WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Jobs Austin
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first business to offer handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Jobs Austin
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has become a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all differ in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as a whole, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is necessary to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, normally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a various technique. 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 Jobs Austin
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous tasks because 2012. I don’t use them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business mentioned. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Jobs Austin
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, but the guideline is that the more complex your website is, the more complex the solutions to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a few fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally additional plugins, customized theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow site does not imply that you need a bigger, much better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, however sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to remain fast as you grow. There are a lot of options … however either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Jobs Austin
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to start packing the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or complex 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 might get with other services considering that you are free to focus on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an incorporated CDN, but they also provide international data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Jobs Austin
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Jobs Austin
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes 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:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has actually 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 stated, the hard feature of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never understand 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 evaluation, the important part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I want to search for access, systems, and understanding, all three require an investment of loan, time and competence.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with actually understood the fine functions of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of numerous concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Jobs Austin
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically because their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they seem to know that support is core to their value 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 nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are fairly uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that even though security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & an usually expensive situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Jobs Austin
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just up to 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your 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 just a couple dollars monthly.
Both which enable more storage & more check outs (ie, basically as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes on a monthly basis. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time repairing issues.
Basically, if your time is better designated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Jobs Austin
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on advancement & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing standard site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing 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’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a crucial factor, particularly having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third client type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on releasing a near-complete site all at once.
They do not have any previous practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make pledges and offer support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, numerous of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Jobs Austin
WP Engine excels not only on existing features however likewise on producing brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web development finest practices have actually altered drastically given that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous are valid due to the fact that they just aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some customers. I do not use them for this website due to the fact that I do not require much of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Jobs Austin
All that stated, here are a few of the larger photo downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be quite made complex– especially if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the unique backend can cause some developers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev site available to the public or simply not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they currently do.
Like many custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Jobs Austin
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to watch that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a substantial deal (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website checklists to assist repair 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.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And in most cases, support will just take care of everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Jobs Austin
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, but those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured enables less versatility too. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based on a number of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to element extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want 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 allow on an Individual or Business. And this point goes further if your site needs many plugins for full functionality.
The exact same opts for 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 cannot really do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for performance & not having to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the functions you’re getting, you truly don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Jobs Austin
Many shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even consist of a lot of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to expand the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest overall, however what is best for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a great service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to stress over hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see exactly what you think of their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more flexibility/ better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer support.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine Jobs Austin