WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Live Chat
While they have plenty of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many methods -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services offered. 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 handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized 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 competitor 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 conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is necessary to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a different method. This review will 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 Live Chat
I’ve utilized WP Engine for different jobs considering that 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Live Chat
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, however the general rule is that the more intricate your site is, the more complex the options to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
But a slow site doesn’t imply that you require a larger, better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, but in some cases 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 carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might just have to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to remain quick as you grow. There are plenty of options … however either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the specific chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wpengine Live Chat
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a 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 determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin filling the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complicated 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 given that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed factors that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an incorporated CDN, however they likewise supply international data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Live Chat
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Live Chat
Customer support has actually 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 good sense for them to put a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my 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 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 aspect of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is since they talked 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 treats support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three require an investment of cash, time and know-how.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing far better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website via chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually communicated with in fact understood the great operations of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Live Chat
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly since their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals 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 industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something takes place. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & a typically expensive situation (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. Wpengine Live Chat
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & 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 could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or designer time repairing issues.
Basically, if your time is much better allocated far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Live Chat
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first client 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 spending plan. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential element, especially being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s special backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any prior practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, 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 understands how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wpengine Live Chat
WP Engine stands out not just on present features but also on creating new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new developer functions that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even general web advancement best practices have actually altered significantly because I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web development to incorporate best 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And many are valid due to the fact that they simply aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some clients. I don’t utilize them for this website since I do not require many of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Live Chat
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger photo drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be rather made complex– especially if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can lead to some designers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site available to the public or just not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice customers than they already do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe best practice for the general user. Wpengine Live Chat
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to enjoy that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a big deal (as soon as you get past the knowing curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website checklists to assist fix 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.
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 don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Live Chat
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for good factors, however those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured permits less flexibility too. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also pricey to pay based on a number of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect extra 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 allow on a Personal or Company. And this point goes further if your site requires numerous plugins for full functionality.
The exact same goes for 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 utilize case is out.
Additionally, you can’t truly do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for efficiency & not needing to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the functions you’re getting, you actually don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally visiting regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wpengine Live Chat
Many shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned previously that does not even include much of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires additional costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot utilize them to expand the cost of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a pricey option, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best overall, however what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a fantastic service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to stress over hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see what you think of their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more flexibility/ better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wpengine Live Chat