WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Testimonials
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to supply managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Testimonials
While they have lots of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name recognition and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all differ in services offered. Some merely 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 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 provides 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 content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is necessary to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a different approach. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Testimonials
I’ve used WP Engine for different projects since 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying client.
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 client service.” 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 Testimonials
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more complex the solutions to speed become.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a few standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally extra plugins, custom style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish website doesn’t indicate that you need a larger, much better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to remain fast as you grow. There are a lot of services … however either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with very aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Testimonials
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating 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, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin packing the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or intricate the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are totally free to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an integrated CDN, but they also provide worldwide information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Testimonials
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Testimonials
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my 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 grown & changed 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 tough aspect of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever know if the story is because they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to look for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three require a financial investment of money, time and competence.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has interacted with in fact understood the great operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in 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 stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after several problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Testimonials
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically due to the fact that their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). However they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security basics 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Just like 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 basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually helped customers who have been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a generally costly circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Testimonials
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both of which enable more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however 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 incredible.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or designer time repairing problems.
Essentially, if your time is much better allocated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Testimonials
Like I said 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 lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, 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 a continuous basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site 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 likewise established enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is an essential element, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a start-up site owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any prior practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, so many of the improvements 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 benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Testimonials
WP Engine stands out not only on existing functions but also on creating new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development finest practices have altered drastically because I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to incorporate finest practices into implementation & jobs 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And lots of stand since they simply aren’t a fit 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 use them for this website since I do not need a lot of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Testimonials
All that said, here are some of the bigger picture disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be rather complicated– specifically if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can cause some designers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or just not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they already do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Testimonials
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to watch that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal 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 (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site checklists 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 they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply take care of everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Testimonials
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, however those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured enables less flexibility too. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also costly to pay based on a variety of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes further if your website requires lots of plugins for full performance.
The exact same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t truly do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up having to do an agonizing migration to another email company mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for efficiency & not needing to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you actually do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Testimonials
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed previously that doesn’t even include many of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t use them to spread out the cost of your plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest overall, but what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a great service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to fret about hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go take 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 about their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more freedom/ much better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Testimonials