WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Office
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all vary in services provided. Some just 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 really buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as a whole, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is necessary to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, usually with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a various method. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Office
I’ve used WP Engine for different projects because 2012. I do not use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular 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 Office
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, but the general rule is that the more intricate your site is, the more complex the services to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually extra plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site does not imply that you require a larger, better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, however often it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might just have to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain fast as you grow. There are a lot of services … however either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have customized servers with incredibly 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 set up and recognize the precise chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Office
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s great to have that kind of speed right out of package, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or intricate the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, however they likewise supply worldwide data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Office
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Office
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has grown & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard thing about consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is because they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I like to look for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 require a financial investment of money, time and expertise.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing far better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually connected with really knew the fine 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 throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Office
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly because their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). But they seem 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 means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security basics are fairly 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 use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that although security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally 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 occurs. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & an usually costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Office
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same price from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning 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 check outs (ie, basically as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & 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 cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee 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 whole monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time repairing issues.
Generally, if your time is much better assigned away from technical problems, 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 instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Office
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds 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 want to concentrate on advancement & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting 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 handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that process take place. The phone support is an essential factor, particularly having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s special backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any prior habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. 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 consumer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Office
WP Engine excels not just on existing features but also on producing new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even general web advancement best practices have altered significantly because I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to incorporate finest practices into application & 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous stand since they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some customers. I do not utilize them for this website because I do not need a lot of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Office
All that said, here are some of the bigger picture disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be quite complicated– particularly if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can cause some designers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the public or merely not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice customers than they already do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Office
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to see that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (when you surpass the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of website 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 many cases, support will just take care of everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Office
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, but those restrictions limit flexibility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured allows for less adaptability as well. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a number of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile 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 Company. And this point goes even more if your site requires lots of plugins for full performance.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t really do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Office
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) dealt with more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as discussed previously that doesn’t even include a number of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits requires additional expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to expand the cost of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, however what is finest for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a great service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to stress over hosting issues.
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 assurance. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think of their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more freedom/ much better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, 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 simplify things. Wp Engine Office