WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Enterprise
While they have a lot of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all differ in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses 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 + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however as a whole, they all compete with 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, but it is essential to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a different technique. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Enterprise
I have actually used WP Engine for different tasks because 2012. I do not use them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current client on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, powerful 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 Enterprise
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complex your site is, the more complicated the services to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine 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 generally additional plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site does not indicate that you require a larger, much better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, however often it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might just have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay quick as you grow. There are a lot of services … however either you or a designer should execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and identify the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Enterprise
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to start loading the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or intricate the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are complimentary to focus on speed elements that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, however they also offer global data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Enterprise
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Enterprise
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge 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 since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard feature of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is since they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I want to search for access, systems, and knowledge, all three need an investment of loan, time and proficiency.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the website via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually interacted with in fact knew the great functions of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (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, but he was able to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Enterprise
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically because their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). However they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that even though security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something happens. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a lot of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped customers who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & a typically costly 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 Enterprise
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install 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 very 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 monthly.
Both which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, basically as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation 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 whole month-to-month fee right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time fixing issues.
Basically, if your time is better assigned far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Enterprise
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is an essential factor, especially 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-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any previous practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make promises and provide support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows 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 enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Enterprise
WP Engine excels not just on present functions however likewise on creating new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new designer features that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even basic web development best practices have altered drastically given that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to integrate best practices into execution & projects 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And lots of stand because they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this site because I do not require a number of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Enterprise
All that stated, here are some of the bigger image drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be rather made complex– particularly if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can result in some designers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev site open to the public or just not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they already do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Enterprise
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to see that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a substantial deal (once you surpass the knowing curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site lists to help troubleshoot 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 that they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Enterprise
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is also 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 predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or very real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, however those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured allows for less flexibility as well. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also pricey to pay based upon a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to factor extra 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 site on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Service. And this point goes even more if your site requires lots of plugins for full functionality.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot truly do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for efficiency & not having to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the functions you’re getting, you actually 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 generally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Enterprise
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even include much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits requires extra expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t utilize them to expand the cost of your plan,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, but exactly what is best for you based upon your goals, budget, resources & practices.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites 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 assurance. So do a test install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more liberty/ much better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Enterprise