WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Hosting Video Hosting
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to supply handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Web Hosting Video Hosting
While they have plenty of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all differ in services provided. 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 different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it’s important to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a various method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Web Hosting Video Hosting
I have actually used WP Engine for various tasks because 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, effective 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 Video Hosting
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your site is, the more complex the services to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text site with a few standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with an inexpensive shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically extra plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
However a slow website does not imply that you need a larger, better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might simply have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to remain quick as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … but either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Web Hosting Video Hosting
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right out of package, and have it remain that method no matter how big or complex the website 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 may get with other services considering that you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an integrated CDN, but they also provide global information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Hosting Video Hosting
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Hosting Video Hosting
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company 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 stated, the tough thing about consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never know if the story is because they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to look for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need an investment of loan, time and know-how.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing better hitting all 3 boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the site via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with actually understood the great operations of WordPress and has had the ability 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 customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to expertly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Hosting Video Hosting
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,especially because their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the downsides). But they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & a generally costly situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Web Hosting Video Hosting
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reliable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, essentially as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better designated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Web Hosting Video Hosting
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, 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. The designer/dev develops the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at needing to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a better host.
They’re also 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 procedure occur. The phone support is a key factor, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup website owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s special backend and plan on releasing a near-complete site all at once.
They do not have any prior routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Web Hosting Video Hosting
WP Engine stands out not just on existing features however likewise on developing brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development finest practices have changed drastically given that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to integrate best practices into execution & jobs with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And many stand due to the fact that they just aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not require much of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Hosting Video Hosting
All that stated, here are a few of the larger picture downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be quite complicated– specifically if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the distinct backend can cause some designers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website available to the general public or simply not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they currently do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the basic user. Web Hosting Video Hosting
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to see 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-made backend isn’t going to be a huge deal (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site checklists to assist troubleshoot all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply look after it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Web Hosting Video Hosting
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s unique 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 foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or extremely real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for good factors, but those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured enables less flexibility as well. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also costly to pay based on a number of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to element additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Company. And this point goes further if your site requires numerous plugins for complete performance.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t really do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another email company mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for performance & not needing to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Web Hosting Video Hosting
Many shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed earlier that doesn’t even consist of much of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits needs additional costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to spread out the cost of your plan,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, however exactly what is finest for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to fret about hosting problems.
If managed 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 what you consider their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more flexibility/ better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer support.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Web Hosting Video Hosting