WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Sftp Access
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to provide managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wpengine Sftp Access
While they have lots of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all differ in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as a whole, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a various method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Sftp Access
I have actually used WP Engine for different jobs since 2012. I do not use them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a present 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 business mentioned. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer 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 Sftp Access
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more complex the services to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text site with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally additional plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish website doesn’t mean that you need a bigger, much better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to haul 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 combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to remain fast as you grow. There are plenty of services … but either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Wpengine Sftp Access
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have such a tailored 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 puffed up theme, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right from the box, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or complex the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are totally free to focus on speed aspects that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an integrated CDN, but they also provide worldwide information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Sftp Access
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Sftp Access
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually 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 thing about customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never know if the story is because they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or a cost.
I want to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 require a financial investment of money, time and competence.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually engaged with in fact understood the fine operations of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however 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 get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to expertly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of several problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Sftp Access
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly because their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That means 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. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals 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 use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site safe 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 & all set to roll back if something occurs. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a great deal 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 for free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have actually been. It’s aggravating, tedious & a normally pricey circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Sftp Access
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and only as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same rate from InMotion. And if you are just starting out 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 gos to (ie, generally as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices 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 & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes every month. 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 check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time fixing issues.
Basically, if your time is much better assigned far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Sftp Access
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first consumer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing basic site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that process occur. The phone support is a crucial aspect, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a start-up website owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website at one time.
They do not have any prior routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make promises and provide support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Wpengine Sftp Access
WP Engine stands out not only on present functions but also on developing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even basic web development finest practices have changed drastically considering that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to incorporate best practices into application & jobs with developers.
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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many stand due to the fact that they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some consumers. I do not use them for this website due to the fact that I do not require much of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Sftp Access
All that said, here are a few of the bigger photo disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be rather complicated– specifically if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the distinct backend can cause some developers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open to the general public or just not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they currently do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss finest practice for the general user. Wpengine Sftp Access
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to watch that video multiple 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 going to be a substantial deal (when you surpass the learning curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website lists to help troubleshoot 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 that they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply take care of everything.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Sftp Access
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, but those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured allows for less flexibility as well. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have 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 a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your website needs numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you cannot really do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up having to do a painful migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for performance & not needing to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wpengine Sftp Access
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even consist of 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 regional storage. Anything above the limits needs additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot utilize them to expand the expense of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, especially compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, however exactly what is finest for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a strong product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to fret about hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see what you think about their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more freedom/ much better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued 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 quiz. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wpengine Sftp Access