WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Free
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to provide managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Free
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name recognition and advanced features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all vary in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored 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 evaluates online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a various technique. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Free
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various jobs because 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, powerful 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 Free
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, but the guideline is that the more intricate your site is, the more intricate the options to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of basic plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
But a slow site does not imply that you require a larger, better server. It does suggest that you have 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 certain order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might just need to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to remain quickly as you grow. There are lots of solutions … however either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have customized servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Free
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or complicated the website 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 may get with other services because you are free to focus on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, but they likewise offer worldwide data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Free
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Free
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard feature of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is since they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or an expense.
I prefer to look for access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of loan, time and proficiency.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the website via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually interacted with in fact understood the great functions 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 throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after several issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Free
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially since their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the downsides). However 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 entire Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large neighborhood releasing 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 utilize 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 simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a generally costly situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Free
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which enable more storage & more sees (ie, generally as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & 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 monthly charge right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or designer time fixing concerns.
Generally, if your time is much better assigned away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Free
Like I said at the start, 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 customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer 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 spending plan. The designer/dev develops the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing fundamental site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a key aspect, particularly being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a startup site owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any prior habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Free
WP Engine excels not only on present features but likewise on producing new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web development finest practices have changed significantly given that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to incorporate finest practices into implementation & jobs with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many are valid because they just aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I don’t utilize them for this website since I do not require much of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Free
All that said, here are some of the larger image disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be quite made complex– especially if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the unique backend can result in some developers making errors varying from annoying redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open to the public or merely not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they currently do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Free
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to watch 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 backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (when you get past the knowing curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website 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 why they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply take care of everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Free
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, but those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured permits less adaptability too. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s also pricey to pay based on a variety of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor extra hosting bills 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 handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your website needs many plugins for complete functionality.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t truly do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for efficiency & not needing to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Free
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even include much of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires extra expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to spread out the expense of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a costly choice, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, but exactly what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & practices.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to stress over hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a suitable 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 consider their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more flexibility/ much better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer support.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Free