WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Tx
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole 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 then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, 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 site material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as a whole, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is very important to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a various approach. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Tx
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various projects considering that 2012. I don’t use them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Tx
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, however the guideline is that the more complex your website is, the more intricate the options to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a few basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with a budget friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally additional plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
But a slow site does not indicate that you require a bigger, much 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 specific resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling 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 aid to stay quick as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … however either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Tx
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have such a customized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough information to start loading the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it stay 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 given that you are totally free to focus on speed factors that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an integrated CDN, but they also offer worldwide data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Tx
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Tx
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are really selling 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 among 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 & 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 difficult feature of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never know if the story is because they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I want to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of cash, time and know-how.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the website by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually communicated with actually knew the fine workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after several problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Tx
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically since their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials are relatively straightforward:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally 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 takes place. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a lot of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the assurance 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), but have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a typically expensive scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Tx
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both of which enable more storage & more sees (ie, generally as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire month-to-month fee right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or developer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is better assigned far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Tx
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on development & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing site owner who is irritated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that process happen. The phone support is a crucial element, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third consumer type is a startup website owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete website at one time.
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 features, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, numerous of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Tx
WP Engine excels not only on existing features however likewise on developing brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have actually changed drastically since I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web development to integrate best practices into application & 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And numerous stand since they merely aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some clients. I don’t use them for this website since I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Tx
All that said, here are some of the larger photo disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite complicated– especially if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can result in some developers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or just not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice clients than they currently do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Tx
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (once you get past the knowing curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site lists to assist troubleshoot 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 that they do all this. And in many cases, support will just take care of everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In many 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 Tx
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin behavior for good factors, but those restrictions limit versatility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured enables less versatility also. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also expensive to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to element additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want 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 allow on an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your website requires numerous plugins for full functionality.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are planning to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t truly do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up having to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for efficiency & not having to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you actually do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually visiting often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Tx
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) dealt with more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned previously that does not even consist of a number of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra costs & technical application 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 utilize them to expand the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, but what is finest for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a fantastic service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to stress over hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. 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 existing host & want more freedom/ better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Tx