WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engineering Limited
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first business to supply managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engineering Limited
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting market has actually ended up being 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 offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers 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 content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as an entire, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it’s important to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, generally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a different technique. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engineering Limited
I have actually used WP Engine for different projects given that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” Here is their discount 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 Engineering Limited
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, however the guideline is that the more intricate your site is, the more complex the options to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text site with a couple of basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally additional plugins, custom-made theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish site does not mean that you need a larger, much better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay quick as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … however either you or a designer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engineering Limited
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform since their platform does the additional 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, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to begin loading the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that way no matter how big or intricate the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are free to focus on speed factors that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, but they also offer global information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engineering Limited
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engineering Limited
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a big focus 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 said, the hard aspect of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever know if the story is since they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to look for access, systems, and knowledge, all three need an investment of cash, time and proficiency.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all 3 boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the site by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has communicated with really understood the great workings of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of a number of problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engineering Limited
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically because their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). 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 Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But 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 & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals are fairly 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 industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped clients who have been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & a normally costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engineering Limited
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and only as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same price from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, essentially as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month fee 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 fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time fixing problems.
Generally, if your time is better allocated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engineering Limited
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems 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 process, the first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing basic website 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 site owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is a crucial element, particularly being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup site 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 plan on launching a near-complete site at one time.
They don’t have any previous practices or customizeds 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 guarantees and provide support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engineering Limited
WP Engine stands out not just on current features however also on producing brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented new designer features that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even basic web development best practices have actually altered drastically considering that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web development to integrate finest practices into application & jobs with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many stand due to the fact that they merely aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some customers. I don’t use them for this website because I do not require a number of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engineering Limited
All that stated, here are some of the larger image drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be rather made complex– specifically if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they likewise don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can cause some developers making errors ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the public or merely not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the basic user. Wp Engineering Limited
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (once you surpass the knowing 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 ever truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of website checklists to assist 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 that they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just look after it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engineering Limited
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for great reasons, but those restrictions restrict flexibility and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured allows for less adaptability also. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a number of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your website requires numerous plugins for complete performance.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you cannot really do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another email company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for performance & not having to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the functions you’re getting, you really don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engineering Limited
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even consist of a lot of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs extra costs & technical application 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 price. You cannot utilize them to expand the cost of your plan,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, however what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a terrific service with a solid item. Their pricing 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 site designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to stress over 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 warranty. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think of their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more liberty/ much better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer service.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engineering Limited