WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Amazon S3
While they have plenty of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all differ in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a different approach. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Amazon S3
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous tasks considering that 2012. I do not use them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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. Wp Engine Amazon S3
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, but the general rule is that the more complex your website is, the more intricate the options to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly 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 someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
But a slow site does not indicate that you require a larger, better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may just have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain quickly as you grow. There are a lot of services … but either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Amazon S3
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well 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 puffed up style, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few 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 loading the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right from the box, and have it remain that method no matter how big or intricate the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are complimentary to focus on speed elements that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, but they also provide global information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Amazon S3
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Amazon S3
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a big emphasis 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 business has actually grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the difficult 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 with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to look for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 require a financial investment of money, time and know-how.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all three boxes. They maintain a range 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 upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with in fact understood 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 between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Amazon S3
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially since their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That means 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. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals are fairly 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 use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have helped customers who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & an usually costly situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Amazon S3
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both which permit more storage & more sees (ie, generally as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty 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 check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time fixing problems.
Basically, if your time is much better assigned far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Amazon S3
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of clients, 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 focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, 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 website over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing site owner who is irritated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is an essential factor, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, so many 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 benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Amazon S3
WP Engine stands out not only on present features however also on producing new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented new developer features that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have actually changed radically given that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to integrate finest practices into application & projects with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And numerous are valid due to the fact that they simply aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I do not use them for this website due to the fact that I do not require a number of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Amazon S3
All that said, here are some of the larger image downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be quite made complex– especially if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can cause some developers making mistakes ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the public or merely not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice customers than they already do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever describe finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Amazon S3
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to view 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 customized backend isn’t really going to be a substantial deal (when you surpass the learning curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of website checklists to assist troubleshoot all sorts of problems.
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 they do all this. And most of the times, support will just take care of everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Amazon S3
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or very real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, however those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled 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 way their prices is structured permits less versatility as well. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also pricey to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or just want 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 wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Company. And this point goes even more if your site requires numerous plugins for full functionality.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t truly do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for performance & not needing to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you really do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically visiting often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Amazon S3
Many shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” site owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even include a lot of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits needs 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 jobs or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You cannot utilize them to spread out the cost of your plan,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, however exactly what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to stress over hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see exactly what you consider their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more freedom/ much better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine Amazon S3