WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Install
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to provide managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Install
While they have plenty of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all vary in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is necessary to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a various technique. 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
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various tasks because 2012. I don’t use them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer 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 “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 Install
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, but the guideline is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the solutions to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great 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 usually additional plugins, custom style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish website does not indicate that you need a bigger, much better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming 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 huge enough when you may just have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to remain fast as you grow. There are lots of services … but either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with very aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Install
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complicated 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 may get with other services given that you are totally free to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, however they likewise supply international information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Install
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
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a big focus 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 company has actually 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 said, the tough thing about client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever understand 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 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 3 require an investment of money, time and proficiency.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all three boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the website via chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually engaged with in fact understood the great functions of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Install
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly due to the fact that their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, 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 industrial 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 protect. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those best 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 “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have assisted customers who have actually been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a generally costly scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Install
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, basically as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates downside 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 & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation 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 whole monthly charge right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time fixing problems.
Essentially, if your time is better designated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Install
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing fundamental site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process take place. The phone support is a crucial element, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a startup website owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on launching a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any prior practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Install
WP Engine excels not only on current features however also on creating brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even basic web development best practices have actually changed radically because I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand enough web advancement to incorporate best practices into implementation & tasks with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And numerous are valid because they simply aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not require a lot of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Install
All that stated, here are a few of the larger picture downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be rather made complex– especially if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the special backend can result in some designers making errors varying from annoying redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open to the public or simply not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Install
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to watch that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website lists to assist 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.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And most of the times, support will just look after it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Install
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for great reasons, however those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured allows for less adaptability as well. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect additional hosting bills 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 enable on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your site needs lots of plugins for full performance.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t truly do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, 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 normally 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 features you’re getting, you truly do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Install
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even consist of much 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 limits needs additional expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to spread out the expense of your plan,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, but what is finest for you based on your goals, budget, resources & practices.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a great service with a solid item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to fret about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think of their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more liberty/ better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Install