WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Webex Host Key
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Webex Host Key
While they have a lot 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 acknowledgment and innovative functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all vary in services offered. Some just 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 buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as a whole, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it’s important to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated evaluations 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 alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Webex Host Key
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various jobs because 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer 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. Webex Host Key
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your site is, the more complicated the solutions to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a few basic plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
However a sluggish website does not mean that you need a bigger, much better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to stay fast as you grow. There are lots of services … but either you or a designer should execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and identify the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Webex Host Key
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough information to start loading the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right from package, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or intricate the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are free to focus on speed elements that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an integrated CDN, but they likewise provide international data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Webex Host Key
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Webex Host Key
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (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 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 stated, the difficult thing about customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to try to find access, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of loan, time and know-how.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has communicated with really understood the fine operations of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Webex Host Key
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically since their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). 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 entire Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security basics 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 industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a lot of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have actually been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a normally expensive circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Webex Host Key
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both which permit more storage & more visits (ie, generally as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k sees per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes each month. 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 whole 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 could be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or designer time fixing problems.
Essentially, if your time is much better assigned away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Webex Host Key
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first consumer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on development & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, 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 website over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate 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 & client support to make that process happen. The phone support is a crucial factor, particularly having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a start-up website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any previous routines or customizeds 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 supply support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, numerous of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Webex Host Key
WP Engine stands out not just on existing features but likewise on creating new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web development finest practices have changed drastically because I started observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to incorporate finest practices into execution & jobs with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many stand due to the fact that they merely aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some clients. I don’t utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not require many of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Webex Host Key
All that stated, here are some of the larger picture downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be quite complicated– especially if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can cause some designers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site available to the public or simply not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made 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 explain finest practice for the basic user. Webex Host Key
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to see that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (as soon as you get past the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website checklists to assist repair 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 they do all this. And in many cases, support will just look after all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Webex Host Key
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin habits for great factors, but those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured enables less adaptability also. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based on a number of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element additional 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 site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Service. And this point goes further if your site requires numerous plugins for full functionality.
The very same goes 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 use case is out.
In addition, you cannot actually do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up needing to do a painful migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
Either way, 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 normally paying for efficiency & not having to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices 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 normally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Webex Host Key
Lots of 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 standard caching) dealt with more than 15,000 visits 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 relatively transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed earlier that doesn’t even consist of much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted 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 cannot use them to expand the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a pricey option, especially compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, but exactly what is best for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to worry about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a fit 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 install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more liberty/ better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, 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 simplify things. Webex Host Key