WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Install Ssl
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first companies to offer handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Install Ssl
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all vary in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is very important to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a different method. This evaluation 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 Install Ssl
I’ve used WP Engine for various tasks given that 2012. I do not use them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class client 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 Install Ssl
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your site is, the more complicated the services to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a few standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally additional plugins, custom style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
However a sluggish website does not suggest that you need a bigger, much better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain quick as you grow. There are a lot of options … but either you or a developer must implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Install Ssl
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to start loading the page.
It’s great to have that kind of speed right out of package, and have it stay that method no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are totally free to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an integrated CDN, but they likewise offer international information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Install Ssl
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Install Ssl
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge 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 actually grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult thing about client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever know if the story is due to the fact that they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or a cost.
I like to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of cash, time and knowledge.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually interacted with actually knew the great operations of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Install Ssl
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically since their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they seem to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your 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 use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something happens. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s discouraging, tedious & an usually pricey circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Install Ssl
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, generally as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time repairing issues.
Generally, if your time is much better assigned far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Install Ssl
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first customer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that process take place. The phone support is a crucial element, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a startup website owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on launching a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any previous habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make pledges and supply support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, so many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Install Ssl
WP Engine stands out not just on existing functions however also on developing new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out new developer features that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even basic web development best practices have actually altered radically since I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to integrate finest practices into execution & 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very 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 lots of stand because they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some customers. I don’t use them for this website due to the fact that I do not require a number of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Install Ssl
All that said, here are some of the bigger picture downsides 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 difference can be quite made complex– particularly if you have simply 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 standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can result in some developers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or just not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice clients than they currently do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Install Ssl
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial deal (as soon as you get past the knowing curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website checklists to help troubleshoot 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.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just look after all of it.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not 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 anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Install Ssl
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin habits for good factors, however those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured enables less adaptability too. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s also expensive to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to factor extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish 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 permit on a Personal or Company. And this point goes even more if your site needs numerous plugins for full performance.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t really do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up needing to do a painful migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for efficiency & not needing to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you actually do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Install Ssl
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental 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 definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned earlier that does not even consist of a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to spread out the expense of your plan,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, especially compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, but what is best for you based upon your goals, budget, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use an excellent service with a strong item. Their pricing 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 smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to fret about hosting issues.
If managed 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 think of their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more freedom/ much better prices 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 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 streamline things. Wp Engine Install Ssl