WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Jobs
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Jobs
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 ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a various approach. 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 Jobs
I’ve utilized WP Engine for different jobs because 2012. I do not utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client 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 on my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Jobs
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your website is, the more complicated the options to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a few standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
However a sluggish website doesn’t mean that you require a bigger, better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but sometimes 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 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 big enough when you might just need to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain fast as you grow. There are lots of solutions … but either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and determine the precise chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Jobs
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to begin packing the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how big or intricate the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because you are totally free to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an incorporated CDN, however they likewise supply global data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Jobs
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Jobs
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. 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 put a huge 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 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 stated, the hard feature of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is since they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I want to look for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 need an investment of cash, time and expertise.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually engaged with actually knew the great workings of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of numerous problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Jobs
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially because their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are relatively uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that even though security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading 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 totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & a generally costly scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Jobs
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your very 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 strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which permit more storage & more gos to (ie, basically as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates each 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 entire regular monthly charge right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time fixing problems.
Generally, if your time is much better designated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Jobs
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first customer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on development & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a key aspect, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior practices or custom-mades 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 promises and provide support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these types of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, so many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Jobs
WP Engine excels not only on present functions however also on creating new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development finest practices have changed drastically because I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to integrate best practices into implementation & projects 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 grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And numerous stand due to the fact that they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some customers. I do not utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not need many of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Jobs
All that said, here are some of the larger photo downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain 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 simply enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they likewise do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can result in some developers making errors ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev website open to the general public or just not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they currently do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Jobs
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to view that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a big deal (when you surpass the learning curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website lists to help troubleshoot all sorts of 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 most of the times, support will simply look after it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Jobs
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit more to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for good reasons, however those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured permits less versatility too. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a number of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect 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 deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your website requires numerous plugins for complete performance.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot really do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for efficiency & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the functions you’re getting, you really don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Jobs
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour period 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 relatively transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how quickly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned previously that does not even consist of much of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to spread out the expense of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is an expensive option, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, but what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to worry about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a fit 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 what you think about their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more freedom/ better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve 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 factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Jobs