WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Restore Point
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to supply handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Restore Point
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being 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 simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as an entire, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is necessary to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, generally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a various method. This review will 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 Restore Point
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various jobs since 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business mentioned. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Restore Point
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, however the guideline is that the more complicated your site is, the more complex the services to speed become.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with an economical shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically additional plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a slow site doesn’t indicate that you require a bigger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might just need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to remain fast as you grow. There are plenty of services … 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 personalized servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Restore Point
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin packing the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that method no matter how big or intricate the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are free to focus on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an integrated CDN, however they also provide international information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Restore Point
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Restore Point
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a huge 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 company has grown & altered 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 difficult aspect of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never understand if the story is since they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to look for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of cash, time and know-how.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the website via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually communicated with really understood the fine operations of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Restore Point
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically since their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). But they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials are relatively straightforward:
- 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. 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 primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have been. It’s frustrating, tedious & a normally expensive circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Restore Point
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates downside 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 very own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes on a monthly basis. 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 check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole 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 site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month 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 discuss any personal or designer time fixing issues.
Basically, if your time is better allocated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Restore Point
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first client type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting 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 growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that process take place. The phone support is a key factor, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s special backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any previous routines 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 pledges and offer support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, 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 resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Restore Point
WP Engine stands out not only on present functions but likewise on creating new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even general web development finest practices have actually changed radically considering that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to integrate best practices into execution & tasks 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 lots of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous stand because they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some consumers. I do not use them for this site since I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Restore Point
All that stated, here are some of the larger image drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be quite complicated– specifically if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can result in some designers making mistakes varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open up to the public or merely not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they currently do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Restore Point
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to enjoy that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a substantial deal (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of website lists to help troubleshoot 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.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply take care of everything.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Restore Point
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for great reasons, however those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured enables less adaptability also. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a number of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to element extra hosting bills 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 deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your site needs numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you cannot actually do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up needing to do a painful migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for efficiency & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally visiting often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Restore Point
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed earlier that doesn’t even include a lot of the functions you do not 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 needs extra expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You cannot utilize them to spread out the expense of your strategy,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, however exactly what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a fantastic service with a strong product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to worry about 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 set up and see what you think about their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more flexibility/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Restore Point