WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine WordPress Revisions
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 WordPress Revisions
While they have plenty of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all differ in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, 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 site material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as a whole, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it’s important to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a different method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine WordPress Revisions
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various projects because 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically 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 WordPress Revisions
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, but the guideline is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the services to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a few standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with an affordable shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
But a slow website does not suggest that you require a bigger, better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might simply have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay fast as you grow. There are a lot of services … but either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine WordPress Revisions
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right out of package, and have it remain that method no matter how big or intricate the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are free to focus on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, but they also supply worldwide information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine WordPress Revisions
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine WordPress Revisions
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually grown & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough feature of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is because they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to look for access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require an investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website via chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually interacted with in fact understood the great operations of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of a number of issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine WordPress Revisions
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically since their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But they appear 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 distributors.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something takes place. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a great deal of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have helped customers who have been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a generally pricey circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine WordPress Revisions
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and just up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both which permit more storage & more gos to (ie, basically as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time repairing concerns.
Generally, 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 actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine WordPress Revisions
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing fundamental website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re likewise 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 process take place. The phone support is an essential element, specifically having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a start-up site owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s special backend and plan on launching a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any prior routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make pledges and provide support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, so many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine WordPress Revisions
WP Engine stands out not just on existing functions however also on developing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented new developer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even general web development finest practices have actually altered radically considering that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand enough web advancement to incorporate finest practices into execution & 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 suitable for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous are valid because they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this website since I do not require a number of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine WordPress Revisions
All that said, here are some of the bigger photo drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be rather complicated– specifically if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can cause some developers making mistakes varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev website open up to the public or merely not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner consumers than they already do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine WordPress Revisions
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to view that video multiple 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 huge offer (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website lists to assist fix 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 why they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply take care of all of it.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine WordPress Revisions
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to lowering & 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 have to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or very real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit more to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, however those restrictions restrict flexibility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured permits less flexibility as well. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a number of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to element extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Business. And this point goes even more if your website needs numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot really do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up having to do a painful migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for efficiency & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically visiting often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine WordPress Revisions
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental 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 trusted VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed earlier that doesn’t even include a lot of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits needs extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to spread out the cost of your plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a pricey option, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, but what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to worry about hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think of their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more flexibility/ much better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer support.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine WordPress Revisions