WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Webhost Usa
While they have a lot of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all differ in services provided. 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 managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the website 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 options, however as an entire, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a different technique. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Webhost Usa
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous projects given that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” Here is their promo pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Webhost Usa
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more complex the services to speed become.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with an inexpensive shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually extra plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish website doesn’t imply that you need a larger, better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic 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 aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply need to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to remain fast as you grow. There are a lot of services … however either you or a developer should execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Webhost Usa
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough information to start filling the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or intricate the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are complimentary to concentrate 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 integrated CDN, however they also offer international data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Webhost Usa
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Webhost Usa
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put 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 actually grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult aspect of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever know if the story is because 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 treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I want to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need a financial investment of cash, time and competence.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually communicated with in fact understood the great workings of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Webhost Usa
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the required 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 absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security basics 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 use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually helped clients who have been. It’s aggravating, tedious & an usually costly scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Webhost Usa
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just up to 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the 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 allow for more storage & more sees (ie, basically as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might 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 might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or designer time repairing issues.
Generally, if your time is much better allocated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Webhost Usa
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a key factor, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd customer type is a startup website owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on launching a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any prior practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Webhost Usa
WP Engine excels not only on current features but also on developing new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented new developer features that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually changed radically since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know sufficient web advancement to incorporate finest practices into implementation & tasks 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of are valid because they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I don’t utilize them for this site 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. Webhost Usa
All that said, here are some of the bigger photo disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be quite complicated– especially if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can cause some designers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev site open to the general public or simply not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice clients than they already do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss finest practice for the general user. Webhost Usa
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, however I needed to watch that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad 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.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in most cases, support will just take care of everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Webhost Usa
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or very genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, however those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller websites, it gets the job done 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 with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured enables less adaptability as well. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise pricey to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to factor extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your site requires lots of 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 looking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t truly do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices 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 look at WP Engine’s rates based on the functions you’re getting, you actually don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Webhost Usa
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t even consist of much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to expand the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a pricey option, especially compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, but what is best for you based on your goals, budget, resources & practices.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use an excellent service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to fret about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans 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 & desire more freedom/ better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer support.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Webhost Usa