WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to offer handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
While they have a lot of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate 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 tailored to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site 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 standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is necessary to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a different method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
I’ve used WP Engine for different jobs considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a current client on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, powerful 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. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complex your website is, the more complex the services to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a few standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with an economical shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually extra plugins, customized theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish website doesn’t suggest that you need a larger, 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 particular order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply need to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to remain quick as you grow. There are plenty of options … but either you or a designer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough information to start packing the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are complimentary to concentrate on speed factors that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an integrated CDN, however they likewise offer worldwide data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (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 business has grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard thing about client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of money, time and competence.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with actually knew the great operations of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,especially because their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are fairly uncomplicated:
- 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 notice that even though security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something happens. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a great deal of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have helped clients who have been. It’s frustrating, tedious & a normally pricey situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
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 strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which permit more storage & more visits (ie, generally as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & 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 cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) 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 issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or developer time fixing concerns.
Generally, if your time is better assigned far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous basic site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential aspect, particularly having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior 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 offer support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, so many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
WP Engine stands out not just on existing features but likewise on producing brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even general web development finest practices have actually changed drastically considering that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to integrate finest practices into implementation & tasks 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of are valid 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 an excellent suitable for some clients. I don’t utilize them for this site because I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
All that said, here are some of the bigger picture downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite complicated– particularly if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can result in some designers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open to the general public or just not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never describe finest practice for the general user. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to see that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (once you get past the learning curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of website lists to help repair all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons why they do all this. And most of the times, support will just look after everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for great factors, however those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical 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 bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured allows for less flexibility also. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s also pricey to pay based on a variety of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Business. And this point goes even more if your site requires numerous plugins for complete performance.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t truly do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up needing 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 pricing based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for performance & not having to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you really do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t even consist of much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to expand the expense of your plan,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, especially compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, however what is best for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a solid item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to fret about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see what you think of their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more flexibility/ much better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. 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 factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency