WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Dns
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all differ in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, typically with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal 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 webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine Dns
I have actually used WP Engine for various tasks given that 2012. I don’t use them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies discussed. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular 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. Wpengine Dns
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the services to speed become.
From 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 fine with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually extra plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a slow website doesn’t indicate that you require a bigger, better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific 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 heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may just need to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain fast as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … however either you or a developer must implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wpengine Dns
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well 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, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough information to start loading the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that way no matter how big or complex the website 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 may get with other services since you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, but they likewise supply worldwide information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Dns
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Dns
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very 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 lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the hard aspect of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody 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 discuss in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of money, time and expertise.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the website by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has engaged with really knew the great workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after numerous issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Dns
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly because their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Much like 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 basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a lot of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a generally expensive situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Dns
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both which permit more storage & more sees (ie, generally as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup 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 whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time repairing issues.
Essentially, if your time is better allocated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Dns
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first customer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on development & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a crucial factor, particularly having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third client type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on launching a near-complete website simultaneously.
They do not have any previous practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make pledges and offer support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine knows 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, intuitive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Wpengine Dns
WP Engine excels not just on current functions but also on creating new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer features that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have actually altered significantly 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 implementation & projects 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 very best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of are valid 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 great suitable for some clients. I don’t utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not require much of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Dns
All that stated, here are some of the bigger image disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be quite complicated– particularly if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can cause some designers making mistakes varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open up to the public or just not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they already do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss finest practice for the general user. Wpengine Dns
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 websites, however I had to see that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a huge deal (as soon as you get past the learning curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site lists to help fix all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in most cases, support will just look after all of it.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Dns
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, however those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured enables less versatility also. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also costly to pay based on a number of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes further if your website needs lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The exact same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you cannot truly do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up having to do an unpleasant migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for performance & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wpengine Dns
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy 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 quite a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed earlier that does not even include much of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional costs & technical application 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 cost. You cannot use them to spread out the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is an expensive option, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, but exactly what is best for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a fantastic service with a strong item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to fret about 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 assurance. So do a test set up and see what you consider their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more liberty/ better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wpengine Dns