WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Https Wpengine Tx
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to offer handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Https Wpengine Tx
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However 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 actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is necessary to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a different technique. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Https Wpengine Tx
I have actually used WP Engine for different tasks considering that 2012. I don’t use them for my main websites today (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business discussed. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Https Wpengine Tx
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, however the guideline is that the more intricate your website is, the more complex the services to speed become.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text site with a couple of standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally additional plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow website does not suggest that you require a larger, better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to stay fast as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … but either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually customized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and determine the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Https Wpengine Tx
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed 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 bloated style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right from package, and have it stay that method no matter how big or intricate the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an integrated CDN, but they also provide international data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Https Wpengine Tx
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Https Wpengine Tx
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has actually grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the difficult aspect of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never know if the story is due to the fact that they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three require a financial investment of cash, time and know-how.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the site by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has communicated with in fact knew the fine workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after a number of issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Https Wpengine Tx
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,especially because their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security basics 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 industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a great deal of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a normally expensive situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Https Wpengine Tx
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same price from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, basically as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation 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 regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time repairing issues.
Essentially, if your time is better allocated far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Https Wpengine Tx
Like I said at the start, 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 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process happen. The phone support is a crucial element, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any previous routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Https Wpengine Tx
WP Engine stands out not just on present functions but also on creating brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new developer features that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have actually altered drastically because I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to integrate finest practices into execution & jobs with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many are valid due to the fact that they simply aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I do not use them for this site due to the fact that I do not need many of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Https Wpengine Tx
All that said, here are a few of the bigger image drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be rather made complex– specifically if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can lead to some developers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev site available to the general public or merely not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they currently do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never describe best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Https Wpengine Tx
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to view that video multiple 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 going to be a huge deal (once you get past the learning curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site checklists to help troubleshoot all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply take care of everything.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Https Wpengine Tx
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit more to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for good factors, however those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured enables less flexibility also. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also expensive to pay based upon a variety of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to aspect 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 website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Business. And this point goes even more if your website requires many plugins for full performance.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot actually do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up needing to do a painful migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for performance & not needing to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you actually do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically visiting regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Https Wpengine Tx
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed earlier that does not even include many of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the price. You cannot use them to spread out the cost of your strategy,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest overall, however exactly what is finest for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to stress over hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a suitable 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 set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more flexibility/ much better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Https Wpengine Tx