WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Enable Debugging
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first companies to provide managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wpengine Enable Debugging
While they have lots 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 recognition and advanced functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting market has become 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 offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
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 compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is essential to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a different technique. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Enable Debugging
I’ve used WP Engine for different projects given that 2012. I don’t use them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” 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 Enable Debugging
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your website is, the more intricate the services to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text website with a few standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with an affordable shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
But a slow website doesn’t suggest that you need a larger, much better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to carry 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 get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to remain fast as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … but either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wpengine Enable Debugging
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up 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, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin packing the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that way no matter how big or intricate 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 because you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an integrated CDN, but they likewise provide worldwide data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Enable Debugging
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Enable Debugging
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a big 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 actually grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard feature 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 spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I want to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of cash, time and proficiency.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website through chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has communicated with actually understood the great workings 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 customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Enable Debugging
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially since their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). But they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security essentials are relatively uncomplicated:
- 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 industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t 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 & ready to roll back if something occurs. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually helped customers who have actually been. It’s discouraging, laborious & a generally expensive scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Enable Debugging
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, generally as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge 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 entire month-to-month charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or designer time repairing issues.
Basically, if your time is much better designated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Enable Debugging
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first customer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on development & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a key factor, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third consumer type is a start-up site owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on launching a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any previous routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make pledges and provide support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wpengine Enable Debugging
WP Engine stands out not only on present features but also on developing brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented new developer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have altered drastically since I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know sufficient web advancement to incorporate finest practices into execution & projects 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And numerous stand since they merely aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some clients. I don’t use them for this website since I do not require much of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Enable Debugging
All that said, here are some of the larger photo disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be rather made complex– particularly if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can result in some developers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open to the public or merely not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they currently do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the basic user. Wpengine Enable Debugging
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to watch that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a big deal (when you surpass the knowing curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site lists to help repair 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.
Once again– they have reasons why they do all this. And in most cases, support will just take care of all of it.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Enable Debugging
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise associated with 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 need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, but those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted 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 permits less versatility also. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send, however it’s also costly to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to aspect extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Company. And this point goes further if your site needs lots of plugins for full functionality.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot really do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for performance & not needing to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Enable Debugging
Many shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even include much of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly 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 rate. You can’t utilize them to spread out the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than 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 a pricey alternative, especially compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, however exactly what is best for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to stress over hosting concerns.
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 assurance. So do a test install and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more liberty/ better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer support.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wpengine Enable Debugging