WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Personal Plan
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Personal Plan
While they have plenty of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as an entire, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it’s important to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a different approach. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Personal Plan
I have actually used WP Engine for different projects because 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer 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 Personal Plan
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, however the general rule is that the more complex your site is, the more complex the options to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of basic plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally extra plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish website does not imply that you need a bigger, much better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but sometimes it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply have to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate 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 must execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually customized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and identify the precise chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Personal Plan
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to start packing the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complex the site 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 considering that you are totally free to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an integrated CDN, however they also offer worldwide data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Personal Plan
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Personal Plan
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has actually grown & altered 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 difficult aspect of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never understand 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 fundamental part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need a financial investment of cash, time and proficiency.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing far better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has communicated with in fact knew the fine functions of WordPress and has actually 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 client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to expertly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Personal Plan
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,especially because their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently 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 & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security basics 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have assisted customers who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & an usually costly situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Personal Plan
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy 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 plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which permit more storage & more sees (ie, basically as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time fixing issues.
Basically, if your time is better allocated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Personal Plan
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential aspect, particularly being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a startup website owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s special backend and plan on releasing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior practices or customizeds 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 pledges and offer support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Personal Plan
WP Engine stands out not just on existing features but also on producing brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new developer features that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even general web advancement best practices have changed drastically since I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to incorporate best practices into execution & tasks with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous are valid because they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some clients. I don’t utilize them for this website since I do not need a number of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Personal Plan
All that stated, here are a few of the larger image disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be rather complicated– particularly if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can cause some designers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open up to the public or merely not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they already do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever describe finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Personal Plan
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to watch that video numerous 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 substantial offer (once you surpass the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website lists to assist repair all sorts of issues.
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 they do all this. And in many cases, support will just look after everything.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Personal Plan
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or extremely real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit more to specify exactly 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 prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, but those restrictions limit flexibility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to 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 manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also costly to pay based upon a number of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect additional hosting costs 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 Company. And this point goes even more if your site needs numerous plugins for full performance.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot actually do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up needing to do a painful migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for efficiency & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you really do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Personal Plan
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting strategy 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 trusted VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even consist of many of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional expenses & technical application 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 need to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to spread out the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, however exactly what is best for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to stress over hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more freedom/ better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer support.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Personal Plan