WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Name Server
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wpengine Name Server
While they have lots of competition 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 growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all differ in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it’s important to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a different approach. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine Name Server
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various tasks since 2012. I do not utilize them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “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 Name Server
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complex your site is, the more complicated the solutions to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish site does not mean that you require a larger, much better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision 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 big enough when you may just have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to remain quickly as you grow. There are a lot of services … however either you or a developer should execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have customized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Wpengine Name Server
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, 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 quickly the server returned enough information to begin loading the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it stay that way no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are free to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an integrated CDN, but they also supply worldwide data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Name Server
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Name Server
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. 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 company has 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 hard aspect of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to look for access, systems, and understanding, all three require an investment of loan, time and know-how.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the site through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually communicated with in fact understood the great workings of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Name Server
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically due to the fact that their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are relatively simple:
- 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 use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is simple, the duty 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 safe and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, laborious & an usually expensive situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Name Server
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, basically as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & 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 monthly fee right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time repairing concerns.
Generally, if your time is better assigned away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Name Server
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a crucial aspect, particularly being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a start-up website owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on launching a near-complete site all at once.
They don’t have any previous habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, so many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Wpengine Name Server
WP Engine excels not just on current functions but likewise on developing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development best practices have actually changed significantly since I started observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to incorporate finest practices into application & tasks 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 suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And numerous stand due to the fact that they simply aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this site since I do not need a number of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Name Server
All that said, here are some of the bigger picture drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be quite complicated– specifically if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the unique backend can lead to some developers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website open 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 novice consumers than they currently do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never explain best practice for the general user. Wpengine Name Server
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to see that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (as soon as you get past the knowing curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site lists 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 for the most parts, support will just take care of all of it.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Name Server
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of reducing & increasing intricacy.
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 rather consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really real physical limitations), but 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 pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for great reasons, but those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured enables less adaptability as well. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, but it’s also pricey to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to aspect 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 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 many plugins for complete functionality.
The exact same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you cannot actually do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up needing to do a painful migration to another email company mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for efficiency & not needing to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Name Server
Many shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that does not even consist of much of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs extra costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to expand the cost of your plan,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, especially compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, but exactly what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & routines.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a great service with a solid product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to stress over hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see what you think about their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more flexibility/ better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wpengine Name Server