WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to provide handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
While they have plenty of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all differ in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater cost 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 choices, but as a whole, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it’s important to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a various approach. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
I’ve used WP Engine for different tasks given that 2012. I do not use them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a current client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically live 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. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, but the guideline is that the more intricate your site is, the more complex the services to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a few basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with a budget friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually extra plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
However a slow site doesn’t suggest that you require a bigger, better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may simply have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to stay quickly as you grow. There are lots of services … however either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other 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 packing the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that method no matter how big or complicated the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are complimentary to concentrate on speed factors that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, but they also offer international data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has grown & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult aspect of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever understand 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 fundamental part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I like to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need an investment of loan, time and knowledge.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the site through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually communicated with actually knew the fine 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 customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after a number of concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically since their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they seem to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are relatively 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 business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially 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. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a lot of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a typically expensive circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both which permit more storage & more visits (ie, generally as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider 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 on a monthly basis. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time repairing issues.
Essentially, if your time is better designated far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous basic site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a key element, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a startup website owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s special backend and plan on launching a near-complete website simultaneously.
They do not have any prior practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, so many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
WP Engine stands out not only on present features but likewise on developing brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new developer functions that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even general web development best practices have actually changed significantly since I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to incorporate finest 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 very best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of 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 a good suitable for some customers. I do not utilize them for this site because I do not need many of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
All that stated, here are some of the larger picture drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be rather made complex– especially if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of 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 mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website available to the general public or merely not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they currently do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never explain best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to view that video numerous 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 really going to be a huge offer (once you get past the learning curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website lists to help repair 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 most of the times, support will just look after everything.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for great reasons, but those restrictions restrict flexibility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured permits less versatility as well. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send, however it’s also pricey to pay based upon a variety of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to aspect extra 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 site on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Business. And this point goes further if your website requires lots of plugins for complete performance.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t actually do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up needing to do a painful migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically paying for efficiency & not having to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you truly don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
Many shared hosting servers can handle the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t even consist of many of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t use them to spread out the expense of your strategy,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, especially compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest overall, however exactly what is best for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to fret about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more freedom/ much better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt