WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Aws
While they have lots 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 advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However 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.
And then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, 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 content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as a whole, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is necessary to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a various approach. This evaluation will 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. Wp Engine Aws
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various tasks considering that 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who definitely likes 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 client or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational 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. Wp Engine Aws
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your site is, the more complex the solutions to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a few standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a slow website doesn’t indicate that you need a bigger, much better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply need to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay quick as you grow. There are a lot of services … but either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Aws
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, additional scripts, too many 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 information to start loading the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right from package, 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 consumed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, however they also provide international information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Aws
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Aws
Client 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 a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a huge 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 lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the hard aspect of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never 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 point out in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I like to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three require a financial investment of cash, time and knowledge.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all three boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually interacted with really understood the great workings of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to expertly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Aws
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically since their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But they seem to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security basics are relatively simple:
- 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 business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that although security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, 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. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a generally expensive circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Aws
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both of which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, basically as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or developer time repairing problems.
Generally, if your time is better assigned far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Aws
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types 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 developers and designers who want to concentrate on development & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a crucial aspect, particularly being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on launching a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any previous practices or custom-mades 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 pledges and provide support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Aws
WP Engine stands out not just on existing functions however also on developing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new designer features that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development best practices have altered significantly since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand enough web advancement to incorporate best practices into implementation & 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of stand since 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 good fit for some consumers. I don’t use them for this site since I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Aws
All that said, here are a few of the larger photo drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be rather made complex– particularly if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the special backend can result in some developers making mistakes varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open to the general public or merely not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they currently do.
Like numerous custom 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 describe finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Aws
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to see that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (when you surpass the learning curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site checklists to assist troubleshoot all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons 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 have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Aws
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for great reasons, however those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured allows for less adaptability also. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise costly to pay based on a variety of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to factor extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your website needs lots of plugins for complete performance.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you cannot truly do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for efficiency & not needing to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the functions you’re getting, you actually do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Aws
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” site owners how quickly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even include much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the rate. You cannot use them to expand the cost of your plan,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, but what is best for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use an excellent service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to worry about hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see what you think about their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more liberty/ better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Aws