WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Is Slow
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to provide managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Is Slow
While they have lots of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all differ in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is necessary to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a different technique. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine Is Slow
I have actually utilized WP Engine for different jobs because 2012. I don’t use them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies discussed. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer service.” Here is their promo 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 Is Slow
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complex your website is, the more complex the options to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text site with a few fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally additional plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow site doesn’t indicate that you require a larger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to remain fast as you grow. There are plenty of options … but either you or a developer should execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with very aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wpengine Is Slow
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting 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 among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to begin packing the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it remain that method no matter how big or complicated the website gets.
*Keep in mind 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 because you are free to focus on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, but they also supply international data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Is Slow
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Is Slow
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my 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 difficult thing about consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is since they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I want to look for access, systems, and knowledge, all three need an investment of cash, time and expertise.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site through chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has connected with really knew the great functions of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Is Slow
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically because their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge community releasing 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 industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing 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 best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something occurs. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually helped clients who have been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a typically pricey 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 Is Slow
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and just up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same price from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, essentially as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k gos to per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty 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 charge right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time fixing problems.
Basically, if your time is better allocated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Is Slow
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential factor, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s special backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any prior habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements 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 review revision. Wpengine Is Slow
WP Engine excels not just on present features however likewise on developing brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new designer features that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have actually changed significantly given that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web development to incorporate best practices into implementation & jobs 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 everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And numerous stand due to the fact that they simply aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some customers. I don’t use them for this site due to the fact that I do not require much of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Is Slow
All that said, here are some of the bigger photo disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be quite made complex– specifically if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the unique backend can result in some designers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website available to the general public or just not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice clients than they currently do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the general user. Wpengine Is Slow
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to watch that video several 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 custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a substantial deal (once you get past the learning curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site checklists to assist 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 why they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Is Slow
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or very real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, but those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured permits less adaptability also. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based on a number of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a rise 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 enable on a Personal or Business. And this point goes even more if your site requires many plugins for full functionality.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t really do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for performance & not needing to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you truly don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally visiting frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wpengine Is Slow
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can certainly 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 “small” website owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even consist of a number of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits requires additional costs & technical application 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 use them to spread out the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, however exactly what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a fantastic service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to worry about hosting concerns.
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 assurance. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think of their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more liberty/ better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wpengine Is Slow