WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Jobs
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting market has become 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 offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site 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 alternatives, but as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is very important to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a various approach. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Jobs
I’ve used WP Engine for different projects considering that 2012. I don’t use them for my main websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or specialist 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 “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Jobs
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the services to speed become.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a few fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with a budget friendly shared hosting plan 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, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish site doesn’t indicate that you require a larger, better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay fast as you grow. There are lots of services … however either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the precise chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Jobs
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to begin packing the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that way no matter how big or complicated the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because you are totally free to focus on speed factors that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, but they also supply international information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Jobs
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
Client support has 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 a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my 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 since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough thing about client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever know if the story is since they talked with 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 an expense.
I prefer to try to find access, systems, and understanding, all three require a financial investment of loan, time and proficiency.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has interacted with in fact understood the fine functions of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Jobs
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly because their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). But they seem to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. 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 essentials are relatively 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 business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe 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 secure 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 everything off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a generally expensive scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Jobs
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense 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 & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee 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 might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or designer time repairing issues.
Essentially, if your time is better assigned far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Jobs
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears 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 very first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, 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 requirement for an ongoing standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a key factor, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third client type is a start-up site owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on launching a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any prior routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once 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 originating from, so many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Jobs
WP Engine stands out not just on existing features however likewise on producing brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have actually changed drastically given that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand adequate web development to integrate best practices into implementation & jobs with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many are valid due to the fact that they just aren’t a fit for everybody. 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 website since I do not need much of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Jobs
All that said, here are a few of the bigger image disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite made complex– specifically if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the unique backend can lead to some designers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website available to the general public or simply not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they already do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Jobs
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to view that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (as soon as you get past the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website lists to assist fix 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.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply look after everything.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Jobs
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or very genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, however those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured permits less flexibility too. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also pricey to pay based upon a number of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need 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 site on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Service. And this point goes further if your website requires numerous plugins for full performance.
The exact same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you cannot really do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up having to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically paying for efficiency & not having to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Jobs
Many shared hosting servers can handle the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that does not even consist of many of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs additional expenses & 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 sites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot use them to expand the expense of your plan,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a pricey option, especially compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, however what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a strong product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched 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 suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think of their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more liberty/ much better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually appreciated their balance of user-friendly 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 test to streamline things. Wp Engine Jobs