WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Email Ip Domain
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first business to provide handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Email Ip Domain
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic 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 development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all vary in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different 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 tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is necessary to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a different method. This evaluation will 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 Email Ip Domain
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous projects because 2012. I don’t use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning 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 Email Ip Domain
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, but the guideline is that the more intricate your site is, the more complicated the options to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site does not indicate that you require a bigger, much better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may just need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay quick as you grow. There are lots of options … but either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Wpengine Email Ip Domain
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well 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 bloated 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 rapidly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Keep in mind 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 may get with other services considering that you are complimentary to focus on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an integrated CDN, however they likewise supply worldwide data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Email Ip Domain
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Email Ip Domain
Client support has 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 sense for them to put a huge emphasis 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 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 stated, the difficult thing about consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never know if the story is because they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I prefer to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three need a financial investment of cash, time and proficiency.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website through chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has engaged with in fact understood the fine workings of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (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 associate was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Email Ip Domain
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly since their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). However they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe is still ultimately 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 everything off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a lot of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also 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 actually assisted customers who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & a generally expensive scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Email Ip Domain
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, basically as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes on a monthly basis. 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 gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee 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 cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time repairing problems.
Essentially, if your time is better designated far from technical problems, 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 rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Email Ip Domain
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on development & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a crucial factor, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third consumer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s special backend and plan on launching a near-complete site all at once.
They do not have any previous habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, so many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review revision. Wpengine Email Ip Domain
WP Engine excels not just on present functions however also on creating brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have actually changed drastically because I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous stand because they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I don’t utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not need many of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Email Ip Domain
All that said, here are some of the larger image disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be rather complicated– especially if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the special backend can result in some designers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open up to the public or just not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they currently do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never describe finest practice for the basic user. Wpengine Email Ip Domain
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to view that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a huge deal (when you surpass the knowing curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site checklists to assist troubleshoot 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 they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply take care of everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Email Ip Domain
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or extremely genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin behavior for great factors, however those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured enables less flexibility too. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s also costly to pay based upon a number of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to element extra hosting bills 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 handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Company. And this point goes further if your website needs numerous plugins for complete performance.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot actually do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In either case, 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 generally paying for performance & not having to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you really do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wpengine Email Ip Domain
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the very 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 standard caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed previously that doesn’t even consist of a number of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs extra costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot utilize them to expand the cost of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a pricey option, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, but exactly what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & practices.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a solid item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to worry about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see exactly what you think of their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more flexibility/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wpengine Email Ip Domain