WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Vps
While they have lots of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as a whole, they all take on conventional 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 very important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, normally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a different method. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Vps
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous projects considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main websites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular 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 Vps
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, however the guideline is that the more complicated your site is, the more complex the solutions to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
But a sluggish website does not indicate that you need a bigger, better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, however sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying 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 remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to remain quickly as you grow. There are lots of options … however either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Vps
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have such a customized caching setup.
The fascinating 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 one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to start packing the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right out of package, and have it stay that method no matter how huge 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 may get with other services since you are complimentary to concentrate on speed aspects that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, however they also supply international information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Vps
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Vps
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. 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 place a big focus 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 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 stated, the tough aspect of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever know if the story is due to the fact that they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I like to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 require a financial investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has communicated with really knew the great functions of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Vps
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly due to the fact that their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security basics are relatively straightforward:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that despite the fact that 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 website protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something happens. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually helped clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a generally pricey situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Vps
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which enable more storage & more visits (ie, basically as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty 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 whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time fixing issues.
Basically, if your time is much better allocated far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Vps
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on development & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need 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 & customer support to make that process happen. The phone support is an essential factor, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third consumer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any previous habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make pledges and supply support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, numerous of the improvements 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 advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Vps
WP Engine stands out not just on present functions but also on producing brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have changed significantly since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to integrate finest practices into application & projects 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 best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And numerous are valid due to the fact that they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some customers. I don’t use them for this website due to the fact that I do not require many of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Vps
All that said, here are a few of the larger photo drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be rather complicated– especially if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can lead to some designers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open to the public or just not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they already do.
Like many custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Vps
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you are 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 learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site lists to assist fix 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 they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply take care of all of it.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Vps
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, however those restrictions restrict flexibility 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 sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured permits less flexibility also. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, but it’s also costly to pay based upon a number of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to element extra 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 handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes further if your website needs numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t actually do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up having to do an unpleasant migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Vps
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 sees 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 rather a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even include a lot of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires additional costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot use them to spread out the cost of your plan,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, but exactly what is best for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to worry about hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a fit 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. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more freedom/ better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Vps