WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Hosting Yandex
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, 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 differ in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored 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 rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as a whole, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it’s important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a various method. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Web Hosting Yandex
I’ve used WP Engine for different projects given that 2012. I don’t use them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business mentioned. All data & 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 live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Yandex
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more complex the solutions to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
However a slow site does not imply that you need a bigger, much better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to haul 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 might simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to stay fast as you grow. There are a lot of options … however either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with very aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Web Hosting Yandex
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a customized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to start filling the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right from package, and have it stay that method no matter how big or intricate the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are free to concentrate on speed factors 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 incorporated CDN, but they also offer worldwide information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Web Hosting Yandex
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Hosting Yandex
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are really selling 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:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough aspect of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever know if the story is due to the fact that they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I like to search for access, systems, and understanding, all three need an investment of cash, time and know-how.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all three boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually connected 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, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Hosting Yandex
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,especially due to the fact that their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the downsides). However 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 Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals are fairly straightforward:
- 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site safe is still ultimately 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 whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a great deal of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have assisted clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & a generally expensive scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Web Hosting Yandex
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which enable more storage & more visits (ie, generally as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup 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 whole regular monthly charge right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or designer time fixing issues.
Essentially, if your time is much better designated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Web Hosting Yandex
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine seems 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 procedure, the first customer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process take place. The phone support is an essential aspect, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a startup website owner that has the budget and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete site at one time.
They don’t have any prior practices or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make pledges and supply support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, so many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this review revision. Web Hosting Yandex
WP Engine stands out not only on current features but likewise on developing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new developer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have changed radically given that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web development to incorporate finest practices into implementation & jobs 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
Just 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 embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And lots of stand 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 clients. I don’t use them for this site since I do not require a number of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Hosting Yandex
All that stated, here are some of the larger image disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be rather made complex– particularly if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can lead to some designers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the public or simply not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice customers than they currently do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the basic user. Web Hosting Yandex
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a substantial deal (once you get past the learning curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad 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 why they do all this. And most of the times, support will just look after all of it.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Web Hosting Yandex
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin behavior for great reasons, but those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured allows for less adaptability as well. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a number of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to factor extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your site requires numerous plugins for full performance.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot actually do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & 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 pricing based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for efficiency & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based on the functions you’re getting, you really do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Web Hosting Yandex
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed 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 definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even include many of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to spread out the expense of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, especially compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, but what is best for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & habits.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a fantastic service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to stress over hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more freedom/ much better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer support.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Web Hosting Yandex