WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Banned Plugins
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first companies to offer managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wpengine Banned Plugins
While they have lots of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has become a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all differ in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it’s important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a various technique. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine Banned Plugins
I’ve used WP Engine for various projects given that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business mentioned. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” Here is their discount 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. Wpengine Banned Plugins
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complex your site is, the more complex the services to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text website with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically extra plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site doesn’t imply that you need a bigger, much better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay quick as you grow. There are lots of options … but either you or a designer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wpengine Banned Plugins
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough information to start packing the page.
Now here is the speed test of a standard WordPress install. WP Engine not just gets solid TTFB times however keep in mind how comparable the First Byte and First Render are to the Unoptimized website.
It’s great to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complex the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because you are totally free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an integrated CDN, however they likewise offer international data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Banned Plugins
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Banned Plugins
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company 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 difficult thing about client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever know 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 discuss in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to search for access, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of loan, time and expertise.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has interacted with really understood the great operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Banned Plugins
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially since their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). But they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security basics 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site 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 lot of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped customers who have been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a typically expensive scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Banned Plugins
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very 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 per month.
Both which enable more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes each 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 cost right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time fixing concerns.
Generally, if your time is better assigned away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Banned Plugins
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website 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 managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is an essential factor, especially being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a start-up website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s special backend and intend on releasing a near-complete site simultaneously.
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 features, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wpengine Banned Plugins
WP Engine stands out not just on present features but likewise on creating brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new designer features that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even basic web development best practices have actually changed radically because I began observing the market *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to incorporate finest practices into application & jobs with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of stand since they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I do not use them for this site due to the fact that I do not need a number of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Banned Plugins
All that stated, here are some of the bigger picture drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be rather made complex– specifically if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can cause some designers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the public or merely not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they currently do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the general user. Wpengine Banned Plugins
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to view that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (once you get past the learning curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website checklists to assist troubleshoot all sorts of issues.
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 in many cases, support will simply take care of all of it.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Banned Plugins
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s special 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 foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or very real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for great reasons, but those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured allows for less flexibility also. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, but it’s also pricey to pay based upon a number of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to factor extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Service. And this point goes further if your website requires lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you can’t actually do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up having to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for efficiency & not having to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually visiting often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Banned Plugins
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed previously that doesn’t even include many of the features you don’t 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 requires additional costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted 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 cannot use them to spread out the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a pricey option, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, but what is finest for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to stress over hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see what you consider their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more flexibility/ much better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wpengine Banned Plugins