WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Security
While they have plenty of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all differ in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a different 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 “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Security
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various jobs considering that 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current client on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular 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 Security
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the solutions to speed become.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish website doesn’t suggest that you need a bigger, much better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply have to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to remain quickly as you grow. There are plenty of services … but either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the precise chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Security
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform due to the fact that 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 determines how rapidly the server returned enough information to start packing the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right out of package, and have it remain that method no matter how big or complicated the website 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 may get with other services given that you are free to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, but they also offer worldwide data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Security
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Security
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a big emphasis 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 grown & altered a lot since then. 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 customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is since they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I like to search for access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need a financial investment of money, time and expertise.
Based on my recent interactions and research, 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 site by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually connected with in fact knew the fine functions 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 in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Security
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly since their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). 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 whole Internet. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials are fairly 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 commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something occurs. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a lot of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a generally expensive situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Security
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost 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 enable more storage & more visits (ie, generally as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates downside 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 designer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation 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 monthly fee right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time repairing problems.
Essentially, if your time is much better designated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Security
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on advancement & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that process happen. The phone support is an essential element, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete website simultaneously.
They do not have any previous practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. 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 customer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Security
WP Engine excels not just on present functions however also on producing new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have altered significantly because I started observing the market *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web development to integrate finest practices into implementation & tasks with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has 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 plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many stand because they merely aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this site because I do not need many of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Security
All that said, here are a few of the bigger photo downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be rather complicated– specifically if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can result in some designers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or merely not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they currently do.
Like many custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never describe best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Security
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to watch that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (as soon as you get past the learning curve). But for a lot of, 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 huge selection of site lists 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 for the most parts, support will simply look after it all.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Security
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or very real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for great factors, but those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized websites, 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 flexible and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured allows for less adaptability too. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send, however it’s also expensive to pay based on a variety of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want 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 Company. And this point goes further if your site needs numerous plugins for full performance.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t truly do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for efficiency & not needing to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Security
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even include a number of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs additional expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to spread out the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is an expensive option, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, however exactly what is finest for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a solid item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to worry about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more liberty/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive client service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Security