WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Wp-Cron
While they have plenty of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all differ in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually 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 higher rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, generally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a various method. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Wp-Cron
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various tasks given that 2012. I don’t use them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational 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 Wp-Cron
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complex your site is, the more intricate the solutions to speed become.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text site with a few basic plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with a budget friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site doesn’t indicate that you require a bigger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, however sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might 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 requires aid to remain quickly as you grow. There are plenty of options … however either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the specific chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Wp-Cron
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have such a customized caching setup.
The interesting 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 among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to start loading the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right out of package, 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 obsessed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are free to focus on speed factors that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, however they likewise supply global information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Wp-Cron
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Wp-Cron
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among 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 ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the hard feature of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is because they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to search for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 require a financial investment of loan, time and expertise.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the website via chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with in fact knew the great workings 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 in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Wp-Cron
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially since their custom-made 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 value and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. 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 benefit of being open-source with a huge community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your 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 use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something happens. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have actually been. It’s discouraging, laborious & a generally pricey circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Wp-Cron
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which permit more storage & more visits (ie, generally as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire month-to-month fee right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time fixing problems.
Generally, if your time is much better assigned away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Wp-Cron
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that process happen. The phone support is a key factor, specifically having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup website owner that has the budget and desires 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 at one time.
They do not have any previous routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make promises and provide support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine understands 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, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Wp-Cron
WP Engine stands out not just on current features but likewise on developing new, innovative hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new developer features that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have changed significantly because I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to incorporate best practices into application & tasks 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of are valid due to the fact that they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some customers. I do not use them for this site due to the fact that I do not require a number of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Wp-Cron
All that said, here are some of the bigger photo disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be rather made complex– specifically if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can cause some designers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or simply not enabling the functions 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 customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Wp-Cron
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to see that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (when you surpass the knowing curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site checklists to assist troubleshoot 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 look after all of it.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Wp-Cron
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin habits for great factors, but those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured permits less flexibility as well. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based upon a number of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to element additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible 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 enable on an Individual or Company. And this point goes even more if your site needs many plugins for complete performance.
The 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.
Furthermore, you cannot actually do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for efficiency & not having to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the functions you’re getting, you really don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Wp-Cron
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even consist of a number of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits requires additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t utilize them to spread out the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a costly option, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, however what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a terrific service with a strong product. 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 unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to fret about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see what you think about their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more flexibility/ much better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer care.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Wp-Cron