WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Affiliate Program
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first business to provide handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Affiliate Program
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name recognition and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all vary in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher 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 alternatives, but as an entire, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is necessary to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a different approach. 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. Wp Engine Affiliate Program
I’ve utilized WP Engine for different jobs considering that 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 review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning 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 Engine Affiliate Program
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the solutions to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with a budget friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally extra plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a slow site does not mean that you require a larger, better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture 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 big enough when you might simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay quickly as you grow. There are plenty of services … however either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Affiliate Program
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, a lot of 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 data to begin loading the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right out of package, and have it stay that method no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services since you are complimentary to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an integrated CDN, however they likewise supply worldwide information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Affiliate Program
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Affiliate Program
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my 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 lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the hard thing about client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is because they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I want to look for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 require a financial investment of money, time and expertise.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with actually understood the fine workings of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of several issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Affiliate Program
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically because their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But 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 indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals are fairly uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, 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 site secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have helped clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & a typically pricey situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Affiliate Program
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same rate 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 each month.
Both which enable more storage & more gos to (ie, basically as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup 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 gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time fixing issues.
Basically, if your time is better assigned far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Affiliate Program
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first consumer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on development & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of 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 growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that process take place. The phone support is a key factor, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a startup site owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any previous routines or custom-mades 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 offer support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Affiliate Program
WP Engine excels not just on existing functions but also on developing brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented new designer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web development finest practices have changed radically since I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web development to integrate finest practices into application & projects with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And numerous stand because they merely aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some customers. I don’t use them for this site because I do not need a number of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Affiliate Program
All that said, here are a few of the bigger picture downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be rather made complex– especially if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can lead to some designers making errors varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or just not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they already do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever describe best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Affiliate Program
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to view that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a huge deal (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site checklists to help troubleshoot 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 for the most parts, support will simply look after all of it.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Affiliate Program
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or extremely genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, but those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured permits less flexibility also. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also expensive to pay based upon a variety of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to element additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Company. And this point goes even more if your website needs lots of plugins for complete performance.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot really do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up having to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for performance & not having to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Affiliate Program
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even include much of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs additional expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the price. You can’t use them to spread out the expense of your strategy,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a costly choice, especially compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, but exactly what is best for you based upon your goals, budget, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a strong product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to stress over hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go check out 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 present host & want more flexibility/ much better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer service.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Affiliate Program