WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Booking Engine
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to supply handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Booking Engine
While they have lots of competitors in both the general 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 growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all differ in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is necessary to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, normally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a various technique. This evaluation 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. Wp Booking Engine
I have actually used WP Engine for different projects since 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class client service.” Here is their promotion 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. Wp Booking Engine
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complex your site is, the more intricate the solutions to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a few basic plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with an economical shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow website doesn’t suggest that you need a bigger, much better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain quick as you grow. There are lots of solutions … however either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have customized servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Booking Engine
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough information to start filling the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right out of package, and have it stay that method no matter how big or intricate the website gets.
*Note 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 considering that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, however they also supply global data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Booking Engine
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Booking Engine
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a big emphasis 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 actually 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 aspect of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is since they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I want to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 require a financial investment of money, time and know-how.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the site via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually interacted with actually understood the great 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 between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Booking Engine
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly due to the fact that their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your 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 use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is simple, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website protected 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 & all set to roll back if something happens. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a lot of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have assisted clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & a generally pricey situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wp Booking Engine
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your installation 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 fee right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time repairing problems.
Generally, if your time is much better allocated away from technical problems, 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 a financial investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Booking Engine
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first client type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website 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 website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process happen. The phone support is a key aspect, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a start-up site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on introducing a near-complete site at one time.
They don’t have any previous habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, so many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive 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. Wp Booking Engine
WP Engine excels not only on present features but likewise on producing brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new designer functions that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even general web development finest practices have actually altered significantly given that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web advancement to integrate best practices into implementation & tasks with designers.
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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And numerous are valid due to the fact that they simply aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some customers. I do not utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not require much of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Booking Engine
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger photo downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be rather complicated– specifically if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can cause some developers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or just not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie consumers 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 very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe finest practice for the general user. Wp Booking Engine
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to watch that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (when you get past the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site lists to help 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 they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply take care of everything.
But, 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 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. Wp Booking Engine
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for great reasons, but those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured enables less adaptability also. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a variety of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have 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 manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Service. And this point goes further if your site needs many plugins for full functionality.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot actually do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up having to do a painful migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for efficiency & not needing to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you actually do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Booking Engine
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable 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 rather a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even consist of a lot of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot utilize them to spread out the expense of your plan,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, especially compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, however what is finest for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a solid item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to worry about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a suitable 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 sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more liberty/ much better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer care.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Booking Engine