WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Google Cloud
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to offer handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Google Cloud
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all vary in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer 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, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as a whole, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it’s important to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, normally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a various method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Google Cloud
I’ve used WP Engine for numerous projects given that 2012. I do not use them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, 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 Google Cloud
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more complex the services to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of basic plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish website does not indicate that you need a bigger, much better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, however sometimes it’s more about caching particular 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. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply have to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to stay quick as you grow. There are lots of options … however either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have customized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Google Cloud
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating 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 one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to start loading the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right out of package, and have it stay that method 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 back at better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services since 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 only provides an integrated CDN, however they also offer international data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Google Cloud
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Google Cloud
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a huge 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 since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough aspect of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever know if the story is because they talked to 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 company deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I prefer to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of loan, time and competence.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually communicated with in fact knew the great operations of WordPress and has actually had the ability 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 during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of a number of concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Google Cloud
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially since their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they seem to understand that support is core to their worth 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 absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals are fairly 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 commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is simple, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something happens. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted customers who have been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a typically pricey situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Google Cloud
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, generally as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation 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 entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or designer time fixing issues.
Essentially, if your time is much better assigned away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Google Cloud
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of clients 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 procedure, the very first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is a crucial element, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s special backend and plan on launching a near-complete website at one time.
They do not have any previous habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make pledges and supply support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, so many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Google Cloud
WP Engine excels not just on existing functions but also on producing new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out new developer features that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have changed radically because I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web development to integrate best practices into execution & jobs 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous are valid since they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some consumers. I do not use them for this website due to the fact that I do not need much of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Google Cloud
All that said, here are some of the larger image downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be quite complicated– specifically if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the distinct backend can cause some developers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open to the general public or just not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they currently do.
Like many customized 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 explain finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Google Cloud
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made 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 right IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a huge deal (once you surpass the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website checklists to help troubleshoot all sorts of problems.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply take care of everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Google Cloud
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin behavior for great factors, however those restrictions restrict adaptability and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured permits less versatility also. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also expensive to pay based on a number of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want 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 Service. And this point goes even more if your website requires numerous plugins for full performance.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t actually do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up having to do a painful migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for performance & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the functions you’re getting, you actually don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Google Cloud
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even consist of many of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to expand the expense of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a costly choice, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, however exactly what is best for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a fantastic service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to fret about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit 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 consider their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more freedom/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer support.
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 Google Cloud