WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Hosting Telus
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored 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 options, but as an entire, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is very important to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a different technique. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Web Hosting Telus
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous jobs considering that 2012. I don’t use them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies discussed. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, effective 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 Telus
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, however the guideline is that the more intricate your website is, the more complicated the solutions to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of basic plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a budget friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically additional plugins, customized theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
However a slow website doesn’t indicate that you need a bigger, much better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, but 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 aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay quickly as you grow. There are lots of options … but either you or a developer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the precise chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Web Hosting Telus
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or intricate the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are free to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, but they likewise offer international data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Hosting Telus
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Hosting Telus
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 good sense for them to place a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 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 difficult thing about client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never know if the story is due to the fact that 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 business deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I like to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require an investment of cash, time and proficiency.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site via chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with in fact knew the great workings 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 during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Hosting Telus
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly since their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security basics 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 use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that although security on WordPress is simple, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically 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. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have helped customers who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & a normally pricey situation (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 Telus
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same rate 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 monthly.
Both which enable more storage & more sees (ie, basically as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & 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 cost right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or developer time repairing problems.
Basically, if your time is better allocated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Web Hosting Telus
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is a crucial element, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on releasing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any prior routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this review revision. Web Hosting Telus
WP Engine excels not just on current features but also on creating brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new developer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have actually changed radically given that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to integrate finest practices into implementation & projects with developers.
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 everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And numerous stand because they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this site since I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Hosting Telus
All that said, here are a few of the larger picture downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be rather made complex– specifically if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they likewise do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can result in some developers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the public or just not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more novice customers than they currently do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the basic user. Web Hosting Telus
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, 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.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (once you get past the knowing curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site checklists to help troubleshoot 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.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And most of the times, support will just take care of all of it.
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 lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Web Hosting Telus
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to minimizing & 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 somewhat consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for good factors, but those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured allows for less versatility also. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a number of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element additional hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Business. And this point goes further if your website needs lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot truly do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another email company mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for efficiency & not having to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you truly don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Web Hosting Telus
Many shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even include a lot of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra costs & technical execution 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 cost. You can’t use them to expand the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a pricey option, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, but exactly what is best for you based upon your objectives, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to fret about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see what you think about their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more freedom/ better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Web Hosting Telus