WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Not Updating
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first business to offer managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Not Updating
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all vary in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, 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, however as a whole, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is necessary to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a various method. This review 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 Not Updating
I’ve used WP Engine for various jobs since 2012. I do not utilize them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” Here is their promo 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 Not Updating
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, but the general rule is that the more complex 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 mostly text website with a few fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow website does not indicate that you require a larger, better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may just have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to remain quick as you grow. There are lots of options … however either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Not Updating
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, too many 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 start packing the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right from the box, and have it remain that way no matter how huge 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 since you are free to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an integrated CDN, however they likewise supply international information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Not Updating
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Not Updating
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge focus 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 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 stated, the hard thing about client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never know if the story is due to the fact that they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or an expense.
I like to look for access, systems, and understanding, all three need an investment of cash, time and expertise.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the site via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually interacted with actually knew the fine functions 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 client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of several problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Not Updating
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,especially because their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). However they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That means 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 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 simple:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & ready to roll back if something occurs. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle 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 likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & a generally expensive situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Not Updating
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost 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 enable more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty 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 entire month-to-month fee right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could 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 website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge 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 discuss any individual or developer time repairing problems.
Essentially, if your time is much better allocated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Not Updating
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on development & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a crucial element, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a startup website owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on launching a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any previous practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make pledges and offer support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, numerous of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Not Updating
WP Engine excels not only on current functions but likewise on producing new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have changed radically considering that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to incorporate best practices into implementation & projects 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And numerous are valid because they merely aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some clients. I don’t use them for this site since I do not need a number of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Not Updating
All that stated, here are some of the larger picture downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be rather complicated– particularly if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the unique backend can result in some developers making errors ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev website open to the public or simply not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they already do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Not Updating
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to enjoy that video several 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 substantial deal (when you surpass the learning curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site lists to assist troubleshoot 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 they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just take care of it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Not Updating
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, but those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured allows for less versatility also. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also pricey to pay based upon a number of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element additional 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 handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Service. And this point goes further if your website needs many plugins for full functionality.
The exact same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot truly do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for efficiency & not needing to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the features you’re getting, you really do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally visiting frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Not Updating
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly handle 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” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even consist of much of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local 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 jobs or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to spread out the expense of your strategy,especially if you are striking 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, especially compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, but what is finest for you based upon your objectives, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a solid product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to stress over hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see exactly what you think of their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more flexibility/ better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive 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 factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Not Updating