WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Backup
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to provide managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Backup
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is essential to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a various method. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Backup
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various projects given that 2012. I don’t use them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
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 pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer service.” 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. Wp Engine Backup
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the general rule is that the more intricate your website is, the more complicated the solutions to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a few standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually extra plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
However a sluggish website doesn’t mean that you need a larger, much better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might just need to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain quick as you grow. There are lots of services … however either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the specific chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Backup
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs because 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 additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right out of package, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complex the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are totally free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, but they also supply worldwide data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Backup
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Backup
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a huge emphasis 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 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 stated, the hard thing about consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never know if the story is since they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three need an investment of loan, time and knowledge.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site through chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually interacted with in fact understood the fine operations of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to expertly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after numerous concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Backup
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically since their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). However they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site safe is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, 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 takes place. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a great deal of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tedious & an usually pricey situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Backup
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, essentially as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing 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 own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is fantastic.
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 regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or designer time repairing issues.
Generally, if your time is much better allocated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually 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 concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Backup
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is an essential aspect, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third consumer type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s special backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any previous routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows 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 enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Backup
WP Engine stands out not only on current functions however also on developing brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new designer features that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web development best practices have actually altered significantly since I started observing the market *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand enough web advancement to incorporate finest practices into implementation & projects 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And many are valid because they simply aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some clients. I do not utilize them for this website since I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Backup
All that said, 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 guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be rather made complex– particularly if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they likewise do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the special backend can result in some developers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or simply not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they already do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Backup
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to see that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a substantial deal (once you surpass the learning curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website lists to assist repair all sorts of issues.
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 just take care of it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Backup
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or very genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more 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 use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for great factors, but those restrictions restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured enables less flexibility as well. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also costly to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Business. And this point goes even more if your site requires numerous plugins for full functionality.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t truly do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for efficiency & not needing to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the functions you’re getting, you actually do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Backup
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the very 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 basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely handle 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 into the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed previously that doesn’t even include much of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You cannot utilize them to spread out the cost of your strategy,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, however exactly what is best for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to stress over hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more liberty/ better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer support.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Backup