WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Brisbane
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to offer managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Brisbane
While they have plenty of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -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 short variation: They all vary in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
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 examines online, normally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a various technique. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Brisbane
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various projects considering that 2012. I do not use them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business discussed. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer service.” Here is their promo 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 Brisbane
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the services to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text site with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow site doesn’t suggest that you need a larger, better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may just have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to stay fast as you grow. There are a lot of options … however either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have actually customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Brisbane
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it stay that method no matter how big or intricate the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are free to focus on speed factors that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an integrated CDN, but they also provide worldwide data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Brisbane
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Brisbane
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company 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 feature of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never know if the story is since they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I like to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need an investment of money, time and competence.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the site via chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually engaged with actually knew the fine functions of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after numerous issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Brisbane
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly since their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). But they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large community launching updates & screening 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, 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. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a great deal of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a generally costly scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Brisbane
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and only as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both which enable more storage & more visits (ie, essentially as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates every 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 cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time repairing issues.
Generally, if your time is much better designated away from technical concerns, 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 instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Brisbane
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. 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 a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much 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 & consumer support to make that process occur. The phone support is a key aspect, particularly having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a start-up site owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any previous habits or customs 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 supply support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, so many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Brisbane
WP Engine excels not only on present features but also on producing new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out new designer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development finest practices have actually changed drastically because I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web development to integrate best practices into implementation & tasks 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And numerous stand due to the fact that they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some clients. I do not utilize them for this website because I do not need a number of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Brisbane
All that said, here are a few of the bigger photo disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be quite complicated– especially if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the unique backend can result in some developers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev site open to the public or simply not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they already do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Brisbane
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to enjoy that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site lists to assist fix 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 in many cases, support will simply look after all of it.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Brisbane
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for good factors, however those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured allows for less adaptability too. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also expensive to pay based on a variety of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect additional 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 enable on an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your site needs lots of plugins for full functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot truly do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Brisbane
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t even consist of much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra costs & 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 price. You can’t utilize them to expand the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, but what is best for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a solid item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to fret about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more liberty/ better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated 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 aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Brisbane