WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Push To Staging
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to supply handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Push To Staging
While they have lots of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost 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 different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however 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, however it’s important to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a various technique. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Push To Staging
I’ve utilized WP Engine for different projects given that 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer service.” 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 Push To Staging
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the guideline is that the more complex your website is, the more intricate the solutions to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of basic plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with a budget friendly shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site doesn’t suggest that you require a bigger, better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may simply need to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to remain quick as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … however either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Push To Staging
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to start filling the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it stay that way no matter how big or intricate the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an integrated CDN, however they likewise offer international information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Push To Staging
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Push To Staging
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among 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 actually grown & altered 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 hard aspect of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never understand if the story is due to the fact that they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require an investment of money, time and proficiency.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing far better hitting all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has interacted with really knew the fine workings of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Push To Staging
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically since their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security basics are fairly 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set 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 great deal of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s aggravating, laborious & an usually expensive situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Push To Staging
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very 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 just a couple dollars per month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, generally as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k sees per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of little WordPress sites 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 & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes every month. 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 entire monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time repairing concerns.
Basically, if your time is much better allocated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly 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 concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Push To Staging
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine seems 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 first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing basic site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a key factor, especially being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a startup website owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any prior habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, a lot of 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, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Push To Staging
WP Engine stands out not just on current features however also on producing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new developer features that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even general web development best practices have actually altered radically since I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to incorporate finest practices into application & 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And lots of are valid since they simply aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some clients. I do not utilize them for this site since I do not require much of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Push To Staging
All that said, here are a few of the bigger picture downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be quite complicated– particularly if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they likewise don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the distinct backend can lead to some designers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website available to the general public or simply not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they already do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Push To Staging
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to see that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (as soon as you get past the knowing curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site checklists to assist fix all sorts of problems.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply take care of everything.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous 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 Push To Staging
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, however those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured allows for less flexibility too. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to aspect additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish 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 an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes further if your site requires lots of plugins for complete performance.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t truly do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for performance & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Push To Staging
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed earlier that does not even include many of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the price. You can’t use them to expand the expense of your plan,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is an expensive option, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, but what is best for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & habits.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to worry about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see exactly what you consider their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more flexibility/ better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer care.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Push To Staging