WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Facebook
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to provide managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Facebook
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as an entire, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it’s important to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, generally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a different technique. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Facebook
I have actually used WP Engine for different jobs since 2012. I do not utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies pointed out. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular speed, effective 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 Facebook
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complex your site is, the more complicated the options to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically additional plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow site doesn’t indicate that you require a bigger, much better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain quickly as you grow. There are lots of solutions … however either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the precise chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Facebook
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough information to begin packing the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complicated the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are totally free to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an integrated CDN, however they also supply international information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Facebook
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Facebook
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a big focus 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 business has 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 stated, the difficult feature of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never know if the story is since they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to search for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 require an investment of loan, time and know-how.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website via chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with really knew the fine operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of several concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Facebook
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically because their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). However they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are fairly straightforward:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a great deal of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a normally expensive circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Facebook
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup 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, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which enable more storage & more sees (ie, basically as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes each 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 fee right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or developer time fixing problems.
Generally, if your time is better designated 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 a financial investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Facebook
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a crucial factor, particularly being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a start-up website owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any previous practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make promises and provide support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, so many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Facebook
WP Engine stands out not just on current functions however likewise on creating new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new developer features that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even basic web development best practices have actually changed significantly since I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to incorporate best practices into implementation & tasks with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of are valid because they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I don’t use them for this website because I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Facebook
All that said, here are some of the bigger image disadvantages 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. And that distinction can be rather made complex– particularly if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can lead to some developers making mistakes ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website available to the general public or just not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they already do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Facebook
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to view that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a substantial deal (once you surpass the learning curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of website lists to assist fix 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 simply take care of it all.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Facebook
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior for great factors, but those restrictions restrict flexibility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured enables less adaptability also. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s also expensive to pay based on a number of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want 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 allow on a Personal or Business. And this point goes even more if your site needs many plugins for full functionality.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t actually do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up having to do an agonizing migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for efficiency & 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 really do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually visiting often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Facebook
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic 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 trusted VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned previously that does not even include a number of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits needs extra expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the cost. You cannot utilize them to expand the cost of your plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is an expensive option, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, but exactly what is best for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a fantastic service with a strong item. Their rates 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 unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to stress over hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see what you think of their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more flexibility/ better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Facebook