WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Buy Domain Name
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first business to supply managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Buy Domain Name
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all differ in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site 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 standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, generally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a various technique. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Buy Domain Name
I’ve used WP Engine for different jobs considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Buy Domain Name
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your site is, the more complicated the services to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text site with a couple of standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a slow site does not suggest that you need a bigger, much better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just have to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to stay quickly as you grow. There are plenty of options … but either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Buy Domain Name
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs since 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 theme, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin loading the page.
It’s great to have that kind of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or complex the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are complimentary to focus on speed elements that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an integrated CDN, however they also offer worldwide information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Buy Domain Name
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Buy Domain Name
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place 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 company has grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough aspect of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to search for access, systems, and understanding, all three require a financial investment of loan, time and competence.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the site by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually communicated with in fact understood the great 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 during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Buy Domain Name
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially since their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However 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 entire Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security basics are fairly 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 observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s aggravating, tedious & a normally costly situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Buy Domain Name
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your 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 just a couple dollars each month.
Both of which enable more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes on a monthly basis. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time repairing problems.
Generally, if your time is better assigned away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. 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 prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Buy Domain Name
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at having to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that process happen. The phone support is a key element, specifically having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third consumer type is a start-up site owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on launching a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any previous practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Buy Domain Name
WP Engine excels not only on present functions but also on developing new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new designer features that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have actually changed drastically given that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to incorporate best practices into application & jobs with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many stand because they just aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this website since I do not require many of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Buy Domain Name
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger photo drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be rather made complex– particularly if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they likewise do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can lead to some designers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website available to the general public or just not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they already do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never explain best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Buy Domain Name
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to watch that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website checklists to help troubleshoot all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply take care of everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Buy Domain Name
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or extremely genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, however those restrictions restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But 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 permits less flexibility too. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also pricey to pay based on a number of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect additional hosting expenses 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 manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Service. And this point goes further if your site needs many plugins for full functionality.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot truly do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically paying for performance & not having to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Buy Domain Name
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental 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 trustworthy VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” site owners how quickly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned earlier that does not even consist of much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires extra costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the price. You can’t use them to expand the cost of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a pricey option, especially compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best overall, however what is finest for you based on your goals, budget, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to fret about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go take 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 certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more freedom/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer service.
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 streamline things. Wp Engine Buy Domain Name