WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Financial Statements
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first business to offer handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Financial Statements
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all differ in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however as an entire, they all compete with conventional 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 very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a various approach. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Financial Statements
I’ve utilized WP Engine for different tasks since 2012. I don’t use them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer 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 Financial Statements
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, however the guideline is that the more complex your site is, the more complex the options to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text site with a few fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally additional plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
But a slow site doesn’t suggest that you need 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 effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may just have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay fast as you grow. There are a lot of options … however either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the specific chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Financial Statements
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to start packing the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complex the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because you are totally free to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, however they also supply worldwide data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Financial Statements
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Financial Statements
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually grown & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough aspect of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never 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 vital part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to search for access, systems, and understanding, all three require an investment of loan, time and proficiency.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the site via chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with really understood the great operations of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to expertly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Financial Statements
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,especially due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). But they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That means 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. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything 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 best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something happens. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a generally pricey situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Financial Statements
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both which enable more storage & more visits (ie, generally as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time repairing concerns.
Generally, if your time is better assigned far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Financial Statements
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first client type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a key element, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third consumer type is a start-up site owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on launching a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any previous routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Financial Statements
WP Engine excels not only on present functions but likewise on developing new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have actually changed radically considering that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web development to integrate best practices into application & tasks 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And numerous stand since they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some consumers. I do not use them for this site because I do not need much of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Financial Statements
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger image disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be rather made complex– specifically if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the special backend can result in some developers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open to the public or just not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they currently do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever describe best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Financial Statements
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to customized 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 best IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a substantial deal (once you surpass the knowing curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site lists to help 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 many cases, support will just look after everything.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Financial Statements
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin behavior for good factors, however those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured enables less adaptability also. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to factor extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish 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 Company. And this point goes even more if your website requires lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot truly do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for efficiency & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Financial Statements
Many shared hosting servers can handle the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even include a number of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the price. You can’t use them to spread out the cost of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, especially compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, however exactly what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a fantastic service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to worry about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go take 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 think of their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more freedom/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer support.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine Financial Statements