WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Largefs
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to supply managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Largefs
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all differ in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as a whole, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is very important to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, typically with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a different technique. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Largefs
I’ve utilized WP Engine for different projects because 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer service.” Here is their discount 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 Largefs
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, but the guideline is that the more complicated your site is, the more complex the services to speed become.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with an affordable shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally additional plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
But a slow website doesn’t suggest that you need a larger, much better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but sometimes it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may just need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to stay fast as you grow. There are plenty of options … however either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and determine the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Wpengine Largefs
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up 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 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 data to begin filling the page.
It’s great to have that kind of speed right from the box, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or intricate the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are complimentary to focus on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, but they likewise offer global data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Largefs
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Largefs
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company 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 feature of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never know if the story is since they talked to 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 company deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of cash, time and knowledge.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with actually understood the great workings of WordPress and has 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 client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Largefs
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially because their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they seem 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.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security essentials are fairly straightforward:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a lot of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & a typically expensive circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Largefs
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your 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 plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which permit more storage & more visits (ie, essentially as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k sees 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 downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any sees 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 don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or designer time fixing concerns.
Generally, if your time is better designated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really 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 Largefs
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems 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 procedure, the very first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process take place. The phone support is a crucial factor, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a startup website owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website at one time.
They do not have any prior practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make pledges and offer support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, numerous 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 benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Wpengine Largefs
WP Engine excels not only on present functions however also on producing brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even general web development finest practices have changed radically considering that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to incorporate finest practices into application & tasks 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of are valid since they just aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some customers. I do not use them for this site since I do not need a number of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Largefs
All that said, here are some of the larger image disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be rather complicated– especially if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can result in some developers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev site available to the general public or simply not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner consumers than they already do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the basic user. Wpengine Largefs
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to view that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (as soon as you get past the learning curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website checklists to help 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 why they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply take care of all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Largefs
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin behavior for good factors, however those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured enables less flexibility too. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also pricey to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your site needs numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot truly do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up having to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for performance & not having to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the functions you’re getting, you really don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wpengine Largefs
Many 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 plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as discussed previously that doesn’t even include a lot of the functions you do not 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 needs extra costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t use them to spread out the expense of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, however exactly what is finest for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a solid item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to worry about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more liberty/ much better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer 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 an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wpengine Largefs