WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Woocommerce
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to offer handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Woocommerce
While they have a lot of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all differ in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
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 personalized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it’s important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, typically with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a various technique. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Woocommerce
I’ve used WP Engine for different tasks because 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main websites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, 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 service.” 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 Woocommerce
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your site is, the more complex the solutions to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text site with a few fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally additional plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
But a sluggish website does not suggest that you need a bigger, better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to transport a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply need to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay quickly as you grow. There are plenty of options … but either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the precise chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Woocommerce
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs 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 theme, extra scripts, too many 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 information to begin filling the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right from package, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or complicated the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are totally free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, however they likewise offer worldwide information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Woocommerce
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Woocommerce
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a huge 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 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 aspect of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never understand if the story is since they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need an investment of loan, time and know-how.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has connected with actually knew the fine operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Woocommerce
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically because their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the downsides). However 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 whole Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe 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 does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security firms 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 totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped clients who have actually been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a typically expensive circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Woocommerce
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very 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 strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which enable more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup 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 fee right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is better assigned far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal 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 focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Woocommerce
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on development & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous fundamental site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed 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 likewise established enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a crucial element, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third client type is a startup website owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on launching a near-complete website simultaneously.
They do not have any previous practices or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make pledges and supply support to win & keep this kind of client.
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 enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Woocommerce
WP Engine excels not only on present functions however also on producing new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new developer features that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have actually altered significantly since I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web advancement to integrate finest practices into execution & projects 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 plenty of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of stand because they just aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Woocommerce
All that said, here are a few of the larger picture drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be rather complicated– particularly if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they also don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the distinct backend can lead to some developers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open to the public or merely not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they already do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Woocommerce
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to watch that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (as soon as you get past the knowing curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site lists to help fix all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply take care of it all.
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 managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Woocommerce
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for good factors, however those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured enables less versatility as well. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based upon a number of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish 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 permit on a Personal or Service. And this point goes further if your site requires many plugins for complete performance.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot actually do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up having to do an agonizing 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 functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for performance & not having to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the functions you’re getting, you really don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Woocommerce
Many shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) dealt with more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed previously that doesn’t even include much of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits needs extra expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to expand the expense of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, however what is best for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a solid product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to worry about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see what you think about their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more flexibility/ much better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer care.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Woocommerce