WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Enable Cdn
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to provide handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Enable Cdn
While they have lots of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as an entire, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, typically with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a different approach. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine Enable Cdn
I’ve used WP Engine for various projects given that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business mentioned. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer 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 Enable Cdn
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complex your website is, the more intricate the services to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text website with a few fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally additional plugins, custom-made theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish website doesn’t indicate that you need a bigger, much better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to haul 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 simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain quick as you grow. There are lots of solutions … however either you or a developer should execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and identify the precise chokepoint to get your website moving. Wpengine Enable Cdn
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to start loading the page.
It’s great to have that kind of speed right from the box, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or complex the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are free to focus on speed elements that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, but they also supply international data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Enable Cdn
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Enable Cdn
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very 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 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 tough aspect of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never understand if the story is since they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I want to search for access, systems, and understanding, all three need an investment of cash, time and expertise.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the site by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has communicated with in fact understood the great functions of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to expertly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Enable Cdn
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). 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 whole Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security basics 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 utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Because 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 likewise 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 totally free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually helped customers who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & a generally expensive scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Enable Cdn
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same rate from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or developer time fixing problems.
Generally, if your time is much better designated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Enable Cdn
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first customer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website owner who is irritated at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a much 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 factor, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup website owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any previous routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make pledges and provide support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, 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, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wpengine Enable Cdn
WP Engine excels not only on existing functions however also on creating brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new designer features that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have changed significantly because I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to incorporate best practices into implementation & projects 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous stand since they simply aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some clients. I don’t use them for this website because I do not need a number of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Enable Cdn
All that stated, here are a few of the larger picture downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be rather made complex– especially if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can lead to some developers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev website open to the public or merely not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they currently do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss finest practice for the basic user. Wpengine Enable Cdn
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to enjoy that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (when you get past the knowing curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website checklists 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 they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply take care of everything.
But, 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 need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Enable Cdn
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or extremely genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for great reasons, but those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured allows for less flexibility as well. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s also costly to pay based on a number of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to aspect 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 website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your site requires numerous plugins for full functionality.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot really do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for efficiency & not needing to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the functions you’re getting, you really do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally visiting frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wpengine Enable Cdn
Many shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) dealt with 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 manage 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 “little” site owners how quickly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed previously that doesn’t even consist of many of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires extra costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the rate. You cannot use them to expand the cost of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, but what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a solid item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to stress over hosting issues.
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 guarantee. 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 & want more freedom/ much better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer support.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wpengine Enable Cdn