WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Hipaa
While they have a lot of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all vary in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is essential to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a various method. This evaluation 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 Hipaa
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various projects because 2012. I don’t use 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 review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business mentioned. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much measure 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 Hipaa
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, however the guideline is that the more intricate your website is, the more complex the services to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a few standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site does not imply that you need a larger, much better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to remain quickly as you grow. There are plenty of options … but either you or a designer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and determine the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Wpengine Hipaa
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up 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 information to begin loading the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right from the box, and have it remain that method no matter how big 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 may get with other services considering that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, however they likewise supply global data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Hipaa
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Hipaa
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position 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 company has actually grown & altered 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 thing about consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever know if the story is since they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I prefer to look for access, systems, and knowledge, all three need a financial investment of cash, time and knowledge.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the site by means of chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually interacted with really understood the great functions of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Hipaa
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically since their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely 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 very own WordPress set up, the security basics are fairly 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the obligation 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 basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Because 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 closely with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s frustrating, tedious & a normally expensive scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Hipaa
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and only up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which permit more storage & more visits (ie, generally as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates 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 worth & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
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 whole month-to-month fee right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time repairing issues.
Generally, if your time is better designated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Hipaa
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that process happen. The phone support is a crucial factor, especially being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a startup website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any previous practices or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make pledges and supply support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, so many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wpengine Hipaa
WP Engine stands out not only on current features however also on developing new, innovative hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new designer features that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development best practices have altered significantly since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to integrate best practices into execution & 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of stand due to the fact that they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some clients. I do not utilize them for this site since I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Hipaa
All that stated, here are some of the larger picture drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be rather made complex– specifically if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
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 many hosting companies, they likewise don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can lead to some designers making errors varying from annoying redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the public or just not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they currently do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the basic user. Wpengine Hipaa
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to watch that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (when you surpass the learning curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website lists to assist troubleshoot 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.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply look after all of it.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Hipaa
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of lowering & 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 rather consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for great reasons, but those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured allows for less flexibility also. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a variety of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to aspect extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible 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 allow on a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your website needs many plugins for complete functionality.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot actually do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for performance & not needing to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the features you’re getting, you truly don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wpengine Hipaa
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even consist of a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs additional costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly 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 cost of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, especially compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, however exactly what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & practices.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to worry about 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 guarantee. So do a test set up and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more liberty/ better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wpengine Hipaa