WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Fios
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting market has actually 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 offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as an entire, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is essential to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, normally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a different method. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Fios
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous projects considering that 2012. I don’t use them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Fios
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your website is, the more complicated the services to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with an economical shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally additional plugins, custom-made theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site doesn’t mean that you need a larger, much better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to remain fast as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … but either you or a developer should execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Wpengine Fios
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, 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 rapidly the server returned enough data to start packing the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or intricate the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are totally free to focus on speed factors that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, but they also supply global data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Fios
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Fios
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my 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 & 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 hard thing about customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that 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 deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of cash, time and knowledge.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a range 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 site via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually interacted with really understood the fine operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Fios
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially since their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That means 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 application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are fairly simple:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped customers who have actually been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a typically costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Fios
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both of which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, basically as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & 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 month-to-month fee right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better allocated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Fios
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first consumer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that process take place. The phone support is a key factor, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any previous routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once 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 kind of consumer.
With these kinds of customers, 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 performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wpengine Fios
WP Engine stands out not only on current features but also on creating new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have altered drastically since I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to integrate finest practices into implementation & tasks with designers.
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 a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many are valid due to the fact that they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some customers. I do not use them for this website since I do not require much of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Fios
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 differently. Which difference can be rather complicated– specifically if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can result in some developers making mistakes ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or merely not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like many custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the general user. Wpengine Fios
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to watch that video multiple 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 customized backend isn’t really going to be a big deal (once you get past the knowing curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site lists to assist repair all sorts of problems.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply look after all of it.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Fios
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for good factors, however those restrictions restrict adaptability and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured allows for less versatility too. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s also pricey to pay based on a number of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to element additional hosting costs 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 manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Business. And this point goes even more if your site needs many plugins for full functionality.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot actually do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up needing to do a painful migration to another e-mail company 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 needing to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the functions you’re getting, you really do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally visiting often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Fios
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) dealt with more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour period 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 sees, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even consist of much of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly 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 price. 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 looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is an expensive option, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best overall, but exactly what is finest for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to fret about hosting problems.
If handled 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 set up and see what you think about their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more liberty/ better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer support.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wpengine Fios