WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Careers Austin
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to provide handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Careers Austin
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all differ 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 separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is very important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a various technique. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Careers Austin
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous tasks since 2012. I do not use them for my main websites today (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Careers Austin
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complex your site is, the more complex the services to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with an inexpensive shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually extra plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site does not imply that you need a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, however sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to stay quick as you grow. There are a lot of options … however either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Careers Austin
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, a lot of 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 start filling the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or intricate the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, but they also provide worldwide information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Careers Austin
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Careers Austin
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among 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 since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the hard aspect of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never know if the story is since they spoke with 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 company deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to try to find access, systems, and understanding, all 3 require an investment of cash, time and knowledge.
Based upon my current 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 quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the website through chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually communicated with in fact knew the great functions of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Careers Austin
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly due to the fact that their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). 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 Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security essentials are relatively uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is simple, 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 website protected 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 & ready to roll back if something takes place. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a lot of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted customers who have actually been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a normally pricey situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Careers Austin
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which permit more storage & more sees (ie, basically as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k gos to per month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & 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 entire 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 monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time repairing problems.
Essentially, if your time is better designated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Careers Austin
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on development & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the site 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 requirement for a continuous basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing site owner who is irritated at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to move 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 automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a key factor, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third consumer type is a startup website owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s special backend and plan on releasing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any prior habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, numerous of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Careers Austin
WP Engine excels not only on current features but also on developing new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new developer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web development finest practices have altered radically given that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to integrate finest practices into execution & 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And numerous are valid due to the fact that they merely aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I do not use them for this site since I do not require many of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Careers Austin
All that stated, here are a few of the larger photo drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite complicated– especially if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they likewise don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the special backend can lead to some developers making errors ranging from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site available to the general public or simply not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they already do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never explain best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Careers Austin
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to see that video several 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 backend isn’t really going to be a big deal (once you surpass the learning curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site lists to assist repair 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 they do all this. And in most cases, support will just take care of everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many 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 Careers Austin
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for good reasons, however those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured allows for less flexibility as well. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a number of gos to.
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 have to element extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Business. And this point goes further if your website needs numerous plugins for full functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot actually do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up needing to do a painful migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for efficiency & not needing to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Careers Austin
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even consist of a number of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires additional expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to expand the expense of your plan,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest overall, but what is finest for you based on your goals, budget, resources & practices.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to stress over hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more freedom/ better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer support.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Careers Austin