WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Downtime
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name recognition and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored 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 competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as an entire, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a various approach. This evaluation will 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 Downtime
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous projects since 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business mentioned. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Downtime
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, however the guideline 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 mostly text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally extra plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow site doesn’t indicate that you need a bigger, better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup. 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 get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to remain quick as you grow. There are lots of services … but either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the specific chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Downtime
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting 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 customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated 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 filling the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that method no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Note 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 totally free to focus on speed elements that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, however they also provide international data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Downtime
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Downtime
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among 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 business has grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the difficult feature of consumer 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 a cost.
I want to look for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three need an investment of loan, time and proficiency.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the site through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has engaged with really understood the great functions of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Downtime
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly because their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). However they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed 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 inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security basics are relatively 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a great deal of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted customers who have been. It’s discouraging, laborious & an usually expensive scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Downtime
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same price from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which enable more storage & more visits (ie, basically as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k gos to per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & 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 monthly cost right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time fixing issues.
Essentially, if your time is better assigned away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Downtime
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on advancement & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a 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 an essential factor, particularly having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a startup website owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s special backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any prior habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Downtime
WP Engine excels not just on current features but likewise on producing new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out new designer features that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have actually altered drastically given that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to incorporate finest practices into application & tasks with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And numerous stand since 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 good suitable for some customers. I don’t use them for this website due to the fact that I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Downtime
All that said, here are a few of the larger image disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be rather made complex– specifically if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can lead to some developers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open to the public or just not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they already do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Downtime
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had 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 remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a big deal (when you surpass the knowing curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site lists to assist fix all sorts of issues.
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 why they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply take care of everything.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Downtime
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for good factors, but those restrictions restrict adaptability and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured allows for less flexibility too. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a variety of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor additional 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 manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes further if your site requires many plugins for complete functionality.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot really do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up having to do a painful migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for performance & not needing to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally logging in often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Downtime
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed previously that doesn’t even consist of many of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the price. You can’t use them to expand the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, but exactly what is best for you based upon your objectives, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to stress over hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see what you think about their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more liberty/ much better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Downtime