WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Vs Pagely
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first business to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Vs Pagely
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all vary in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it’s important to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however 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 Vs Pagely
I’ve utilized WP Engine for different tasks given that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main websites today (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business pointed out. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, powerful 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 Vs Pagely
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, however the guideline is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the solutions to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with a budget friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish website doesn’t mean that you require a larger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, however sometimes it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply need to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain fast as you grow. There are a lot of options … but either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the precise chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Vs Pagely
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to start loading the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right from package, and have it stay that way 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 even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are complimentary to focus on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, however they also offer international data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Vs Pagely
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Vs Pagely
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that 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 focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company 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 tough feature of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but 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 discuss in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I want to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three need a financial investment of money, time and proficiency.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the site via chat.
Based on their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with really knew the great operations of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Vs Pagely
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially since their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). But they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security basics 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 notice that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Much like 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 & efficiency, WP Engine basically 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 occurs. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have assisted clients who have been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a generally pricey scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Vs Pagely
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which enable more storage & more visits (ie, generally as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices downside 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 designer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes on a monthly basis. 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 sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month 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 point out any personal or designer time repairing problems.
Basically, if your time is better designated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Vs Pagely
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a key element, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on launching a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any prior practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make pledges and supply support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine understands 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 benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Vs Pagely
WP Engine excels not only on existing functions but also on producing new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web development best practices have altered significantly since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to incorporate best practices into implementation & tasks 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 very best fit for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many stand since they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I do not use them for this site due to the fact that I do not require a lot of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Vs Pagely
All that stated, here are a few of the larger picture downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, 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 unsafe.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can cause some developers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website open to the public or merely not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner consumers than they currently do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever explain best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Vs Pagely
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to see 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 customized backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (as soon as you get past the learning curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website lists to assist troubleshoot 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 why they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply take care of 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 managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Vs Pagely
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for good factors, but those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad 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 rates is structured enables less adaptability as well. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, but it’s also costly to pay based on a variety of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect extra 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 even more if your website needs lots of plugins for full functionality.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t truly do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up needing to do a painful migration to another email provider 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 paying for efficiency & not needing to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually visiting frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Vs Pagely
Many shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) dealt with more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly 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” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed earlier that doesn’t even include much of the functions you do not 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 expenses & technical execution 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 websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to expand the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a costly option, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, however what is best for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & habits.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to fret about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see what you think about their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more flexibility/ much better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer support.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Vs Pagely