WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Cpanel
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to supply handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Cpanel
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all vary in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as an entire, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is necessary to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a different method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Cpanel
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various jobs given that 2012. I do not use them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular 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 Cpanel
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, but the guideline is that the more complicated your site is, the more complicated the services to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great 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 usually additional plugins, customized theme files, great deals 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 slow website does not suggest that you require a larger, better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might just have to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to stay fast as you grow. There are plenty of options … but either you or a developer should execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Cpanel
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform due to the fact that 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):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin packing the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right from the box, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or complicated the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even 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 easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an incorporated CDN, but they likewise offer worldwide information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Cpanel
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Cpanel
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has actually 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 said, the hard aspect of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is since they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I want to look for access, systems, and understanding, all three require an investment of cash, time and knowledge.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing far better hitting all three boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the site via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has engaged with in fact understood the fine functions of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to expertly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of several issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Cpanel
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically since their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, 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 indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very 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 use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something happens. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, laborious & an usually pricey scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Cpanel
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and just as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee 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 cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or developer time repairing issues.
Essentially, if your time is much better assigned away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really 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 Cpanel
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first consumer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing fundamental site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website owner who is irritated at needing to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some spending 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 element, 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 spending plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any prior routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Cpanel
WP Engine stands out not just on current functions but also on developing new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development best practices have actually changed drastically considering that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to integrate finest practices into execution & 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And lots of stand 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 clients. I do not utilize them for this site because I do not need many of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Cpanel
All that stated, here are a few of the larger picture downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be rather complicated– specifically if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can cause some developers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website open up to the public or merely not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they already do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Cpanel
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to view that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website checklists 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 look after it all.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Cpanel
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, but those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For instance, 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 allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured enables less versatility as well. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based upon a number of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to factor extra hosting costs 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 handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Company. And this point goes even more if your website needs lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t truly do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up having to do an agonizing migration to another email company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for performance & not needing 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 really don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically visiting frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Cpanel
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) dealt with more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even include a number 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 limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs additional costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to expand the cost of your plan,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a costly choice, especially compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, however exactly what is best for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a strong product. Their rates 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 savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to worry about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see what you think of their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more freedom/ better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer service.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Cpanel