WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Geoip
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all vary in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as a whole, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is essential to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a various method. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Geoip
I have actually utilized WP Engine for different tasks considering that 2012. I do not utilize them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Geoip
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, however the guideline is that the more complicated your site is, the more complex the solutions to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically extra plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
But a slow site doesn’t mean that you need a bigger, better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but sometimes it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just have 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 lots of options … but either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the specific chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Geoip
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, additional scripts, a lot of 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 filling the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right from package, and have it stay that method no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an integrated CDN, but they also offer worldwide data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Geoip
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Geoip
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a huge 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 lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the difficult feature of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never know if the story is due to the fact that they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of loan, time and know-how.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually engaged with actually knew the great functions of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Geoip
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically because their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, 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 needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals are relatively 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site safe is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a lot of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have assisted customers who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a normally costly circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Geoip
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and just as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both which permit more storage & more visits (ie, generally as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates 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 & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Simply 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 entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or designer time fixing issues.
Basically, if your time is much better assigned away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Geoip
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, 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 need for a continuous basic site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that process occur. The phone support is a key factor, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any previous practices or customizeds 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 offer support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Geoip
WP Engine excels not just on existing features but also on producing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new designer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have altered drastically since I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to integrate best practices into implementation & projects with designers.
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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many stand since they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this site since I do not need a number of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Geoip
All that said, here are a few of the larger picture drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be rather complicated– especially if you have just sufficient 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 many hosting business, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can lead to some designers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to replicate content concerns 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 believe they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they already do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning 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 Geoip
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to enjoy that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a huge deal (when you surpass the knowing curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site lists to help fix all sorts of problems.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons why they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just look after everything.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Geoip
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also 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 uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for great factors, however those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured enables less versatility also. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise costly to pay based on a number of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to factor additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Service. And this point goes further if your site requires many plugins for full performance.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot really do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up needing to do a painful migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for efficiency & not needing to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based on the features you’re getting, you truly don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Geoip
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) dealt with more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even consist of a lot of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs additional costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the rate. You cannot utilize them to expand the expense of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, however exactly what is finest for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled 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 warranty. So do a test install and see what you think of their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more liberty/ much better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Geoip