WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Trial
While they have a lot of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all vary in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however as an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is necessary to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a different approach. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Trial
I’ve used WP Engine for various tasks considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business discussed. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class client 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 Trial
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the solutions to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally additional plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
However a slow website doesn’t imply that you require a larger, better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may just have to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to stay fast as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … but either you or a designer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Trial
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have actually 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 extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to start packing 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.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are complimentary to concentrate on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an integrated CDN, but they likewise offer worldwide information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Trial
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Trial
Client support has 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 sense for them to place a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough thing about customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever 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 point out in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I like to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three require a financial investment of cash, time and expertise.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the site via chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has connected with actually understood the fine workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to expertly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Trial
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly since their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, 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 utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a lot of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a generally pricey scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Trial
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, basically as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
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 whole monthly cost right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time fixing issues.
Basically, if your time is much better designated away from technical issues, 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 instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Trial
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on development & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard website maintenance. 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 site owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a crucial aspect, particularly having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a startup website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on launching a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any previous habits 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 pledges and offer support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Trial
WP Engine stands out not only on current functions however also on creating brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out new developer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even general web development finest practices have changed radically since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to incorporate finest practices into execution & projects with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of are valid since they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not require a number of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Trial
All that said, here are a few of the larger photo drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be quite complicated– especially if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they likewise don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can result in some developers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open to the public or just not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they already do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Trial
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 websites, but I needed to watch that video several 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-made backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (once you surpass the knowing curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to learn 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 plethora of website lists to assist repair all sorts of issues.
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 they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just look after everything.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous 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 Trial
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for great reasons, but those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured enables less adaptability also. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s also costly to pay based upon a number of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to factor extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Business. And this point goes even more if your site requires numerous plugins for full functionality.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you cannot actually do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up having to do a painful migration to another email company mid-campaign.
Either way, 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 spending for performance & not having to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you actually don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically visiting often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Trial
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour 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 fairly transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even include a number of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to expand the cost of your strategy,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a pricey option, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, however what is best for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a solid product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to fret about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see what you think of their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more flexibility/ much better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Trial