WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Force Https
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to supply managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Force Https
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name recognition and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all vary in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a various approach. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Force Https
I have actually used WP Engine for different projects considering that 2012. I do not use them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a current client on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer service.” Here is their promotion 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 Force Https
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, however the general rule is that the more complicated your website is, the more intricate the solutions to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text site with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally extra plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
However a sluggish website does not imply that you need a larger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may just need to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to stay quick as you grow. There are plenty of services … but either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Force Https
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have such a customized caching setup.
The fascinating 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 clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s great to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or intricate 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 free to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, but they also provide global information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Force Https
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Force Https
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a big emphasis 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 company has 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 difficult aspect of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is since they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I like to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three need a financial investment of money, time and competence.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website through chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually connected with in fact knew the great workings of WordPress and has been able 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 client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of a number of issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Force Https
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly due to the fact that their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That indicates 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 application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals are fairly simple:
- 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 industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a lot 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 warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have helped customers who have been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & a generally costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Force Https
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and only 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 very same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which permit more storage & more sees (ie, generally as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k sees each month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes on a monthly basis. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use 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 income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time fixing problems.
Essentially, if your time is better assigned away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Force Https
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing basic site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that process happen. The phone support is a crucial factor, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a startup site owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any previous habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Force Https
WP Engine excels not only on present features however likewise on developing brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have actually changed significantly considering that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to incorporate finest 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 suitable for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And lots of stand because they simply aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this site because I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Force Https
All that stated, here are a few of the larger photo disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be rather made complex– specifically if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the distinct backend can lead to some designers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open up to the public or simply not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they currently do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never describe best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Force Https
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to see that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (as soon as you get past the knowing curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site checklists 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 look after all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Force Https
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define 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 great factors, but those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For instance, 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 bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured allows for less flexibility as well. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also expensive to pay based upon a number of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect additional hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Company. And this point goes even more if your site requires numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you cannot really do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up having to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for efficiency & not having to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Force Https
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even consist of many 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 local storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to expand the cost of your strategy,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is an expensive option, especially compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, but what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & routines.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to fret about hosting problems.
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 guarantee. So do a test install and see what you think about their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more freedom/ much better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Force Https