WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Banned Plugins
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first business to supply managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, usually with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a different approach. 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. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous jobs given that 2012. I do not use them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more intricate the solutions to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a few basic plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally extra plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
However a slow website doesn’t imply that you need a larger, better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however sometimes it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay quick as you grow. There are a lot of options … however either you or a developer should execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have customized servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and identify the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers 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 determines how quickly the server returned enough data to begin filling the page.
It’s great to have that kind of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that method no matter how big or intricate the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are totally free to focus on speed factors that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, however they also supply international data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Banned Plugins
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a big focus 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 business has actually grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the difficult feature of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is because they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three need a financial investment of cash, time and know-how.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with really understood the great operations 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 customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after numerous concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,especially due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required 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 absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are fairly simple:
- 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that even though security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. 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 generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have been. It’s aggravating, tedious & a generally expensive scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy 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 monthly.
Both of which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, essentially as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k check outs 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 rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or designer time fixing problems.
Essentially, if your time is better designated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & design without dealing with 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 website over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing fundamental website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is irritated at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a 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 process take place. The phone support is a crucial aspect, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd 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 learning WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any prior habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. 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 type of consumer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, numerous of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
WP Engine excels not just on present functions but also on developing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even basic web development finest practices have changed significantly considering that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web advancement to integrate best practices into implementation & tasks 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous stand because 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 fit for some consumers. I do not use them for this website since I do not require many of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger photo drawbacks 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. And that difference can be rather made complex– specifically if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can lead to some developers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open up to the public or simply not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner consumers than they already do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to enjoy 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 backend isn’t going to be a big offer (once you get past the learning curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website lists 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 why they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply look after it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit more to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, but those restrictions limit versatility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But 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 as well. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise costly to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect 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 deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your website requires lots of plugins for full functionality.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you can’t truly do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up needing 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 upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for performance & not needing to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you really do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally visiting regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even include a lot of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to expand the cost of your plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, but what is best for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a fantastic service with a solid item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to fret about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more freedom/ much better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine Banned Plugins