WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Email
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being 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 merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, but 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 website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is necessary to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal 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 options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Email
I’ve used WP Engine for numerous projects since 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current client on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” 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 Email
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, however the guideline is that the more complicated your website is, the more complex the solutions to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a few fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally extra plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site does not suggest that you require a bigger, better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless 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 combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to remain quickly as you grow. There are lots of solutions … but either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and determine the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Email
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough information to start loading the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right out of package, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or intricate the website gets.
*Note 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 given that you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, however they also offer global information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Email
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Email
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a huge focus 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 great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough thing about consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never know if the story is due to the fact that they talked with 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 company treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to try to find access, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of loan, time and know-how.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all three boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the website by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually connected with really understood the great workings of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Email
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly since their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). But 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 indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty 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 & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & a typically expensive situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Email
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only up to 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both of which enable more storage & more visits (ie, essentially as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k sees each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & 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 regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month 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 monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time fixing problems.
Basically, if your time is much better designated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Email
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on development & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing basic website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that process happen. The phone support is an essential aspect, specifically having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup website owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site all at once.
They don’t have any previous 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 pledges and provide support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Email
WP Engine excels not just on present functions but likewise on producing new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have altered drastically since I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand enough web advancement to integrate finest practices into application & projects with developers.
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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of stand due to the fact that they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some customers. I do not utilize them for this website since I do not require a number of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Email
All that said, here are a few of the bigger photo drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be quite made complex– especially if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can lead to some developers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or merely not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more novice clients than they currently do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Email
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to view that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (as soon as you get past the learning curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site lists to assist troubleshoot 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 that they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply take care of everything.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Email
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for great reasons, but those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured enables less flexibility also. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also pricey to pay based on a variety of visits.
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 have to factor additional hosting costs 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 deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your site needs numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you can’t actually do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up having to do an unpleasant migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for efficiency & not needing to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Email
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed earlier that does not even include a lot of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t use them to expand the expense of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, but what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & habits.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to stress over hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see exactly what you consider their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more liberty/ better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Email