WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Hosting Yorkshire
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first business to provide managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Web Hosting Yorkshire
While they have lots of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name recognition and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing location.
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.
And then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is necessary to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a different technique. 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 “finest fit” for. Web Hosting Yorkshire
I have actually used WP Engine for various tasks because 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” Here is their promo 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 Yorkshire
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complex your website is, the more complicated the options to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally additional plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
However a slow website doesn’t indicate that you need a bigger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might just need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay quick as you grow. There are plenty of options … but either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Web Hosting Yorkshire
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough information to start packing the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or complex the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are free to focus on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an integrated CDN, however they likewise provide global information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Hosting Yorkshire
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Hosting Yorkshire
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my 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 actually grown & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough 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 because 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 business deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of loan, time and know-how.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website through chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually connected 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 between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of several concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Hosting Yorkshire
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically since their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). However they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty 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 protected 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. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually helped customers who have been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a normally expensive circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Web Hosting Yorkshire
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same rate 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 per month.
Both which enable more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing 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 & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates each month & 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 charge right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time repairing issues.
Generally, if your time is much better assigned away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Web Hosting Yorkshire
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is an essential factor, especially being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on launching a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Web Hosting Yorkshire
WP Engine excels not only on current features however also on creating new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented new developer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have altered radically since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web development to integrate finest practices into execution & tasks 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And numerous are valid since they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some clients. I don’t use them for this site because I do not need a number of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Hosting Yorkshire
All that stated, here are some of the larger photo downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be quite made complex– particularly if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they likewise don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the distinct backend can result in some developers making errors ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site available to the general public or merely not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never explain best practice for the basic user. Web Hosting Yorkshire
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to see that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (once you surpass the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website lists to help repair 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 why 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 website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Web Hosting Yorkshire
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit more to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, however those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured allows for less flexibility also. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes further if your website needs numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The same goes 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.
Additionally, you can’t truly do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up having to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for efficiency & not having to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Web Hosting Yorkshire
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (operating on a shared hosting strategy 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 dependable VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t even include a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits requires additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot utilize them to expand the expense of your strategy,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, however what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to worry about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more flexibility/ better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Web Hosting Yorkshire