WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Hosting Reddit
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first business to supply handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Web Hosting Reddit
While they have plenty of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name recognition and advanced features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as a whole, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is very important to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a various method. This review 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 Reddit
I’ve used WP Engine for numerous projects because 2012. I do not use them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning 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 Reddit
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complex your site is, the more complex the services to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a few fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally additional plugins, customized theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
However a sluggish website does not imply that you need a larger, much better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to transport a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might just need to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay fast as you grow. There are lots of services … but either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Web Hosting Reddit
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to start filling the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or complicated the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services since you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, however they likewise offer worldwide information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Hosting Reddit
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Hosting Reddit
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a huge 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 lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough aspect of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never know if the story is since they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or a cost.
I want to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of cash, time and know-how.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has connected with really knew the great functions of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after numerous concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Hosting Reddit
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically due to the fact that their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the upside 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 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 commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site safe is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something occurs. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security firms 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 for free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, laborious & a normally expensive scenario (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 Reddit
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, essentially as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes each month. 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 update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost 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 might be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time repairing problems.
Basically, if your time is much better assigned far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Web Hosting Reddit
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing standard site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a key element, especially being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup site owner that has the budget and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any previous routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once 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 clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, numerous of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Web Hosting Reddit
WP Engine stands out not only on present functions however also on developing new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have altered radically given that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to incorporate finest practices into application & tasks 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 suitable for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of are valid due to the fact that they simply aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I don’t use them for this website due to the fact that I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Hosting Reddit
All that said, here are a few of the larger photo disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be rather complicated– especially if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can result in some designers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site available to the public or simply not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they already do.
Like numerous 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 ever describe finest practice for the basic user. Web Hosting Reddit
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to watch that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (as soon as you get past the learning curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website 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.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply look after everything.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Web Hosting Reddit
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or very genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin habits for good reasons, but those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured permits less adaptability also. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a variety of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to aspect additional hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish 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 enable on a Personal or Service. And this point goes further if your site requires lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t actually do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for performance & not having to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you really don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Web Hosting Reddit
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly 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” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t even include a lot of the functions you do not 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 needs extra expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the rate. You cannot utilize them to expand the expense of your plan,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a pricey option, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, however exactly what is best for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a strong item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to worry about hosting problems.
If handled 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 set up and see exactly what you think of their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more liberty/ better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer service.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Web Hosting Reddit