WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Revenue
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to offer managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Revenue
While they have a lot of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all vary in services supplied. Some merely 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 truly purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as a whole, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it’s important to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, usually with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a various method. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Revenue
I’ve used WP Engine for different projects since 2012. I do not utilize them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a current 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 data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Revenue
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, but the guideline is that the more complicated your website is, the more complex the options to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with an affordable shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally additional plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
However a slow site doesn’t mean that you need a larger, much better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain quickly as you grow. There are lots of services … however either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Revenue
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing 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 bloated style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to start filling the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it stay that method 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 focus on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, but they likewise offer global information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Revenue
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Revenue
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very 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 actually grown & changed 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 hard thing about customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never understand if the story is because they spoke to 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 company deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I prefer to search for access, systems, and knowledge, all three require an investment of loan, time and knowledge.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has communicated with actually knew the great workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition 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” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Revenue
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially since their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the downsides). However they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally 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 own WordPress install, the security essentials are relatively uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually helped clients who have actually been. It’s aggravating, tedious & an usually expensive scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Revenue
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same rate from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & 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 whole month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or developer time repairing problems.
Generally, if your time is better designated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Revenue
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a key factor, especially being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third client type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on launching a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any prior habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make promises and provide support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, numerous of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Revenue
WP Engine stands out not just on existing features but likewise on creating new, advanced hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out new designer features that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web development finest practices have actually altered radically because I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web development to integrate best practices into implementation & 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 Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And numerous stand because they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I do not utilize them for this website because I do not require many of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Revenue
All that stated, here are some of the larger picture drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be rather made complex– particularly if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they likewise do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can lead to some designers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site available to the general public or simply not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they already do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never explain best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Revenue
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed 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 customized backend isn’t going to be a big deal (as soon as you get past the learning curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of website checklists to assist fix all sorts of problems.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And most of the times, support will just look after everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Revenue
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limits), however 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 pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, however those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured allows for less flexibility also. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, however it’s also expensive to pay based upon a variety of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to aspect 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 handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Company. And this point goes even more if your website needs numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you cannot really do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up having to do a painful migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically paying for performance & not having to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the functions you’re getting, you actually don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Revenue
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 basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour period 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 relatively transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even consist of a number of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to expand the cost of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, especially compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, however what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & practices.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to worry about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out 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. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more flexibility/ better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer care.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Revenue