WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Hostname
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to offer handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Hostname
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, 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 version: They all vary in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as a whole, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is necessary to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, usually with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a different method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Hostname
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various tasks since 2012. I do not use them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & 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 basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “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. Wpengine Hostname
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, however the guideline is that the more complex your site is, the more complex the services to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
However a sluggish website does not mean that you require a larger, better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply have to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain fast as you grow. There are plenty of services … but either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually customized servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the precise chokepoint to get your website moving. Wpengine Hostname
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a personalized 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 one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to start packing the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it stay that way no matter how big or intricate the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an integrated CDN, but they likewise offer global data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Hostname
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Hostname
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes 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:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard feature of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never understand if the story is because they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I like to look for access, systems, and understanding, all three require an investment of money, time and know-how.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually engaged with actually knew the great workings of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Hostname
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically because their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). However they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals are relatively uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that even though security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site protected is still ultimately 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 whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Because 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 likewise works closely with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s frustrating, tedious & a generally costly circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Hostname
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty 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 check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time repairing concerns.
Basically, 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 really their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Hostname
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous basic website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a key factor, especially being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s special backend and plan on introducing a near-complete site all at once.
They do not have any prior 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 pledges and supply support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, numerous of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wpengine Hostname
WP Engine excels not just on existing features but likewise on creating new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented new designer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web development best practices have changed radically given that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to incorporate best practices into application & jobs with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of stand since they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some consumers. I don’t use them for this website due to the fact that I do not require many of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Hostname
All that said, here are a few of the bigger image downsides 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. Which difference can be quite complicated– particularly if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the distinct backend can lead to some designers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site available to the general public or merely not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more novice customers than they currently do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the general user. Wpengine Hostname
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to view that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (when you surpass the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website lists to assist repair 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 that they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just take care of it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Hostname
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of lowering & 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 need to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, however those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured allows for less versatility as well. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise costly to pay based on a variety of gos to.
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 need to factor extra hosting costs 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 deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Business. And this point goes further if your site requires lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t truly do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up needing to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for efficiency & not having to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based on the functions you’re getting, you really don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Hostname
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with 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 basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even consist of a number 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 local storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the price. You can’t utilize 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 aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, but exactly what is best for you based on your goals, budget, resources & routines.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a strong item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to worry about hosting problems.
If managed 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 exactly what you think of their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more freedom/ better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wpengine Hostname