WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Website That Speeds Up Videos
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to supply managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Website That Speeds Up Videos
While they have plenty of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name recognition and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all differ in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses 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 different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as an entire, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is very important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a different method. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Website That Speeds Up Videos
I have actually used WP Engine for various tasks because 2012. I don’t use them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, powerful 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. Website That Speeds Up Videos
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complex your website is, the more intricate the options to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a budget friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a slow site doesn’t indicate that you require a larger, better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, however often it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just have to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay quickly as you grow. There are plenty of options … however either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the precise chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Website That Speeds Up Videos
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a customized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up 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, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to start packing the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right out of package, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or intricate 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 given that you are free to focus on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, but they likewise offer international information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Website That Speeds Up Videos
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Website That Speeds Up Videos
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough feature of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never understand 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 deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I like to look for access, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of loan, time and know-how.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all 3 boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has engaged with in fact knew the fine functions of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to expertly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Website That Speeds Up Videos
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly because their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). However they appear 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 means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security essentials are relatively uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is simple, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site protected 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 takes place. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tedious & an usually costly scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Website That Speeds Up Videos
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & 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 whole regular monthly charge right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or developer time repairing issues.
Essentially, if your time is much better allocated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Website That Speeds Up Videos
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on advancement & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs 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 handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a much better host.
They’re also developed 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 happen. The phone support is an essential aspect, particularly being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s special backend and plan on releasing a near-complete site at one time.
They don’t have any previous habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make pledges and provide support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, so many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Website That Speeds Up Videos
WP Engine excels not only on present functions but likewise on developing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented new designer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even general web development finest practices have altered significantly because I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to integrate finest practices into implementation & 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many are valid due to the fact that they simply aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some consumers. I don’t use them for this website since I do not require a lot of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Website That Speeds Up Videos
All that stated, here are some of the bigger photo disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be quite complicated– especially if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can result in some developers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev website open up to the public or simply not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they currently do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the general user. Website That Speeds Up Videos
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to watch that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a big offer (once you surpass the learning curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site lists to help 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 why they do all this. And in most cases, support will just look after everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Website That Speeds Up Videos
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise connected 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 somewhat uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin behavior for good factors, but those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured enables less flexibility as well. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise pricey to pay based on a variety of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to element additional hosting costs 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 manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your website needs many plugins for full performance.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you can’t actually do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up having to do a painful migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not having to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you actually don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically visiting often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Website That Speeds Up Videos
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even include a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You can’t use them to spread out the expense of your strategy,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a costly option, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest overall, however exactly what is best for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a solid item. Their rates 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 unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to fret about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more flexibility/ much better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. 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 test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Website That Speeds Up Videos