WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Multisite Domain Names
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to provide managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Multisite Domain Names
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 innovative features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all vary in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
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 compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is necessary to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a different method. 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 Multisite Domain Names
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various projects because 2012. I do not use them for my main websites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business pointed out. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer 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 Multisite Domain Names
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complex your site is, the more intricate the solutions to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a few standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally extra plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
However a sluggish website doesn’t suggest that you need a larger, much better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may just need to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain fast as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … however either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wpengine Multisite Domain Names
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional 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 determines how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin packing the page.
Now here is the speed test of a standard WordPress install. WP Engine not just gets solid TTFB times however keep in mind how comparable the First Byte and First Render are to the Unoptimized website.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right from package, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or complicated the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are complimentary to focus on speed factors that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, but they likewise offer global information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Multisite Domain Names
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Multisite Domain Names
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes 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:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business 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 stated, the difficult aspect of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never understand if the story is since they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the important 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 knowledge, all 3 need an investment of cash, time and knowledge.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site through chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually engaged with in fact knew the fine workings of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of several concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Multisite Domain Names
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,especially since their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security basics are relatively 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have helped customers who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a normally costly situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Multisite Domain Names
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only up to 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same rate from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k sees per month on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates downside 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 & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes monthly. 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 check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or designer time fixing problems.
Generally, if your time is much better allocated far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Multisite Domain Names
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is an essential element, particularly being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a startup site owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on launching a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any previous practices or customizeds 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 promises and supply support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review modification. Wpengine Multisite Domain Names
WP Engine stands out not only on current features but likewise on creating new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new designer features that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even general web development finest practices have actually altered significantly since I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to integrate best practices into application & 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 very best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of are valid because they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some customers. I don’t utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not need a number of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Multisite Domain Names
All that said, here are some of the bigger image downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be rather made complex– especially if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can result in some developers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or just not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner consumers than they currently do.
Like many custom platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever explain best practice for the basic user. Wpengine Multisite Domain Names
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (when you get past the learning curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of website lists to help repair all sorts of problems.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply take care of it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Multisite Domain Names
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, but those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however 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 versatile and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured enables less flexibility too. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise costly to pay based on a number of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to element extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Business. And this point goes further if your site needs numerous plugins for full performance.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are wanting to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you cannot truly do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not needing to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you really do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Multisite Domain Names
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (working 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 reputable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even include many of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You can’t use them to spread out the expense of your plan,especially if you are striking 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, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, however exactly what is best for you based upon your goals, budget, resources & practices.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to worry about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go take 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 consider their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more liberty/ much 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 finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wpengine Multisite Domain Names