WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Valuation
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all differ in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses 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 website material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is necessary to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a various approach. This review 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 Valuation
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous projects given that 2012. I do not use them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” 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 Valuation
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the guideline is that the more complicated your site is, the more complex the options to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text site with a few basic plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically additional plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
But a slow site does not imply that you require a larger, better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might just have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to stay quickly as you grow. There are plenty of options … however either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Valuation
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have such a customized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to start filling the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right out of package, and have it stay 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 back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an integrated CDN, but they also provide international information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Valuation
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Valuation
Consumer support has 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 an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a big emphasis 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 business has actually 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 thing about customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is since they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all three require a financial investment of cash, time and expertise.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually connected with really understood the fine functions of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of a number of concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Valuation
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly since their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). 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 Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals are relatively 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 see 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 protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something happens. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading 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 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, tiresome & a normally pricey circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Valuation
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same rate from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which permit more storage & more visits (ie, generally as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & 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 whole month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire 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 site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or designer time repairing concerns.
Basically, if your time is better allocated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly 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 Valuation
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first customer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process happen. The phone support is a crucial factor, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third consumer type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any prior practices or custom-mades 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 kind of customer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, so many 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, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Valuation
WP Engine excels not just on current features however likewise on creating brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new designer features that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even general web advancement best practices have actually altered drastically because I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand enough web advancement to incorporate finest practices into implementation & jobs with designers.
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 grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And many stand since they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some clients. I don’t utilize them for this site since I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Valuation
All that said, here are a few of the larger photo downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be rather made complex– especially if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they likewise do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can cause some designers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or just not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner consumers than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Valuation
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to view that video several 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 custom backend isn’t going to be a huge deal (when you surpass the learning curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website checklists to help fix all sorts of concerns.
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 why they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply look after everything.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Valuation
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and cannot 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 factors, however those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured enables less flexibility also. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s also pricey to pay based on a number of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to factor additional hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Company. And this point goes even more if your website needs many plugins for full functionality.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are planning to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot really do automated 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 email provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for efficiency & not having to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you truly don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Valuation
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed earlier that doesn’t even consist of a number 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 limits requires additional expenses & 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 sites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to spread out the expense of your plan,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a costly choice, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, however what is best for you based upon your goals, budget, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a strong item. 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 unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to worry about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a fit 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 install and see exactly what you think of their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more flexibility/ better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer service.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Valuation