WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Hosting Znacenje
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first companies to provide managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Web Hosting Znacenje
While they have a lot of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is necessary to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a different method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Web Hosting Znacenje
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous tasks because 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Znacenje
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your website is, the more complex the options to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a budget friendly shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a slow website does not suggest that you need a bigger, much better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to remain quickly as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … but either you or a designer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually customized servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Web Hosting Znacenje
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have such a customized caching setup.
The interesting 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 among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra 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 information to start packing the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complicated the website gets.
*Note 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 because you are totally free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, but they likewise offer international data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Web Hosting Znacenje
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Hosting Znacenje
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has grown & changed 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 difficult aspect of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever know 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 review, the fundamental part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I want to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three require an investment of loan, time and knowledge.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the website through chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has engaged with in fact knew the fine operations of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of several problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Hosting Znacenje
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically because their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). But they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security essentials are relatively simple:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that even though security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a lot of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually helped clients who have been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a normally expensive situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Web Hosting Znacenje
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only up to 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, basically as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge 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 entire regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time fixing issues.
Generally, if your time is better assigned far from technical problems, 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.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Web Hosting Znacenje
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first client type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on development & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a crucial element, especially being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s special backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any previous routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Web Hosting Znacenje
WP Engine stands out not only on present functions but likewise on developing brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new developer features that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even basic web development best practices have changed significantly given that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to incorporate finest practices into execution & jobs with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many are valid because they simply aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some customers. I don’t 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 Znacenje
All that stated, here are some of the bigger photo disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be rather complicated– particularly if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the distinct backend can result in some designers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site open up to the public or simply not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they currently do.
Like lots of custom-made 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 describe finest practice for the general user. Web Hosting Znacenje
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to view that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website lists to assist repair all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply look after all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not 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 anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Web Hosting Znacenje
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise related 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 consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define 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 prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, however those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured permits less adaptability as well. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s also pricey to pay based on a variety of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to factor extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Company. And this point goes even more if your website needs numerous plugins for full functionality.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t actually do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another email supplier 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 normally paying for efficiency & not needing to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you truly don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically visiting frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Web Hosting Znacenje
Many shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even consist of much of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the price. You can’t use them to expand the expense of your plan,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a costly choice, especially compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, however exactly what is finest for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use an excellent service with a strong product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to worry about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see what you think of their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more freedom/ better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
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 test to simplify things. Web Hosting Znacenje