WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Visits
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 innovative features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all vary in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the website 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 choices, but as a whole, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is necessary to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a various approach. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Visits
I have actually utilized WP Engine for different projects given that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational 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 Visits
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the services to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a few fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with an affordable shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
But a slow website does not mean that you require a larger, better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay fast as you grow. There are a lot of services … however either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have actually tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the precise chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Visits
They don’t 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 do well on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to start packing the page.
It’s great to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or intricate the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, however they also provide global information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Visits
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Visits
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place 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 company has actually grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot 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, 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 discuss in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to try to find access, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of cash, time and know-how.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site through chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually interacted with in fact knew the fine workings of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after a number of concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Visits
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically 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 needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, 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 commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something occurs. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tedious & a typically pricey scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Visits
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both which permit more storage & more gos to (ie, generally as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any gos to 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 don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or developer time repairing concerns.
Basically, if your time is better designated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Visits
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on development & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a crucial element, particularly being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a start-up site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s special backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website simultaneously.
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 functions, consumers, and support that they can make pledges and supply support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Visits
WP Engine stands out not just on current features but likewise on producing new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented new designer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web development finest practices have actually altered drastically considering that I started 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 implementation & jobs with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And numerous are valid due to the fact that they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some clients. I don’t use them for this site since I do not need many of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Visits
All that stated, here are a few of the larger photo downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be quite made complex– especially if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can result in some developers making mistakes ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or merely not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they currently do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never explain finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Visits
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to see that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (when you get past the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site checklists to help repair 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.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply look after it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Visits
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for good factors, but those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured allows for less adaptability as well. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s also expensive to pay based on a number of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to element additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want 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 permit on an Individual or Company. And this point goes further if your site needs numerous plugins for full performance.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot actually do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up having to do a painful migration to another email company mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for efficiency & not having to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically logging in often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Visits
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even consist of much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits needs additional expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to expand the cost of your plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, however what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a fantastic service with a solid product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to fret about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see what you think of their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more flexibility/ better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive client service.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Visits