WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Pci Compliance
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first companies to provide managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Pci Compliance
While they have plenty of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all differ in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer 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 buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, 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 confusing, yes, but it is essential to comprehend prior to 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 great however I take a various technique. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Pci Compliance
I have actually used WP Engine for various tasks since 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business mentioned. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically live 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 Pci Compliance
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complex your website is, the more complicated the solutions to speed become.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with an affordable shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few 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 functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site does not suggest that you require a larger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just need to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay quick as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … but either you or a developer should execute 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 incredibly aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Pci Compliance
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to start filling the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right from the box, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or complicated the site gets.
*Note 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 focus on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an integrated CDN, however they likewise supply international information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Pci Compliance
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Pci Compliance
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are really selling 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 business has grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard feature of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never know if the story is since they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or a cost.
I like to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of money, time and competence.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the website through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually communicated with actually understood the fine functions of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Pci Compliance
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically since their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the downsides). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security essentials 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 use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something takes place. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a lot of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully 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 for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped customers who have been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & an usually expensive scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Pci Compliance
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same cost 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 allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens 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 thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes every 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 gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost 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 could be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or developer time fixing issues.
Essentially, if your time is better designated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Pci Compliance
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, 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 requirement for a continuous basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a key factor, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any prior habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once 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 kind of customer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Pci Compliance
WP Engine stands out not just on present features but likewise on producing brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web advancement best practices have changed radically considering that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to incorporate best practices into implementation & projects with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually 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 best suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many are valid because they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some clients. I don’t use them for this site because I do not need a lot of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Pci Compliance
All that said, here are some of the bigger picture disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be quite made complex– specifically if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the unique backend can cause some designers making errors ranging from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the public or simply not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Pci Compliance
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to enjoy that video several 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 huge offer (when you surpass the knowing curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site lists to assist repair 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 that they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just look after everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Pci Compliance
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, but those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured permits less versatility too. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s also costly to pay based on a variety of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to element additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want 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 Business. And this point goes further if your site needs lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you cannot truly do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up needing to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for efficiency & not having to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a great deal.
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 paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Pci Compliance
Many shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even include many of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly 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 rate. You can’t use them to spread out the expense of your strategy,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a costly choice, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, however what is best for you based upon your goals, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a strong product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to stress over hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go take 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 of their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more freedom/ much better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer care.
And last but not least, 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 Pci Compliance