WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engineering Consultants
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first business to offer managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engineering Consultants
While they have a lot of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: 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.
And then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is essential to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a various method. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engineering Consultants
I’ve utilized WP Engine for different tasks considering that 2012. I do not use them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. 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 promise “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class client service.” Here is their discount 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 Engineering Consultants
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, but the guideline is that the more intricate your website is, the more complex the options to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of basic plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site does not imply that you require a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to remain fast as you grow. There are plenty of services … however either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engineering Consultants
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough information to start filling the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that method no matter how big or complicated 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 since you are complimentary to focus on speed factors that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an integrated CDN, but they likewise offer worldwide data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engineering Consultants
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engineering Consultants
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has actually grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough thing about client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never know if the story is due to the fact that they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I like to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three require a financial investment of loan, time and know-how.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over 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 client has communicated with really understood the fine workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after several issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engineering Consultants
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly because their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). But they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security basics are relatively 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. 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 & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something occurs. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s discouraging, laborious & a typically costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engineering Consultants
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same price 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 monthly.
Both of which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes each 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 check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or developer time fixing issues.
Generally, if your time is much better designated far from technical issues, 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 an investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engineering Consultants
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of consumers, 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 developers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs 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 client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement 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 customer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a crucial factor, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third consumer type is a startup site owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on introducing a near-complete site at one time.
They don’t have any prior routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once 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 client.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engineering Consultants
WP Engine stands out not just on present functions but also on developing new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have changed drastically since I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web development to integrate finest practices into implementation & jobs with developers.
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 best suitable for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And lots of stand because they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some clients. I don’t use them for this site since I do not need a number of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engineering Consultants
All that said, here are a few of the bigger picture disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be rather complicated– particularly if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can lead to some designers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website available to the general public or just not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice clients than they currently do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever explain best practice for the basic user. Wp Engineering Consultants
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to see that video numerous 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 customized backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (when you get past the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site lists to assist 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 for the most parts, support will just take care of all of it.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engineering Consultants
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or very real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, however those restrictions restrict flexibility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured enables less versatility as well. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based on a variety of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to element extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile 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 enable on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your website requires lots of plugins for full functionality.
The very 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 use case is out.
In addition, you can’t truly do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for performance & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you actually do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engineering Consultants
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even include a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits needs extra costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You cannot use them to expand the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, but what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & routines.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a solid 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 unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to fret about hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see exactly what you consider their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more freedom/ better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engineering Consultants