WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Vs
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all differ in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as a whole, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is very important to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a various approach. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Vs
I’ve used WP Engine for various projects because 2012. I don’t use them for my main websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class client 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 Vs
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, but the general rule is that the more intricate your website is, the more complicated the solutions to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text site with a few standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with an economical shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally additional plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
But a sluggish website doesn’t mean that you need a larger, better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay fast as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … but either you or a designer should execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with very 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 determine the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Vs
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to start packing the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that method no matter how big 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 considering that you are free to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an integrated CDN, however they also supply global data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Vs
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Vs
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put 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 actually grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough thing about client 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 mention in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I like to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need an investment of cash, time and expertise.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site through chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has communicated with actually knew the great operations of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Vs
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly because their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials are fairly 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 use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that although security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually helped clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a normally costly circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Vs
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 an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your 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 simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which enable more storage & more visits (ie, generally as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes monthly. 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 gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time repairing issues.
Essentially, if your time is better assigned far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Vs
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on advancement & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the site directly 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 manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a key element, particularly having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd customer type is a startup site owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any previous habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Vs
WP Engine excels not only on existing functions however also on producing new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have actually changed drastically since I started observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to integrate finest practices into implementation & tasks with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And numerous are valid due to the fact that they just aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this site 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 Vs
All that stated, here are a few of the larger picture disadvantages 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 made complex– especially if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can lead to some developers making mistakes ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev website available to the general public or just not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner consumers than they already do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never describe best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Vs
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to see that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a big deal (once you get past the knowing curve). But 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 really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of website 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 why they do all this. And in most cases, support will just take care of all of it.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Vs
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, however those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your site could handle 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 permitted 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 way their prices is structured enables less versatility also. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a variety of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Service. And this point goes further if your website requires lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The exact same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t truly do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up having to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not having to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the functions you’re getting, you actually do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally visiting regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Vs
Many shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, 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 previously that does not even consist of much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to spread out the cost of your strategy,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a costly choice, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, but what is finest for you based on your goals, budget, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to worry about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more liberty/ better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer support.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine Vs