WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Hhvm
While they have plenty 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 growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features 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, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as an entire, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it’s important to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, usually with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a various approach. This review will take a 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 Hhvm
I have actually used WP Engine for various tasks given that 2012. I do not utilize them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a present client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies pointed out. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” Here is their discount pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Wpengine Hhvm
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, but the guideline is that the more complex your website is, the more complicated the services to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a few fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually extra plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish website does not mean that you need a bigger, much better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, however sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay quickly as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … however either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have customized servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and identify the precise chokepoint to get your website moving. Wpengine Hhvm
They don’t even permit 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 extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough information to start filling the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complicated the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, however they likewise supply international information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Hhvm
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Hhvm
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put 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 & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough aspect of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to try to find access, systems, and understanding, all 3 require an investment of loan, time and knowledge.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere 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 actually communicated with really understood the fine functions of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after a number of problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Hhvm
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly because their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). But they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely 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 community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals 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 utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe and secure 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 & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & a generally expensive circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Hhvm
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost 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 monthly.
Both which enable more storage & more gos to (ie, basically as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes each month. 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 update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time repairing concerns.
Generally, if your time is much better designated far from technical concerns, 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 a cost.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Hhvm
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing standard site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is an essential element, particularly having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a startup site owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s special backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website simultaneously.
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, consumers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, so many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this review revision. Wpengine Hhvm
WP Engine excels not only on current functions but also on creating brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have altered drastically because I started observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web development to incorporate best practices into execution & projects with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of stand since they just aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some clients. I do not use them for this website because I do not need much of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Hhvm
All that said, here are a few of the bigger image disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be quite made complex– particularly if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely 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 distinct backend can lead to some designers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the public or simply not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they currently do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never explain finest practice for the basic user. Wpengine Hhvm
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to see that video several 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 custom backend isn’t going to be a huge deal (once you surpass the knowing curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of website lists to help fix 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.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just take care of it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Hhvm
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise 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 have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, but those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured permits less versatility as well. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s also pricey to pay based upon a number of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to factor extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your website needs lots of plugins for full performance.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize 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 called for & wound up having to do a painful migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for performance & not having to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the functions you’re getting, you truly don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually visiting regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wpengine Hhvm
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned previously that does not even include a number of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the price. You can’t utilize them to expand the expense of your plan,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, but what is best for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans 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 stress over hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think of their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more flexibility/ much better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer service.
And finally, 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 simplify things. Wpengine Hhvm