WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Hhvm
While they have plenty of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire 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 offer 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 install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as an entire, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is very important to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a various technique. This review 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 Hhvm
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous tasks given that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies pointed out. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically 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 Hhvm
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, however the guideline is that the more intricate your website is, the more complex the services to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally extra plugins, custom style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
However a slow website does not imply that you require a bigger, much better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but sometimes it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may simply need to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay quick as you grow. There are a lot of options … but either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Wpengine Hhvm
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting 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 one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to start loading the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right out of 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 obsessed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are free to focus on speed elements that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an incorporated CDN, but they likewise provide international data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Hhvm
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Hhvm
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a big emphasis 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 & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough aspect of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never know if the story is since they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I like to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of money, time and know-how.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually communicated with in fact understood the fine workings of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Hhvm
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically since their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). But they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials 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 use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially 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 occurs. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a great deal of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & an usually pricey scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Hhvm
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both of which enable more storage & more gos to (ie, generally as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k sees per month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes every 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 visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time repairing problems.
Essentially, if your time is much better assigned far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Hhvm
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a key factor, especially being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd client type is a start-up site owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any prior habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Wpengine Hhvm
WP Engine stands out not just on existing features however also on developing brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even general web advancement best practices have actually altered drastically considering that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand enough web advancement to incorporate finest practices into execution & jobs with developers.
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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. 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 since they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not require a lot of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Hhvm
All that said, here are some of the bigger image disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be rather made complex– specifically if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can lead to some developers making mistakes ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open to the general public or merely not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner consumers than they currently do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never describe finest practice for the general user. Wpengine Hhvm
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to enjoy that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial deal (as soon as you get past the learning curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site lists to help repair all sorts of problems.
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 most of the times, support will just take care of it all.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not have to get 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 Hhvm
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior for good factors, however those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured permits less adaptability too. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, 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 website on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Company. And this point goes even more if your site requires lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot actually do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up having to do an unpleasant migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for performance & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually visiting frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Hhvm
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t even consist of much of the functions you do not 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 requires additional expenses & technical execution 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 sites, you need to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to expand the expense of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, however what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to stress over hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think of their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more liberty/ better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer support.
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 test to streamline things. Wpengine Hhvm