WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Geoip
While they have plenty of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
In either 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 great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a various approach. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine Geoip
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various jobs considering that 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, powerful 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 Geoip
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the options to speed become.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
However a slow website does not indicate that you require a larger, better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay quickly as you grow. There are plenty of options … but either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the specific chokepoint to get your site moving. Wpengine Geoip
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, 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 loading the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complicated the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, but they likewise offer international information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Geoip
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Geoip
Consumer support has actually 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, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
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 stated, the tough thing about consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever 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 fundamental part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to search for access, systems, and understanding, all three need an investment of cash, time and expertise.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with actually knew the great workings of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Geoip
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically because their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). 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 Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But 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 large community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are relatively simple:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, 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 website secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise 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 main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped clients who have been. It’s frustrating, tedious & a typically pricey scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Geoip
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and only up to 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, basically as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes on a monthly basis. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee 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 fixing problems.
Basically, if your time is much better designated far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Geoip
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is an essential element, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a startup website owner that has the budget and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on releasing a near-complete site at one time.
They don’t have any prior practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make pledges and offer support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, numerous 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, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wpengine Geoip
WP Engine stands out not just on existing functions however likewise on developing new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new developer features that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web development best practices have altered radically given that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to integrate finest practices into implementation & jobs with developers.
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 very best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many are valid due to the fact that they just aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some clients. I don’t utilize them for this site because I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Geoip
All that said, here are a few of the larger photo downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be rather made complex– especially if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the unique backend can result in some designers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev website open to the public or simply not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never explain best practice for the basic user. Wpengine Geoip
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 ideal IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a big deal (as soon as you get past the learning curve). However 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 eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website 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 in many cases, support will simply look after it all.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Geoip
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or extremely real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to specify 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 use.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, but those restrictions restrict flexibility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured allows for less adaptability as well. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s also pricey to pay based upon a number of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect extra 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 site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Company. And this point goes even more if your website needs numerous plugins for full performance.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t actually do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not having to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based on the functions 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 upgraded and typically visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wpengine Geoip
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even include many of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs extra costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to expand the cost of your plan,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, but exactly what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & routines.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to stress over hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see what you consider their backend. Make certain to talk 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 alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wpengine Geoip