WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine User Roles
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first business to provide managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine User Roles
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services supplied. Some merely 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 buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all compete with conventional 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 comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a various method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine User Roles
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various jobs because 2012. I don’t use them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current client on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 User Roles
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complex your site is, the more complex the options to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of basic plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a budget friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically additional plugins, customized theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish website does not mean that you require a larger, much better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Often 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. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might just have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to stay fast as you grow. There are lots of solutions … but either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually customized servers with very aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine User Roles
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting 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 style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin packing the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that method no matter how big or complex the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, but they likewise supply global data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine User Roles
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine User Roles
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually 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 hard thing about client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never understand if the story is because they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I want to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need an investment of loan, time and proficiency.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site via chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually connected with in fact knew the great workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of several concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine User Roles
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically since their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). But they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials are relatively simple:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that even though security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still eventually 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 & all set to roll back if something happens. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a lot of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s aggravating, tedious & a typically costly situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine User Roles
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, basically as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or developer time repairing issues.
Basically, if your time is much better designated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine User Roles
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical growth 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 for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that process occur. The phone support is a key factor, especially being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third client type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any previous practices or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make pledges and supply support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine User Roles
WP Engine stands out not only on current features however also on developing new, advanced hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented new designer features that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even general web development finest practices have altered radically given that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to incorporate finest practices into implementation & tasks with developers.
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 fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many stand because they just aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some customers. I don’t utilize them for this website because I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine User Roles
All that said, here are a few of the larger picture downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be quite complicated– specifically if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the unique backend can result in some designers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev website available to the general public or merely not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they currently do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine User Roles
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to view that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (once you get past the learning curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website 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.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply take care of everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine User Roles
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s unique 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 company has rules (or extremely real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, but those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured enables less adaptability too. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also costly to pay based on a variety of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to aspect additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Company. And this point goes further if your site needs numerous plugins for full performance.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot really do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up having to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for efficiency & not having to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based on the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine User Roles
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) dealt with more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t even consist of a lot of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t utilize them to expand the cost of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, however what is finest for you based upon your objectives, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a terrific service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to fret about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more flexibility/ better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive 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 a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine User Roles