WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Ssh
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name recognition and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: 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 really buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is essential to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine 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 “best fit” for. Wp Engine Ssh
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous jobs considering that 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer service.” 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 Ssh
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 services to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text site with a few standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with an inexpensive shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom-made theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow website doesn’t indicate that you need a bigger, much better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might simply have 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 quick as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … but either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and identify the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Ssh
They do not 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 succeed 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 puffed up style, extra scripts, a lot of 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 data to start loading the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right out of package, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or complicated 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 may get with other services because you are complimentary to focus on speed aspects that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an integrated CDN, but they also offer global data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Ssh
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Ssh
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes 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 said, the hard aspect of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never know if the story is because they talked with 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 business treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of loan, time and knowledge.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the site via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually engaged with in fact understood the fine functions of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of numerous problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Ssh
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,especially due to the fact that their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very 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 utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still eventually 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 takes place. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a lot of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a typically expensive scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Ssh
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same rate 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 per month.
Both of which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes every 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 sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or designer time fixing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better allocated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Ssh
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first consumer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on development & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process happen. The phone support is a crucial factor, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up site owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s special backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any prior practices or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Ssh
WP Engine excels not only on existing functions but also on creating brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented new developer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even basic web development finest practices have altered radically given that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web development to integrate best practices into execution & 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 suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many stand due to the fact that they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some customers. I do not utilize them for this website since I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Ssh
All that said, here are some of the larger image disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be quite made complex– particularly if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the distinct backend can cause some developers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open to the general public or simply not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice customers than they currently do.
Like many custom platforms, it makes good 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 finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Ssh
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to watch that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (when you surpass the learning curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website checklists to assist fix all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons why they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Ssh
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for great factors, however those restrictions limit versatility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured allows for less adaptability too. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also expensive to pay based upon a number of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your site needs many plugins for full performance.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t truly do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another email company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for performance & not having to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you actually 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 regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Ssh
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t even include much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the rate. You cannot use them to expand the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, particularly 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 upon your goals, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a great service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to fret about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a suitable 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 install and see exactly what you think of their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more liberty/ better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of user-friendly 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 aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Ssh