WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Plans
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to provide managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Plans
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and advanced features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has become a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all differ in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions 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, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as a whole, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it’s important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a different approach. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Plans
I have actually used WP Engine for various tasks considering that 2012. I don’t use them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer service.” Here is their promo 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 Plans
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the guideline is that the more intricate your website is, the more intricate the options to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a few standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site doesn’t mean that you require a bigger, better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, however often it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may just need to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to stay quick as you grow. There are a lot of options … however either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the precise chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Plans
They don’t even enable 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 installs still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough information to start packing the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right out of package, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or intricate the website 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 totally free to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an integrated CDN, but they likewise offer global information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Plans
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Plans
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has 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 stated, the difficult aspect of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however 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 fundamental part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to look for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three require an investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually connected with really understood the fine operations of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Plans
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially due to the fact that their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). 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 Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security basics are relatively 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially 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 happens. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a lot of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security companies 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 ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have actually been. It’s frustrating, laborious & an usually expensive scenario (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 Plans
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, basically as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or developer time repairing problems.
Basically, if your time is better designated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Plans
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is a crucial element, particularly being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd client type is a start-up site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any previous habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, so many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Plans
WP Engine excels not just on current functions however also on producing brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out new developer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web advancement best practices have changed drastically given that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web development to incorporate finest practices into execution & projects with designers.
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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And many are valid due to the fact that they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Plans
All that said, here are a few of the larger photo downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be rather complicated– specifically if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can cause some designers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website open to the public or just not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Plans
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to see that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (once you surpass the knowing curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site lists to help repair all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons why they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply take care of everything.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Plans
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is also connected to 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 uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, but those restrictions limit versatility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured permits less flexibility also. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also expensive to pay based upon a number of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to element additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes further if your site requires many plugins for full functionality.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are planning to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you can’t truly do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up having to do a painful migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not having to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Plans
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even consist of a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to expand the expense of your strategy,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site 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 overall, but exactly what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & habits.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a solid product. Their pricing 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 unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to fret about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see what you consider their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more freedom/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Plans