WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Purge Cache
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to provide managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Purge Cache
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as an entire, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is necessary to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal 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 webhosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine Purge Cache
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various projects given that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class client service.” Here is their promotion pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Wpengine Purge Cache
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, however the general rule is that the more complex your site is, the more intricate the solutions to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of basic plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow site doesn’t suggest that you require a bigger, much better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might just have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay quickly as you grow. There are lots of options … however either you or a designer should execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the specific chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wpengine Purge Cache
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right from package, and have it stay that method no matter how big or intricate the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are free to focus on speed aspects that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, but they likewise supply worldwide information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Purge Cache
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Purge Cache
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (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 ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough aspect of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never understand if the story is due to the fact that 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 treats support as an investment or an expense.
I like to search for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 require a financial investment of cash, time and competence.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually interacted with really knew the fine functions of WordPress and has 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 customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Purge Cache
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically because their custom 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 worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security essentials 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 see that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically 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 “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have helped clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & an usually expensive circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Purge Cache
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. 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, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, generally as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
If you lose any visits 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 do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or designer time fixing concerns.
Basically, if your time is better allocated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Purge Cache
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential element, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and desires 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 site simultaneously.
They don’t have any previous routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make promises and provide support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these types of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, numerous of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Wpengine Purge Cache
WP Engine excels not just on present features however also on producing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have changed radically considering that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to incorporate best practices into implementation & 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 fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (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 a good fit for some clients. I don’t utilize 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 Purge Cache
All that said, here are some of the bigger photo downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be quite complicated– particularly if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can result in some designers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or simply not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they already do.
Like many custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the general user. Wpengine Purge Cache
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to view that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site lists to assist troubleshoot all sorts of problems.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons why they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Purge Cache
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, but those bans restrict adaptability and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured allows for less flexibility too. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise costly to pay based on a variety of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to factor additional 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 site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Company. And this point goes further if your site requires many plugins for full functionality.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you can’t truly do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up having to do a painful migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not having to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you really do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally visiting frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Purge Cache
Many shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed 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 definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even consist of a number of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. 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 limited on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You can’t utilize them to spread out the cost of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, however what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to worry about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more freedom/ much better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wpengine Purge Cache