WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Github
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all differ in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is very important to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, usually with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a various approach. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Github
I have actually used WP Engine for different jobs given that 2012. I do not utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational 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 Github
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, but the guideline is that the more intricate your website is, the more intricate the solutions to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text site with a few basic plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically extra plugins, custom-made theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish website does not indicate that you require a larger, better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply need to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain quickly as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … however either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the specific chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wpengine Github
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed 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, additional 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 determines how quickly the server returned enough information to start filling the page.
It’s great to have that kind of speed right out of package, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or complicated the website gets.
*Note 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 may get with other services because you are free to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, however they likewise supply global information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Github
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Github
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has 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 said, the tough feature of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to look for access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require an investment of money, time and expertise.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually communicated with in fact knew the great operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of a number of concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Github
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially due to the fact that their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they seem 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 Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals are fairly 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 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 obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something takes place. Since you technically have an “install” 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 closely with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the assurance 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 sites (knock on wood), however have actually helped clients who have actually been. It’s aggravating, tedious & a typically pricey circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Github
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both of which enable more storage & more gos to (ie, basically as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k gos to per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & 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 entire monthly fee right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, 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 website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or designer time repairing problems.
Generally, if your time is better designated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually 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 Github
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on advancement & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous basic site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential aspect, specifically having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any previous routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review modification. Wpengine Github
WP Engine stands out not only on current features however likewise on creating new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even general web development best practices have actually changed radically given that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know sufficient web advancement to integrate finest practices into implementation & tasks with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of stand because they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some customers. I don’t utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not require much of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Github
All that stated, here are some of the bigger picture disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be quite complicated– particularly if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the distinct backend can result in some designers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site available to the general public or simply not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever describe best practice for the basic user. Wpengine Github
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to enjoy that video numerous 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 customized backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (once you get past the learning curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site lists to help fix 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 that they do all this. And in most cases, support will just look after everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Github
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define 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 certain plugins & admin habits for great factors, but those restrictions restrict adaptability and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller 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 flexible and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured permits less adaptability too. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a number of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have 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 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 site requires lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot actually do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another email company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for performance & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the functions you’re getting, you actually don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wpengine Github
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even consist of many of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot use them to expand the expense of your plan,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a costly option, especially compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, but what is best for you based upon your goals, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to stress over hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see what you think of their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more liberty/ better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wpengine Github