WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Version Control
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to provide handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Version Control
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name recognition and advanced functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
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 contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a various approach. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Version Control
I have actually utilized WP Engine for different projects given that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies pointed out. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer 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 Version Control
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your site is, the more complex the solutions to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a few basic plugins and a couple of small 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 normally extra plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site doesn’t suggest that you need a larger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, however sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might just have 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 stay fast as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … however either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Version Control
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin loading the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or complex the website gets.
*Note 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 may get with other services because you are free to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, but they also offer global data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Version Control
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Version Control
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled 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:
Take a 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 great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the difficult feature of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is since they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I want to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three need a financial investment of cash, time and expertise.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the site through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has connected with really understood the fine operations 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 customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Version Control
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,especially because their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). But they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That means 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. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security essentials are fairly 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 utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that even though security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something takes place. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a great deal of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also 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 primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have helped clients who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a generally pricey circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Version Control
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable 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 simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both which permit more storage & more sees (ie, basically as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & 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 regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost 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 could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time repairing problems.
Essentially, if your time is better assigned far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Version Control
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on development & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is an essential factor, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a start-up website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s special backend and intend on releasing a near-complete site at one time.
They don’t have any previous practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, numerous of the improvements they make are focused 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, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Version Control
WP Engine excels not only on current features but also on creating brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented new designer features that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web development best practices have actually altered radically considering that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to incorporate finest practices into implementation & tasks 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And many stand due to the fact that they merely aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some customers. I don’t use them for this website due to the fact that I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Version Control
All that stated, here are some of the larger photo disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be quite made complex– particularly if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the distinct backend can result in some developers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open to the public or simply not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they currently do.
Like many custom platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Version Control
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to see that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a huge deal (once you surpass the learning curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to learn 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 variety of site lists to assist repair 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 they do all this. And in most cases, support will just take care of all of it.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Version Control
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or very real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for great factors, but those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized websites, 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 versatile and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured allows for less flexibility too. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also pricey to pay based on a variety of visits.
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 aspect extra hosting expenses 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 deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Service. And this point goes even more if your site requires lots of plugins for complete performance.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t really do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up having to do a painful migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for efficiency & not having to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Version Control
Many shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even consist of a lot of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra costs & 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 sites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot use them to expand the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a pricey option, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, however what is finest for you based on your goals, 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 rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to fret about hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see what you think about their backend. Be 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’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine Version Control