WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Contact
While they have a lot of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting industry has become 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 supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, 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 website material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is necessary to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a various technique. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Contact
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous jobs considering that 2012. I do not use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, effective 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. Wp Engine Contact
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, however the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the options to speed become.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally additional plugins, customized theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site does not imply that you need a larger, much better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may just need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to stay quickly as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … but either you or a designer should execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the precise chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Contact
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough information to begin loading the page.
It’s great to have that kind of speed right from the box, and have it remain that way no matter how huge 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 considering that you are free to focus on speed aspects that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, but they also provide global data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Contact
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Contact
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among 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 business has grown & changed 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. Everybody has a story, however you never understand if the story is due to the fact that they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I like to search for access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need a financial investment of cash, time and competence.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually communicated with really knew the great operations of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of a number of issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Contact
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically because their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they seem to understand 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 suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security basics 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that even though security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site safe is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something takes place. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a great deal of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have assisted customers who have been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a generally costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Contact
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both which permit more storage & more sees (ie, generally as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & 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 cost right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or designer time fixing problems.
Basically, if your time is much better assigned far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Contact
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots 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 development & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing fundamental site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need 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 & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential aspect, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a startup website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s special backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website at one time.
They do not have any previous habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make promises and provide support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Contact
WP Engine stands out not just on existing features but likewise on developing brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have actually changed drastically given that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to incorporate best practices into execution & projects with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. 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 fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this site because I do not require much of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Contact
All that stated, here are some of the bigger photo downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be quite made complex– especially if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can cause 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 enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they already do.
Like many custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Contact
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to watch that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (as soon as you get past the knowing curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site lists to assist troubleshoot all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons why they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply look after all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Contact
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, but those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured permits less flexibility too. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a variety of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect extra hosting costs 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 deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your website needs 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 aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot really do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up having to do a painful migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for performance & not having to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you actually do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Contact
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic 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 reputable VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even include a number of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the price. You cannot use them to expand the expense of your plan,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a costly choice, especially compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, however exactly what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & practices.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to stress over hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go have 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 sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more liberty/ better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine Contact