WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Rewrite Rules
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first business to offer handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Rewrite Rules
While they have plenty of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all differ in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal 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 purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored 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 various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as an entire, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it’s important to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a different approach. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Rewrite Rules
I’ve used WP Engine for different jobs given that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” Here is their promotion pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Wp Engine Rewrite Rules
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, but the general rule is that the more intricate your site is, the more complex the options to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a few standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with an inexpensive shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site doesn’t mean that you need a bigger, better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, however sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to stay quick as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … but either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with very aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Rewrite Rules
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating 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 one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to begin filling the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right out of package, and have it remain that method no matter how big or complex the site 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, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an integrated CDN, but they also offer international data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Rewrite Rules
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Rewrite Rules
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually grown & 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 feature of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require an investment of money, time and expertise.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site through chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with actually understood the fine operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after several issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Rewrite Rules
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically due to the fact that their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are relatively simple:
- 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 uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site protected 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 whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s discouraging, laborious & a normally pricey circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Rewrite Rules
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both of which permit more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 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 sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost 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 whole monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or designer time fixing issues.
Generally, if your time is 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 really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Rewrite Rules
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a key element, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s special backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site at one time.
They don’t have any prior routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make pledges and offer support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, so many 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, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Rewrite Rules
WP Engine excels not only on current features but likewise on developing brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new designer features that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web development best practices have altered drastically because I started observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web development to incorporate finest practices into execution & jobs 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
Much 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 embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And numerous stand due to the fact that they merely aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some clients. I do not utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not need much of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Rewrite Rules
All that said, here are some of the larger photo downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be rather complicated– particularly if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they likewise do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can lead to some designers making errors ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website open to the public or simply not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they currently do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Rewrite Rules
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to view that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site checklists to help repair 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.
Again– they have reasons why they do all this. And most of the times, support will just take care of all of it.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. 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 don’t need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Rewrite Rules
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, but those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured allows for less versatility also. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also costly to pay based upon a variety of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile 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 enable on an Individual or Business. And this point goes further if your website requires numerous plugins for full functionality.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t really do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for efficiency & not needing to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Rewrite Rules
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with 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) dealt with more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as discussed earlier that does not even consist of much of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional 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 sites, you have to factor those into the rate. You cannot use them to expand the cost of your plan,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a costly choice, especially compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, but exactly what is finest for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to worry about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more liberty/ better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Rewrite Rules