WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Geolocation
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to supply managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Geolocation
While they have a lot of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name recognition and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire 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 then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every rival 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 customized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is necessary to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a different method. This review will 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 Geolocation
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous projects since 2012. I do not utilize them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Geolocation
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more complicated the services to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically extra plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
However a slow site doesn’t mean that you need a larger, better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to stay fast as you grow. There are lots of options … however either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have actually customized servers with very aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the precise chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Geolocation
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated 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 information to begin filling the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or intricate the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are totally free to focus on speed factors that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an integrated CDN, however they also offer worldwide data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Geolocation
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Geolocation
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough feature of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never understand if the story is due to the fact that they talked with 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 an investment or an expense.
I want to look for access, systems, and understanding, all three require an investment of money, time and proficiency.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the site by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually communicated with really understood the great functions of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of numerous issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Geolocation
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially because their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That suggests 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 application. 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 basics 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. 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 basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a normally expensive circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Geolocation
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and only as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your 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 plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both of which enable more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire 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 month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular 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 mention any personal or designer time fixing problems.
Essentially, if your time is better assigned away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Geolocation
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much 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 & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential aspect, particularly being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a startup website owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on releasing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any previous practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, so many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Geolocation
WP Engine stands out not only on current functions but also on producing new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even general web development best practices have changed significantly given that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to incorporate finest practices into implementation & jobs with developers.
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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous stand due to the fact that 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 good fit for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this site since I do not require a number of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Geolocation
All that said, here are a few of the larger photo disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be rather complicated– specifically if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can lead to some designers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or simply not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they currently do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever explain best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Geolocation
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to watch that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a big offer (when you surpass the learning curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site lists to assist fix 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 why they do all this. And in most cases, support will just take care of everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Geolocation
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or extremely real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for great factors, but those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your site could manage 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 enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured permits less flexibility also. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise pricey to pay based on a variety of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Company. And this point goes further if your website needs many plugins for complete functionality.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t actually do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In either 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 typically paying for efficiency & not needing to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the functions you’re getting, you really don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically visiting frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Geolocation
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed earlier that doesn’t even consist of much of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits requires extra costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to expand the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website 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 finest overall, but exactly what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & habits.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a fantastic service with a strong item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to stress over hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see what you think of their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more liberty/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer support.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Geolocation