WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Vs Kinsta
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first companies to supply managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Vs Kinsta
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all differ 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 managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as an entire, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is very important to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a different technique. 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 Vs Kinsta
I’ve used WP Engine for numerous projects since 2012. I do not utilize them for my main websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer care.” Here is their promotion pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Wp Engine Vs Kinsta
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the guideline is that the more intricate your website is, the more complex the solutions to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually extra plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site doesn’t indicate that you require 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 sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may just need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to remain quickly as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … but either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have personalized 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 set up and recognize the specific chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Vs Kinsta
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to begin packing the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complex the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are complimentary to focus on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an integrated CDN, but they likewise provide global data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Vs Kinsta
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Vs Kinsta
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a big focus 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 & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the hard feature of consumer 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 mention in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 require an investment of loan, time and expertise.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site through chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with actually understood the fine functions of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Vs Kinsta
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically since their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). However they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large community launching updates & testing 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 utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially 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 occurs. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a great deal 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 also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a typically expensive circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Vs Kinsta
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which enable more storage & more visits (ie, generally as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k gos to per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing downside 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 & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes each month. 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 gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time fixing issues.
Generally, if your time is better designated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Vs Kinsta
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first consumer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing 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 growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential factor, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a start-up site owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete site all at once.
They don’t have any previous practices or customs 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 promises and supply support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Vs Kinsta
WP Engine excels not just on current features however likewise on producing new, innovative hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have altered drastically since I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to incorporate best practices into application & tasks with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And numerous are valid because they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not need many of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Vs Kinsta
All that said, here are some of the bigger image disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be rather made complex– particularly if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the unique backend can cause some designers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev website available to the public or simply not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they already do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never explain best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Vs Kinsta
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to enjoy that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a big offer (when you surpass the knowing curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website lists to help 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.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply take care of it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Vs Kinsta
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for great factors, but those restrictions restrict adaptability and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured enables less versatility as well. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also expensive to pay based upon a variety of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to aspect additional 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 manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Business. And this point goes further if your website requires lots of 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 utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot really do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up needing to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically paying for performance & not needing to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you really don’t 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 frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Vs Kinsta
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly deal with 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 get into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed earlier that does not even consist of a number of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional costs & technical application 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 price. You can’t utilize them to expand the cost of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, but exactly what is finest for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to stress over hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see what you consider their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more flexibility/ much better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine Vs Kinsta