WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Disallowed
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to offer managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Disallowed
While they have a lot of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly 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 tailored to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it’s important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, generally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a different approach. 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 “best fit” for. Wpengine Disallowed
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various tasks considering that 2012. I do not utilize them for my main websites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning 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. Wpengine Disallowed
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your site is, the more intricate the solutions to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text site with a couple of basic plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with a budget friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually extra plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site doesn’t indicate that you require a larger, better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, however sometimes it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just need to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to stay quick as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … but either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and identify the precise chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wpengine Disallowed
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a customized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform because 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):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to start packing the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right out of package, and have it stay 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 back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are totally free to focus on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an integrated CDN, but they also supply global data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Disallowed
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Disallowed
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my 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 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 said, the tough feature of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or an expense.
I want to search for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 need an investment of cash, time and competence.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the website via chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually engaged with actually knew the fine operations of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Disallowed
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,especially because their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, 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 use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a great deal of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s aggravating, tedious & a generally expensive 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 Disallowed
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which permit more storage & more sees (ie, generally as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k gos to per month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup 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 cost right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month 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 monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time fixing concerns.
Generally, if your time is better allocated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Disallowed
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a crucial element, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third consumer type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make promises and provide support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of customers, 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 functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wpengine Disallowed
WP Engine stands out not only on existing features but also on creating new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new developer features that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually changed drastically because I began observing the market *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to integrate best practices into implementation & tasks with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And lots of are valid since 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 consumers. I do not utilize them for this website because I do not require a number of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Disallowed
All that said, here are a few of the larger photo disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite complicated– specifically if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can cause some developers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or simply not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner consumers than they already do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the general user. Wpengine Disallowed
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to view that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a substantial deal (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of website checklists to assist 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.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Disallowed
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
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 rather consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for good factors, however those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured enables less flexibility also. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also costly to pay based upon a number of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want 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 permit on an Individual or Business. And this point goes further if your website requires numerous plugins for full functionality.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t really do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended 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 rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for efficiency & not having to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you really do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wpengine Disallowed
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr duration 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 visits, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed previously that doesn’t even consist of much of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to spread out the cost of your plan,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, but exactly what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a solid product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to stress over hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see exactly what you consider their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more freedom/ better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wpengine Disallowed