WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Revisions
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to provide managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wpengine Revisions
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all differ in services provided. Some simply 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 actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers 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 content + 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 options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a various approach. This evaluation will 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 Revisions
I’ve used WP Engine for various jobs because 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class client service.” 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 Revisions
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your site is, the more intricate the services to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically extra plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
However a slow site does not suggest that you require a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, but sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might just need to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain quickly as you grow. There are lots of solutions … however either you or a developer should execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with very aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the precise chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wpengine Revisions
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, too many 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 data to start loading the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right from package, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or complex 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 may get with other services considering that you are totally free to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an integrated CDN, but they likewise provide global data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Revisions
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Revisions
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my 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 since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough aspect of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never know 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 mention in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to search for access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need a financial investment of money, time and expertise.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site via chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually interacted with really knew the great operations of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Revisions
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically due to the fact that their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). However they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security essentials are fairly 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site 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 everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something takes place. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a lot of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a typically pricey scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Revisions
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same rate 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 each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, generally as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of little WordPress sites 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 overall worth & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time fixing concerns.
Generally, if your time is much better allocated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really 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 Revisions
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website owner who is irritated at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a crucial element, especially being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any previous practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make pledges and provide support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, numerous of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review modification. Wpengine Revisions
WP Engine stands out not only on present features however also on developing new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented new developer functions that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even general web development finest practices have actually altered significantly considering that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web development to integrate best practices into implementation & jobs 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And numerous stand because they simply aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not need much of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Revisions
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger image drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be rather made complex– especially if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the distinct backend can cause some developers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev website available to the public or just not making it possible for 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 lots of custom platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never explain best practice for the basic user. Wpengine Revisions
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve set up 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 remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (as soon as you get past the knowing curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site lists to assist fix 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 for the most parts, support will simply look after everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Revisions
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to minimizing & increasing intricacy.
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 predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or very real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, but those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, 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 versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured enables less versatility as well. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based on a variety of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to element extra hosting bills 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 a Personal or Company. And this point goes even more if your website needs many plugins for complete functionality.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t really 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 supplier mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for efficiency & 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 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 often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Revisions
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable 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 quite a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even consist of a lot of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly 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 cost. You can’t use them to spread out the cost of your plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a costly choice, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, but what is best for you based upon your goals, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to fret about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more liberty/ much better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer support.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wpengine Revisions