WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Hyperdb
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 Hyperdb
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, 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 vary in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is necessary to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, usually with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a various method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Hyperdb
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various tasks since 2012. I do not utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” 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 Hyperdb
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your website is, the more complicated the options to speed become.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally extra plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
But a slow site doesn’t mean that you need a bigger, better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay fast as you grow. There are plenty of services … however either you or a developer should execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Wpengine Hyperdb
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough information to start loading the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right out of package, and have it remain that method no matter how big or intricate the website gets.
*Keep in mind 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 concentrate on speed aspects that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an incorporated CDN, but they likewise offer global information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Hyperdb
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Hyperdb
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has grown & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the hard feature of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever know if the story is because they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to try to find access, systems, and understanding, all 3 require a financial investment of loan, time and competence.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has connected with in fact knew the great workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Hyperdb
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially since their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). But they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security essentials are fairly uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website protected 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 & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have assisted customers who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a normally pricey scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Hyperdb
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and only up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which enable more storage & more sees (ie, essentially as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k gos to per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is remarkable.
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 entire regular monthly fee 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 fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) 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 concerns or downtime expenses lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time repairing issues.
Essentially, if your time is better designated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Hyperdb
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces 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 need for a continuous standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that process happen. The phone support is a key element, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They do not have any prior routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of clients, 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 functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wpengine Hyperdb
WP Engine stands out not only on existing features but also on creating new, innovative hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out new developer features that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have altered radically because I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to integrate best practices into execution & 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are lots 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 merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this site because I do not require many of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Hyperdb
All that said, here are some of the larger image disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be rather complicated– particularly if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they likewise don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can result in some designers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site available to the general public or merely not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner consumers than they currently do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the basic user. Wpengine Hyperdb
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to enjoy that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a huge deal (when you surpass the learning curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site checklists to help fix 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.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just take care of all of it.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Hyperdb
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for great factors, however those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured permits less adaptability too. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also costly to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to aspect extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile 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 allow on an Individual or Company. And this point goes even more if your site needs lots of plugins for full functionality.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize 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 client got called for & ended up having to do an unpleasant migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for efficiency & not needing to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the functions you’re getting, you truly don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wpengine Hyperdb
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even consist of many of the features 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 limits needs additional expenses & technical execution 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 cannot utilize them to spread out the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, especially compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, but exactly what is best for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to stress over hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see what you think about their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more freedom/ better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer support.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wpengine Hyperdb