WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Wp Config
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first business to provide managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Wp Config
While they have a lot of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services provided. Some just 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 really purchasing hosting per se, but 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 price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however as a whole, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a various technique. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Wp Config
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous jobs considering that 2012. I don’t use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” 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 Wp Config
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the options to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a budget friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally additional plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish website does not indicate that you require a bigger, better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to stay quick as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … however either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Wp Config
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still 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 puffed up style, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to start filling the page.
It’s great to have that kind of speed right out of package, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or intricate the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are totally free to focus on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, however they also supply international data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Wp Config
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Wp Config
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among 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 & 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 hard thing about client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever know if the story is due to the fact that they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or an expense.
I want to search for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 require a financial investment of cash, time and competence.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with really understood the great functions of WordPress and has actually 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 client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Wp Config
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,especially because their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). But they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are relatively simple:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last 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 secure. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website secure 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 & all set to roll back if something occurs. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a lot of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have helped clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, laborious & a generally costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Wp Config
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which permit more storage & more sees (ie, basically as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates every 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 regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time repairing problems.
Essentially, if your time is better designated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Wp Config
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental site upkeep. 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 site owner who is irritated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is an essential aspect, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd customer 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 discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on releasing a near-complete site at one time.
They don’t have any previous practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make promises and provide support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Wp Config
WP Engine stands out not just on existing features however also on producing brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new developer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even general web advancement best practices have actually altered radically 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 development to incorporate finest practices into implementation & 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And many stand due to the fact that they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some clients. I don’t utilize them for this website because I do not need much of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Wp Config
All that stated, here are some of the larger picture disadvantages 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 rather made complex– especially if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the distinct backend can result in some developers making mistakes ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or simply not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they already do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Wp Config
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to see that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (when you surpass the learning curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website checklists to help repair 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.
Once again– they have reasons why they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply look after it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. 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 do not have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Wp Config
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, however those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured permits less versatility as well. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, but it’s also pricey to pay based on a variety of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can manage 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 complete functionality.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t actually do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another email company mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically paying for efficiency & not having to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the functions you’re getting, you actually do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Wp Config
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even include a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the price. You can’t use them to spread out the expense of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up 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 best total, however what is best for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to stress over hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more liberty/ much better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine Wp Config