WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Revisions
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 Revisions
While they have a lot of competitors 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 cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all differ in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is essential to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a various technique. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Revisions
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various tasks considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business discussed. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” Here is their discount 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 Revisions
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 complex the solutions to speed become.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally additional plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish website does not indicate that you need a bigger, better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, however often it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might just need to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to stay fast as you grow. There are lots of options … however either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Revisions
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well 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, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right from package, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or intricate 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 may get with other services considering that you are totally free to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an integrated CDN, however they likewise offer international data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Revisions
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Revisions
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since 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 huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough thing about client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never understand if the story is due to the fact that they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I like to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of money, time and expertise.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the website via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually connected with really knew the fine operations of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Revisions
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). 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 Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals 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 industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something happens. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the warranty 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 websites (knock on wood), but have actually helped customers who have actually been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a typically costly circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Revisions
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable 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 monthly.
Both which enable more storage & more sees (ie, essentially as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes each 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 check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge 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 repairing problems.
Generally, if your time is better allocated far from technical issues, 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 Revisions
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on development & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing fundamental website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that process happen. The phone support is a key aspect, particularly having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a start-up 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 all at once.
They do not have any previous habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make pledges and offer support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Revisions
WP Engine stands out not only on existing functions but likewise on producing new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented new developer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually changed radically given that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand enough web advancement to incorporate best practices into implementation & projects with developers.
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 best fit for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of stand due to the fact that they merely aren’t a fit 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 site due to the fact that I do not require many of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Revisions
All that said, here are some of the bigger image drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be quite complicated– especially if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they likewise do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can cause some developers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site open to the public or just not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner consumers than they already do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Revisions
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to watch that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a huge deal (when you get past the knowing curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website lists to assist repair 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 they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Revisions
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or very genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, however those restrictions limit flexibility and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured enables less versatility as well. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also pricey 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 surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor additional 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 website 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 further if your website requires numerous plugins for full functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you cannot really do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up having to do an unpleasant migration to another email company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for efficiency & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based on the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Revisions
Many shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even consist of much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits requires extra costs & technical implementation 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 websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You cannot utilize them to spread out the cost of your plan,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, especially compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, however what is finest for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use an excellent service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to worry about hosting problems.
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 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 liberty/ better costs 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 lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Revisions