WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Hosting Youtube
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first business to supply managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Web Hosting Youtube
While they have a lot of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it’s important to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a different 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 “finest fit” for. Web Hosting Youtube
I’ve utilized WP Engine for different tasks since 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class client service.” 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 Youtube
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, but the general rule is that the more complex your site is, the more complicated the options to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text website with a couple of standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally additional plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
But a sluggish website doesn’t imply that you need a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might just have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to remain quickly as you grow. There are lots of options … but either you or a designer should execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually customized servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Web Hosting Youtube
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to start loading the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complex the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services since you are free to focus on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, however they likewise supply international information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Web Hosting Youtube
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Hosting Youtube
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the difficult feature of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never understand if the story is because they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need an investment of cash, time and competence.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing better striking 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 readily available everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with in fact knew the great operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after a number of issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Hosting Youtube
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly because their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security basics are relatively 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although 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 don’t lock it, keeping your site safe is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have assisted clients who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & an usually expensive scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Web Hosting Youtube
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, basically as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k sees each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee 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 fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time fixing issues.
Essentially, if your time is much better allocated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly 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 concentrate on their core markets. Web Hosting Youtube
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on development & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing fundamental website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential aspect, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s special backend and intend on releasing a near-complete site all at once.
They do not have any previous habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make promises and provide support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, numerous of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Web Hosting Youtube
WP Engine stands out not only on current features however also on producing brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development finest practices have actually altered drastically given that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to integrate best practices into application & jobs with designers.
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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of stand because they merely aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Hosting Youtube
All that stated, here are some of the larger image drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be rather made complex– especially if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely 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 unique backend can result in some designers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev site available to the general public or merely 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 many custom platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the general user. Web Hosting Youtube
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to watch that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (once you get past the knowing curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website checklists to help fix 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 simply look after everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Web Hosting Youtube
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or very genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for good factors, but those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured enables less flexibility as well. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s also costly to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to element additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish 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 allow on an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your website requires many plugins for full performance.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot truly do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up having to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for efficiency & not needing to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the functions you’re getting, you actually do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Web Hosting Youtube
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even include much of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email 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 projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the price. You can’t use them to expand the expense of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, especially compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, but exactly what is finest for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a terrific service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to fret about hosting issues.
If managed 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 liberty/ much better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer support.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Web Hosting Youtube