WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Export Database
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to supply handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Export Database
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all differ in services provided. 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 separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater 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 different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as an entire, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is necessary to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a different approach. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine Export Database
I’ve used WP Engine for numerous jobs given that 2012. I don’t use them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” Here is their promotion 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 Export Database
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more complex the options to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text site with a few standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site does not imply that you require a larger, better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, however often it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might just have to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to stay quickly as you grow. There are plenty of options … however either you or a designer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have customized servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Wpengine Export Database
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because 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, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to start filling the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that method no matter how big or intricate the site 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 because you are totally free to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an integrated CDN, however they also offer global information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Export Database
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Export Database
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a huge focus 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 company has actually 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 said, the tough thing about client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I prefer to search for access, systems, and knowledge, all three require an investment of money, time and proficiency.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with really knew the great functions of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Export Database
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially because their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). However they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security basics are relatively 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 notice that even though 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 don’t lock it, keeping your website secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, 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 occurs. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & a normally pricey circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Export Database
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which permit more storage & more sees (ie, basically as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty 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 month-to-month fee right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or designer time repairing issues.
Basically, if your time is much better allocated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Export Database
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on development & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process happen. The phone support is a key element, particularly being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup site owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any prior habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, so many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wpengine Export Database
WP Engine excels not only on current functions but also on developing brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development finest practices have changed radically considering that I started observing the market *. 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 application & jobs with designers.
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 best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And lots of are valid because they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some clients. I don’t utilize them for this site since I do not need many of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Export Database
All that said, here are a few of the larger picture downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be quite complicated– specifically if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can result in some designers making errors ranging from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open to the general public or just not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more novice clients than they already do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss finest practice for the basic user. Wpengine Export Database
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to watch that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site lists to assist troubleshoot 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.
Once again– they have reasons why they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply take care of it all.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter into 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 recognize. Wpengine Export Database
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for good factors, however those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured allows for less flexibility also. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also expensive to pay based on a number of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to factor additional hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish 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 permit on a Personal or Company. And this point goes further if your site requires numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t actually do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up needing to do an agonizing migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for performance & not needing to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Export Database
Many shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t even include a lot of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs additional expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t utilize them to spread out the cost of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is an expensive option, especially compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, however what is best for you based upon your objectives, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a fantastic service with a strong product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to fret about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see what you think of their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more liberty/ much better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer support.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wpengine Export Database