WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Https Wpengine
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Https Wpengine
While they have a lot of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all differ in services provided. 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 handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it’s important to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, usually with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a different method. This evaluation will 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
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous tasks considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business discussed. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” Here is their promotion pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Wp Engine Https Wpengine
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the services to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text site with a few standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with an affordable shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
But a sluggish site does not mean that you need a bigger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to transport 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 just have to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain fast as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … however either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with very aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Https Wpengine
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin packing the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right out of package, and have it remain 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 back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, however they likewise provide global data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Https Wpengine
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
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough thing about client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never know if the story is since they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three require a financial investment of money, time and expertise.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the website via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually interacted 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 in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Https Wpengine
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically since their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). But they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large community 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty 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 sites (knock on wood), but have assisted customers who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a generally expensive situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Https Wpengine
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and only up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out 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 check outs (ie, basically as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k gos to per month on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular 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 whole monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time fixing issues.
Generally, if your time is better assigned away from technical issues, 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 a cost.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Https Wpengine
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on advancement & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous basic site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a much better host.
They’re also 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 happen. The phone support is a crucial aspect, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any prior practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make pledges and offer support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Https Wpengine
WP Engine stands out not just on current functions however likewise on producing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new designer features that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have changed radically because I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web development to incorporate finest practices into implementation & projects with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And many stand due to the fact that they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some clients. I do not utilize them for this site because I do not require many of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Https Wpengine
All that said, here are a few of the larger photo disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be quite complicated– especially if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can cause some developers making mistakes varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open to the general public or merely not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they currently do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never describe best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Https Wpengine
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to see that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (once you get past the knowing curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never actually stops being quirky 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.
Once again– they have reasons why they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply look after all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Https Wpengine
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or very real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, but those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured enables less adaptability also. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a variety of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Business. And this point goes further if your site needs lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot really do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & 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 pricing based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not needing to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the functions you’re getting, you actually don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Https Wpengine
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, 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 discussed earlier that doesn’t even include a number of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits needs additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to expand the expense of your strategy,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a costly option, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, but exactly what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use an excellent service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to fret about hosting issues.
If handled 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 set up and see what you think about their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more freedom/ better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually 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 a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Https Wpengine