WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Redirects
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first companies to provide handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Redirects
While they have a lot of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal 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, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides 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 material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it’s important to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal 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 web hosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Redirects
I’ve used WP Engine for numerous jobs considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current client on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer service.” Here is their promo 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 Redirects
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your website is, the more complicated the solutions to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text site with a couple of basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a budget friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally additional plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site doesn’t mean that you need a larger, much better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to remain quickly as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … however either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and identify the specific chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Redirects
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin filling the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right from the box, and have it stay that method no matter how big or complex the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are free to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, however they also supply international data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Redirects
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Redirects
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because 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 emphasis 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 business has grown & altered a lot ever since. 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, but you never know if the story is due to the fact that they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I prefer to look for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 require a financial investment of money, time and proficiency.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually communicated with in fact understood the great functions of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (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 rep was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Redirects
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). But they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But 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 large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially 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 takes place. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a lot of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have assisted customers who have been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a normally expensive circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Redirects
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which enable more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k sees each month on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & 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 regular monthly charge right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time fixing concerns.
Generally, if your time is much better assigned away from technical concerns, 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 a financial investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Redirects
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing basic website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that process happen. The phone support is a key element, especially being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any previous routines 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 guarantees and provide support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, so many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Redirects
WP Engine stands out not just on current features but likewise on creating brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development finest practices have actually altered radically considering that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to integrate best practices into execution & 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous stand because they simply aren’t a fit 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 don’t use them for this website since I do not need much of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Redirects
All that stated, here are some of the larger picture downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be quite made complex– specifically if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can result in some designers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev website available to the general public or just not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more novice clients than they already do.
Like many custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Redirects
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to watch that video numerous 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 custom-made backend isn’t going to be a big offer (as soon as you get past the learning curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website checklists 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 for the most parts, support will just look after everything.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Redirects
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to decreasing & 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 rather uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for good factors, but those restrictions restrict flexibility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured enables less flexibility also. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a number of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need 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 allow on an Individual or Company. And this point goes further if your site needs lots of plugins for full performance.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t actually do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up having to do a painful migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In any 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 normally paying for efficiency & not having to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you truly don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally logging in often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Redirects
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned previously that does not even include a number of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional 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 projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to expand the cost of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a costly option, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, however what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a strong product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to fret about hosting issues.
If handled 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 what you think about their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more freedom/ better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Redirects