WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Hosting Yahoo India
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Web Hosting Yahoo India
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name recognition and advanced features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all vary in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing 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 greater cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as an entire, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is necessary to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a different approach. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Web Hosting Yahoo India
I’ve used WP Engine for different tasks because 2012. I don’t use them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class client 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 Yahoo India
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, however the general rule is that the more complicated your website is, the more intricate the solutions to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a few standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with an economical shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally extra plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
However a slow site doesn’t suggest that you need a larger, better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might just 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 remain quickly as you grow. There are a lot of services … however either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Web Hosting Yahoo India
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to start filling the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or intricate the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are complimentary to focus on speed factors that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an integrated CDN, however they also provide worldwide data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Hosting Yahoo India
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Hosting Yahoo India
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the 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 stated, the hard aspect of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never understand if the story is since they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I want to search for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 need an investment of money, time and proficiency.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually communicated with actually understood the great operations of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to expertly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Hosting Yahoo India
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). But they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is 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 community releasing updates & testing 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 use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & ready to roll back if something happens. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped clients who have actually been. It’s aggravating, tedious & a typically expensive scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Web Hosting Yahoo India
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same price from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing 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 fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup 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 entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee 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 might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better assigned away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really 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 focus on their core markets. Web Hosting Yahoo India
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a crucial factor, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website at one time.
They do not have any prior habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review modification. Web Hosting Yahoo India
WP Engine excels not only on existing features however likewise on producing brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even basic web development finest practices have altered significantly since I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to integrate best practices into execution & projects 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 best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And lots of stand due to the fact that they merely aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some consumers. I do not use them for this site since I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Hosting Yahoo India
All that stated, here are some of the larger picture drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be rather made complex– particularly if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they likewise do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the unique backend can cause some designers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open to the public or merely not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more novice clients than they already do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the basic user. Web Hosting Yahoo India
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to view that video several 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 customized backend isn’t going to be a big deal (when you get past the knowing curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site checklists to assist 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.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just look after all of it.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Web Hosting Yahoo India
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, but those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured permits less versatility too. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also expensive to pay based upon a number of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to factor additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Company. And this point goes even more if your site needs numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t actually do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up having 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 prices based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for efficiency & not needing to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the functions you’re getting, you actually do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Web Hosting Yahoo India
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even consist of much of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to expand the expense of your strategy,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, but what is finest for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a fantastic service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to stress over hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see what you consider 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 user-friendly backend & responsive customer care.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Web Hosting Yahoo India