WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Hosting Verizon
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first business to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Web Hosting Verizon
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all vary in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
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 take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it’s important to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, typically with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a various technique. This evaluation 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 Verizon
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous projects because 2012. I don’t use them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a current client on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular 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 Verizon
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, but the general rule is that the more intricate your website is, the more intricate the solutions to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a few standard plugins and a couple of 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 usually extra plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow website doesn’t suggest that you need a bigger, much better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, but sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay quick as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … but either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Web Hosting Verizon
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to start packing the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it stay that way no matter how big or intricate the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because you are totally free to focus on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, but they also provide global data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Hosting Verizon
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Hosting Verizon
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are really 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 among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the hard feature of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never know if the story is due to the fact that 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 company deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to look for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 require a financial investment of loan, time and knowledge.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They preserve a range 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 through chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with actually knew the fine workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after numerous problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Hosting Verizon
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,especially since their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available 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 financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely 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 neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that even though security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically 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. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped clients who have actually been. It’s aggravating, laborious & an usually expensive situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Web Hosting Verizon
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, basically as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 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 monthly charge right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time repairing issues.
Generally, if your time is better assigned away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly 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 Verizon
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing basic site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed 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 handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process happen. The phone support is an essential element, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a startup website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete website simultaneously.
They do not have any previous habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of 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 modification. Web Hosting Verizon
WP Engine excels not just on present functions however also on developing new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented new developer features that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually changed drastically considering that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to incorporate finest practices into application & jobs 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many are valid because they merely aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some customers. I don’t utilize them for this site because I do not require much of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Hosting Verizon
All that stated, here are a few of the larger image disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be quite made complex– especially if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they likewise do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can cause some developers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site available to the public or simply not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the general user. Web Hosting Verizon
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to enjoy that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a big offer (when you surpass the knowing curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website lists to help fix 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 take care of everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Web Hosting Verizon
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, however those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed 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 way their pricing is structured enables less versatility too. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect extra 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 Service. And this point goes even more if your website needs lots of plugins for full performance.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you can’t actually do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up having to do an unpleasant 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 functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for efficiency & not having to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you really do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally visiting often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Web Hosting Verizon
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t even consist of a lot 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 regional storage. Anything above the limits requires additional expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to spread out the cost of your strategy,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, however what is finest for you based on your goals, budget, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly 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 functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to fret about hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more freedom/ better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Web Hosting Verizon