WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Certificate
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to supply managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Certificate
While they have a lot of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all vary in services offered. Some merely 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, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as a whole, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, usually with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a different method. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine Certificate
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous tasks because 2012. I do not use them for my main sites 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 advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business mentioned. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Certificate
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complex 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 couple of standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom-made theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a slow website doesn’t suggest that you need a larger, better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might simply have to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay quick as you grow. There are lots of options … however either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Wpengine Certificate
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it remain that way no matter how big or intricate the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services since you are complimentary to focus on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, however they also supply worldwide data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Certificate
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Certificate
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard aspect of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never know if the story is since 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 company deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I like to look for access, systems, and knowledge, all three require an investment of money, time and expertise.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the site through 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 actually understood the fine operations of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after a number of concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Certificate
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially because their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). But 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 Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that even though security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe and 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 & ready to roll back if something takes place. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & an usually costly situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Certificate
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, essentially as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) 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 issues or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or developer time fixing problems.
Generally, if your time is better designated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Certificate
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard website upkeep. 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 annoyed at having to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a crucial aspect, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third client type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on releasing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any previous routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Wpengine Certificate
WP Engine excels not only on existing features but also on creating new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new designer functions that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have actually altered radically since I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand enough web advancement to incorporate finest practices into execution & tasks with designers.
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 very best fit for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And numerous are valid because they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some customers. I do not use them for this site due to the fact that I do not require a lot of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Certificate
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger picture drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be rather made complex– specifically if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the special backend can lead to some designers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open to the public or merely not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they currently do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever describe finest practice for the basic user. Wpengine Certificate
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to enjoy that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (when you surpass the knowing curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site lists to help troubleshoot 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.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply take care of all of it.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Certificate
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, however those restrictions restrict adaptability and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed 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 method their prices is structured enables less adaptability too. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send, however it’s also pricey to pay based on a number of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect additional hosting bills 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 allow on an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your site needs numerous plugins for full performance.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot actually do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for efficiency & not needing to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you truly don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wpengine Certificate
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental 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 reputable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that does not even include much of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the price. You can’t utilize them to expand the cost of your plan,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a costly choice, especially 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 upon your goals, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a great service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to fret about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go take 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 consider their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more flexibility/ better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wpengine Certificate