WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first business to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
While they have a lot of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is necessary to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a various technique. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various projects given that 2012. I don’t use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current client on WP Engine who definitely 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 & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning 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. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, but the guideline is that the more complicated your website is, the more complex the options to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a few fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally extra plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow site does not imply that you require a bigger, better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might just need to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay fast as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … but either you or a developer should execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra scripts, a lot of 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 loading the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right from the box, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complicated the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are free to focus on speed factors that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, however they likewise offer international information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
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 position a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough thing about client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never understand if the story is because they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three need an investment of loan, time and know-how.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site via chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually engaged with in fact understood the great workings 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 throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of a number of issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,especially due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, 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 required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals 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 observe that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped clients who have been. It’s aggravating, tedious & a normally costly situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, essentially as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k gos to per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small WordPress sites off a low cost 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 value & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes monthly. 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 check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better assigned away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a key aspect, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s special backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They do not have any prior habits 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 pledges and offer support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming 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, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
WP Engine excels not just on present features however also on developing new, advanced hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented new developer features that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have actually altered drastically given that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand enough web advancement to integrate best practices into execution & jobs 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of stand due to the fact that they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some clients. I do not use them for this website because I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
All that stated, here are some of the larger picture drawbacks of utilizing 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 made complex– specifically if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they likewise don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can cause some designers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev site open up to the public or simply not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they currently do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the basic user. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to watch that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (when you get past the learning curve). However 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 ever actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website lists to assist fix all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply look after it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. 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 recognize. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s special 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 foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for good factors, however those bans restrict adaptability and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured permits less versatility too. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also costly 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 surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element extra 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 site on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Business. And this point goes even more if your site needs lots of plugins for full performance.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you cannot really do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up needing to do an agonizing migration to another email company 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 paying for efficiency & not needing to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the functions you’re getting, you really don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that does not even include many of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the rate. You cannot utilize them to spread out the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, however exactly what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a strong product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to worry about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more flexibility/ better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wpengine Business Plan Data Redundency