outs 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 don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time repairing issues.
Generally, if your time is better assigned far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Web Hosting Price
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first consumer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous basic website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website 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 likewise established enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a crucial aspect, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a start-up site owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on launching a near-complete site all at once.
They do not have any previous habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make pledges and offer support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the enhancements 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 benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Web Hosting Price
WP Engine excels not just on existing features however also on producing brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new designer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even general web advancement best practices have actually changed radically because I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to integrate best practices into execution & 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And many are valid due to the fact that they just aren’t a fit 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 utilize them for this site because I do not require a number of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Hosting Price
All that stated, here are a few of the larger image disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be rather made complex– specifically if you have simply 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 nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can result in some developers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open to the public or merely not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice clients than they already do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never explain finest practice for the general user. Web Hosting Price
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to enjoy 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 customized backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (once you surpass the knowing curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site lists to assist repair all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in most cases, support will just look after all of it.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Web Hosting Price
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to 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; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, but those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured permits less adaptability as well. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise pricey 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 rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to element extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your website needs many plugins for full performance.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t truly do automatic email marketing campaigns 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 discovered with WP Engine, their rates based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for performance & not having to believe too much about upkeep, 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 great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Web Hosting Price
Many shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how quickly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed earlier that doesn’t even consist of much of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires extra expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You cannot utilize them to expand the cost of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best overall, but what is finest for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a terrific service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to stress over hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see what you think of their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more liberty/ much better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive 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 a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Web Hosting Price