WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Outage
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all vary in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled 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 provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater price 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 alternatives, however as an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is necessary to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, usually with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a different technique. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Outage
I’ve used WP Engine for numerous jobs given that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer care.” Here is their discount pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Wpengine Outage
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, but the guideline is that the more intricate your site is, the more intricate the solutions to speed become.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text site with a few standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically extra plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site doesn’t imply that you need a bigger, better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more powerful 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.
Envision you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might just need to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to stay quick as you grow. There are a lot of options … but either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wpengine Outage
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to begin filling the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or intricate the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are totally free to focus on speed factors that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, but they likewise offer international data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Outage
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Outage
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among 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 actually grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the hard feature of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is since they spoke with 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 an investment or a cost.
I like to look for access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need an investment of money, time and competence.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website through chat.
Based on their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has engaged with really understood the great operations of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Outage
I make sure 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 know that support is core to their value and do make the needed 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 naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals 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 use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that although security on WordPress is simple, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe is still eventually 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 whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security problems 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 for free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped customers who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tedious & an usually costly situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Outage
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and just as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, generally as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes on a monthly basis. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, 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 website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time repairing problems.
Essentially, if your time is better assigned far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Outage
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first consumer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a key element, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up site owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on launching a near-complete website simultaneously.
They do not have any previous routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wpengine Outage
WP Engine stands out not only on current functions however also on creating new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even general web development finest practices have actually altered drastically considering that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand enough web advancement to integrate finest practices into execution & projects 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 very best suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many stand because they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some clients. I don’t use them for this website since I do not need much of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Outage
All that said, here are a few 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. Which distinction can be quite complicated– particularly if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can cause some developers making mistakes ranging from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open to the public or simply not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice clients than they already do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never describe finest practice for the basic user. Wpengine Outage
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to watch that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (when you get past the learning curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website checklists to help fix all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons why they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Outage
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s special 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; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for good factors, however those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured allows for less versatility too. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a number of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to aspect extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish 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 permit on a Personal or Service. And this point goes further if your site needs lots of plugins for complete performance.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t really do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up having to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for performance & not needing to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you truly don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Outage
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even include many of the functions 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 limits needs additional expenses & 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 sites, you have to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to expand the cost of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a costly option, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, however exactly what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to stress over hosting problems.
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 install and see what you think of their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more flexibility/ much better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wpengine Outage