WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Content Performance
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first business to provide handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Content Performance
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all differ in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is necessary to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, normally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a different technique. 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 “best fit” for. Wp Engine Content Performance
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous projects considering that 2012. I do not use them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer service.” Here is their discount pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Wp Engine Content Performance
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complex your website is, the more complicated the options to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with an economical shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally extra plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
However a slow website doesn’t mean that you require a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to remain quick as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … however either you or a developer should execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have customized servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the precise chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Content Performance
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to start packing the page.
Now here is the speed test of a standard WordPress install. WP Engine not only gets solid TTFB times however keep in mind how comparable the First Byte and First Render are to the Unoptimized website.
It’s nice to have that kind 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 even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are free to focus on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, however they also offer international data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Content Performance
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Content Performance
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has actually grown & altered 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 difficult thing about customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is because they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or a cost.
I want to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of money, time and know-how.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with really knew the great operations of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Content Performance
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). However they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials are fairly 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 use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe 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 everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something takes place. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped clients who have been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a typically costly circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Content Performance
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which permit more storage & more sees (ie, generally as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes each 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 visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use 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 costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time fixing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better allocated far 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 an investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Content Performance
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on development & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing standard site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process happen. The phone support is an essential factor, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any prior habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Content Performance
WP Engine stands out not only on existing features however likewise on developing new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented new designer features that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web development finest practices have altered drastically because I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to integrate best practices into application & 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 very best fit for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And lots of are valid since they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some consumers. I don’t use them for this site due to the fact that I do not require a lot of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Content Performance
All that said, here are some of the larger photo disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be quite complicated– particularly if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they likewise don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can result in some designers making mistakes varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev website open to the public or simply not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever explain best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Content Performance
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to view that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a big deal (once you get past the knowing curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad 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.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just look after it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Content Performance
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for good factors, but those restrictions restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured enables less flexibility as well. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s also pricey to pay based on a variety of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to element extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile 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 Organisation. And this point goes even more if your website requires lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you cannot actually do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up needing to do a painful migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for efficiency & not having to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you actually don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Content Performance
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable 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 rapidly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even consist of a number of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to spread out the cost of your plan,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, but what is best for you based upon your goals, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to stress over hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more freedom/ much better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Content Performance