WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Hosts Better Than Godaddy
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first business to provide managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Web Hosts Better Than Godaddy
While they have plenty of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief 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 actually purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers 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 site content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it’s important to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a various method. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Web Hosts Better Than Godaddy
I’ve used WP Engine for numerous tasks because 2012. I don’t use them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a current client on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Hosts Better Than Godaddy
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the options to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a few basic plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow site does not imply that you require a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply need to get rid of 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 designer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and identify the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Web Hosts Better Than Godaddy
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to start packing the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or complicated the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because you are free to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an incorporated CDN, however they likewise provide global information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Hosts Better Than Godaddy
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Hosts Better Than Godaddy
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among 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 & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough feature of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never know if the story is since they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to search for access, systems, and knowledge, all three need a financial investment of loan, time and knowledge.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has communicated with in fact knew the great operations 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 during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after numerous problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Hosts Better Than Godaddy
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly because their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are fairly uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that even though security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tedious & an usually pricey scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Web Hosts Better Than Godaddy
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes 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 starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which enable more storage & more visits (ie, generally as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but 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 pricing is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup 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 entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is better assigned away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Web Hosts Better Than Godaddy
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing fundamental site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have 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 & customer support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential element, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third client type is a startup site owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any prior routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Web Hosts Better Than Godaddy
WP Engine excels not only on current features but likewise on producing brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have actually changed radically given that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to integrate finest practices into execution & projects 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous stand due to the fact that they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some clients. I don’t utilize them for this site since I do not require many of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Hosts Better Than Godaddy
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger picture downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be rather complicated– especially if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they likewise do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can lead to some designers making mistakes varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site available to the general public or simply not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they currently do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the basic user. Web Hosts Better Than Godaddy
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to watch that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site checklists to assist troubleshoot 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.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in most cases, support will just take care of all of it.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Web Hosts Better Than Godaddy
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, however those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured allows for less versatility as well. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a number of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to element 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 enable on a Personal or Business. And this point goes even more if your site requires numerous plugins for full functionality.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are planning to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t really do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up needing to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for performance & not needing to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally visiting regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Web Hosts Better Than Godaddy
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even consist of a lot of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to expand the cost of your plan,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, especially compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest overall, but what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a fantastic service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to worry about hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see what you think about their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more liberty/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Web Hosts Better Than Godaddy