WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Redirect Loop
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to offer managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Redirect Loop
While they have plenty of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all vary in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as a whole, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is essential to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, usually with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a various approach. 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 Redirect Loop
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous tasks since 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current client on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business pointed out. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Redirect Loop
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the guideline is that the more complex your website is, the more complicated the options to speed become.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text site with a few basic plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually extra plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a slow website doesn’t imply that you require a bigger, better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just have to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to remain quickly as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … however either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually customized servers with very aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the specific chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wpengine Redirect Loop
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform since 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, extra 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 measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it remain that method no matter how big or complex the website gets.
*Note 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 may get with other services considering that you are free to focus on speed elements that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, but they likewise provide global information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Redirect Loop
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Redirect Loop
Consumer 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, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a 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 difficult feature of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never know if the story is since they talked with 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 business deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I like to try to find access, systems, and understanding, all three require a financial investment of cash, time and competence.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website through chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually communicated with actually understood the great workings of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate 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 looking after numerous concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Redirect Loop
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly due to the fact that their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the downsides). But they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security essentials are fairly uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something occurs. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a lot of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped customers who have been. It’s discouraging, tedious & an usually expensive scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Redirect Loop
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both which enable more storage & more sees (ie, generally as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices 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 & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time repairing concerns.
Basically, if your time is better allocated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Redirect Loop
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine seems to be a suitable 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 very first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental 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 frustrated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a crucial factor, especially being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They do not have any prior practices or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Wpengine Redirect Loop
WP Engine stands out not just on current functions but likewise on producing new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web development finest practices have actually changed radically since I started observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to integrate finest practices into application & jobs with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And numerous are valid due to the fact that they just aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some customers. I don’t use them for this website because I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Redirect Loop
All that said, here are some of the larger photo drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be quite complicated– especially if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can result in some developers making errors ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website available to the public or simply not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they currently do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the basic user. Wpengine Redirect Loop
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to view that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a big deal (once you get past the learning curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website checklists to help 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.
Again– they have reasons that 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 do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Redirect Loop
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or very real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, however those restrictions restrict flexibility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sites, 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 flexible and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured permits less flexibility too. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based upon a number of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to aspect additional hosting costs 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 manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Service. And this point goes even more if your website requires numerous plugins for full functionality.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning 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 required & wound up needing 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 pricing based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for efficiency & not needing to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Redirect Loop
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as discussed earlier that does not even include a number of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits needs additional expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the rate. You cannot use them to expand the expense of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a costly choice, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, but exactly what is best for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to fret about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more liberty/ much better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer support.
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 Redirect Loop