WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Docker
While they have plenty of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all differ in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as an entire, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a different method. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine Docker
I’ve utilized WP Engine for different projects considering that 2012. I do not use them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & opinion is based upon 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 “spectacular 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 Docker
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the solutions to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of basic plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site does not suggest that you need a bigger, better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, however sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain quickly as you grow. There are lots of services … however either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wpengine Docker
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right from package, 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 better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are complimentary to focus on speed aspects that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, but they likewise supply global information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Docker
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Docker
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult aspect of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever 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 vital part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I want to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three require an investment of cash, time and proficiency.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the site by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with in fact understood the great operations of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly assist 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 Docker
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,especially because their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial 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 absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security essentials are relatively straightforward:
- 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 industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that even though security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website secure is still ultimately 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 everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something takes place. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a great deal of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually helped customers who have actually been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a normally pricey scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Docker
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same price from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k sees each month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & 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 entire regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any gos to 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 use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or developer time fixing issues.
Generally, if your time is better assigned far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Docker
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first consumer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on development & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing site owner who is irritated at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential aspect, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client 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 comfortable discovering WP Engine’s special backend and intend on releasing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any prior habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, numerous of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Wpengine Docker
WP Engine stands out not just on present functions but likewise on developing new, advanced hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web development finest practices have altered significantly since I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web development to incorporate best practices into execution & projects 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And numerous stand because they just aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some consumers. I don’t use them for this site because I do not need a lot of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Docker
All that said, here are a few of the bigger picture disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be quite made complex– especially if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the distinct backend can result in some designers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev website available to the public or just not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the general user. Wpengine Docker
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to enjoy that video several 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 customized backend isn’t going to be a big offer (when you get past the knowing curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site lists to assist troubleshoot all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just take care of it all.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Docker
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, but those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured permits less flexibility as well. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, however it’s also costly to pay based upon a variety of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to factor additional hosting costs 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 permit on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your website requires many plugins for complete performance.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot really do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another email company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for performance & not having to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the functions you’re getting, you actually do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wpengine Docker
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” site owners how quickly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even consist of a lot of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the price. You can’t utilize them to expand the expense of your strategy,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, however what is finest 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 strong product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use 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 fret about hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more liberty/ much better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wpengine Docker