WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Banned Plugins
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to offer handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all differ in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is necessary to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, usually with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a various approach. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous jobs since 2012. I don’t use them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a current client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business mentioned. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class client 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 Banned Plugins
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your website is, the more intricate the services to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text site with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually extra plugins, custom-made theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
However a slow site does not imply that you need a bigger, much better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to stay fast as you grow. There are a lot of options … however either you or a developer must implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have actually tailored servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the precise chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional 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 rapidly the server returned enough information to start loading the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right out of package, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complicated the site 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 given that you are complimentary to focus on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, however they also supply worldwide information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Banned Plugins
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough thing about customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never understand if the story is because they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I want to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three require an investment of money, time and know-how.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the website through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with actually knew the fine operations of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically because their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). But they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security fundamentals 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 although security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped customers who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tedious & a typically costly circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and just up to 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k gos to each 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 pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time repairing issues.
Essentially, if your time is much better allocated away 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.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on development & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops 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 need for a continuous basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that process happen. The phone support is an essential element, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd client type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any previous practices or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds 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 performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
WP Engine stands out not just on current features but likewise on creating new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development best practices have changed significantly since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to integrate best practices into implementation & jobs 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 best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many are valid because they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some customers. I do not use them for this site due to the fact that I do not need many of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
All that said, here are some of the bigger picture drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be rather complicated– especially if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they likewise don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can cause some designers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open up to the public or just not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they currently do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never describe best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to view that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial deal (once you get past the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website 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.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just take care of it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, but those restrictions limit versatility and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured allows for less versatility also. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise pricey to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to factor extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish 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 allow on a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your site requires lots of plugins for full functionality.
The exact same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot actually do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for performance & not having to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the functions you’re getting, you really do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively 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 mentioned earlier that doesn’t even include a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t use them to spread out the expense of your plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up 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 choice, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, however what is best for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to fret about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think of their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more liberty/ better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive client service.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine Banned Plugins