WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Https Wpengine
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to supply managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Https Wpengine
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and advanced features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all differ in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then 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. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
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 personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a various method. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Https Wpengine
I’ve used WP Engine for different tasks since 2012. I do not use them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Https Wpengine
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complex your site is, the more intricate the services to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with an inexpensive shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically extra plugins, customized theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish site doesn’t mean that you need a larger, better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, but sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to remain quickly as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … but either you or a designer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wpengine Https Wpengine
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed 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 bloated theme, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin filling the page.
It’s great to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it stay that way no matter how big or complicated the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are totally free to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, but they likewise offer global information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Https Wpengine
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Https Wpengine
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are actually 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 among 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 grown & altered 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 hard aspect of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is because they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to search for access, systems, and knowledge, all three need a financial investment of loan, time and proficiency.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually communicated with in fact knew the great functions of WordPress and has actually been able 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 throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after a number of concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Https Wpengine
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,especially due to the fact that their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they appear 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 suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security essentials 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, 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 site safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially takes all those finest 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 issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security companies 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 free of charge.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually helped clients who have been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & an usually expensive scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Https Wpengine
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same cost 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 per month.
Both of which permit more storage & more sees (ie, generally as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or designer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better allocated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Https Wpengine
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise 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 happen. The phone support is an essential factor, specifically having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website at one time.
They do not have any previous practices or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wpengine Https Wpengine
WP Engine excels not just on current features however likewise on producing new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development finest practices have actually changed radically because I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web development to incorporate best practices into implementation & tasks with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are plenty 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 just aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some customers. I don’t utilize them for this website because I do not require a number of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Https Wpengine
All that said, here are some of the bigger photo disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be rather complicated– specifically if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can lead to some developers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the public or merely not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they currently do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never describe best practice for the general user. Wpengine Https Wpengine
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to see that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a huge deal (when you surpass the learning curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site lists to help troubleshoot all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And most of the times, support will just take care of all of it.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Https Wpengine
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for good reasons, but those restrictions limit flexibility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured enables less versatility as well. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send, however it’s also costly to pay based upon a number of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to factor additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish 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 permit on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your website requires lots of plugins for full functionality.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are planning to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you can’t actually do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for efficiency & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wpengine Https Wpengine
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even consist of much of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t utilize them to spread out the expense of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a costly option, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, but exactly what is best for you based on your goals, budget, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to worry about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see what you think of their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more freedom/ much better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wpengine Https Wpengine