WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Reddit
While they have a lot of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name recognition and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all differ in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the site 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 alternatives, but as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is very important to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a different technique. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Reddit
I’ve utilized WP Engine for different jobs because 2012. I do not use them for my main sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a current client on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning 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 Reddit
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the options to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom-made theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
But a slow site does not mean that you need a bigger, much better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to remain quickly as you grow. There are plenty of options … however either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Reddit
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing 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 style, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other 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 good to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that method no matter how big or complicated the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an integrated CDN, but they also offer international data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Reddit
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Reddit
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually 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 said, the tough feature of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever know if the story is since they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I like to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of money, time and proficiency.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all 3 boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually interacted with really understood the great functions of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after numerous issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Reddit
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially because their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). However they seem to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very 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 utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing 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. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a great deal of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped customers who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a generally expensive circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Reddit
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and just up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same price from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both of which enable more storage & more sees (ie, basically as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup 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 entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time fixing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better allocated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Reddit
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at having to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is an essential factor, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a startup website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any previous habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Reddit
WP Engine excels not just on current functions but likewise on developing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even general web development best practices have changed drastically given that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand adequate web development to integrate best practices into application & jobs 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 fit for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And many are valid since they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some clients. I do not utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not require a number of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Reddit
All that said, here are a few of the larger image disadvantages 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. Which difference can be rather made complex– specifically if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can cause some developers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev website available to the general public or merely not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never describe best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Reddit
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to see that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (once you get past the knowing curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site 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 most cases, support will simply take care of it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Reddit
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for good reasons, but those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good 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 prices is structured allows for less flexibility too. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise pricey to pay based upon a variety of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to factor extra 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 site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your website needs numerous plugins for full performance.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you cannot actually do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered 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 believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the functions you’re getting, you truly don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Reddit
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even include a lot of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to expand the expense of your plan,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a costly choice, especially compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, however what is best for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a fantastic service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to worry about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more flexibility/ better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Reddit