WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Expensive
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first business to offer handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Expensive
While they have a lot of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -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 become a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all differ in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that 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 set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as an entire, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is essential to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal 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 choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Expensive
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various jobs considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer 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 Expensive
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the general rule is that the more complicated your website is, the more complex the options to speed become.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text site with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with an affordable shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually extra plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish site does not imply that you need a larger, much better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might just have to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to remain quickly as you grow. There are plenty of options … however either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with very aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Expensive
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up 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, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to begin loading the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right out of package, and have it stay that method no matter how big or intricate the website gets.
*Note 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 considering that you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, however they also supply global data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Expensive
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Expensive
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because 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 position a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually grown & changed a lot since then. 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 a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never understand if the story is since they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or a cost.
I like to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need a financial investment of cash, time and competence.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has communicated with actually understood the great functions of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Expensive
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically due to the fact that their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security basics 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe and secure 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 & 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 tackle a great deal of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the guarantee 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), but have assisted clients who have actually been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a typically costly scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Expensive
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which enable more storage & more sees (ie, generally as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates every month & 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 monthly cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole 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 website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or designer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is better assigned far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Expensive
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a crucial aspect, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a startup site owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They do not have any previous practices 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 guarantees and supply support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Expensive
WP Engine stands out not only on present features however also on producing brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new designer features that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web development finest practices have actually altered drastically because I began observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web development to incorporate 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 fit for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of stand because 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 great suitable for some consumers. I don’t use them for this site because I do not need a number of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Expensive
All that said, here are a few of the bigger image drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be rather complicated– particularly if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can cause some designers making mistakes varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open to the public or just not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner consumers than they already do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Expensive
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to watch that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a substantial deal (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site lists to help repair 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 they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply look after everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Expensive
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of lowering & increasing complexity.
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 uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for great factors, but those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured enables less flexibility too. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also costly to pay based upon a number of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to factor additional hosting bills 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 an Individual or Service. And this point goes even more if your site needs lots of plugins for full performance.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot truly do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up having to do an agonizing migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
In any case, 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 typically paying for performance & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Expensive
Many shared hosting servers can handle the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t even consist of much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs additional costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t use them to expand the expense of your plan,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, but exactly what is best for you based upon your goals, budget, resources & habits.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use an excellent service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to worry about hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see exactly what you think of their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more liberty/ better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of user-friendly 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 elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Expensive