WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Php 7
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to supply handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wpengine Php 7
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name recognition and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a different approach. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Php 7
I have actually used WP Engine for various tasks given that 2012. I don’t use them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business discussed. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” Here is their promotion 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 Php 7
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, however the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more complex the options to speed become.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a couple of standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a budget friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
However a slow site does not mean that you need a bigger, better server. It does indicate 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 particular resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might just need to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to stay fast as you grow. There are plenty of services … but either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the specific chokepoint to get your site moving. Wpengine Php 7
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to start filling the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complicated the website 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 may get with other services since you are totally free to focus on speed factors that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, however they likewise offer international data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Php 7
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Php 7
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult aspect of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never understand 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 vital part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three need a financial investment of cash, time and knowledge.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has communicated with in fact understood the great operations of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Php 7
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly because their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). However they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That implies 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 application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security essentials are relatively 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a generally pricey scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Php 7
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same price 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 permit more storage & more visits (ie, basically as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes on a monthly basis. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time fixing problems.
Generally, if your time is much better allocated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Php 7
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is an essential aspect, particularly being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd client type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on releasing a near-complete site all at once.
They don’t have any previous habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, so many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Wpengine Php 7
WP Engine excels not only on present features however also on developing new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out new designer functions that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even general web advancement best practices have actually changed radically since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to incorporate best practices into application & projects with designers.
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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And lots of are valid since they merely aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some consumers. I do not use them for this website since I do not require many of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Php 7
All that stated, here are some of the larger picture disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite made complex– specifically if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the unique backend can lead to some developers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site open to the general public or just not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the basic user. Wpengine Php 7
Here is their video on pushing your site 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 ideal IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a big offer (when you get past the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website lists to help fix all sorts of issues.
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 simply look after everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Php 7
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for great factors, but those restrictions limit versatility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured allows for less adaptability too. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, 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 manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Business. And this point goes even more if your site needs many plugins for full functionality.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t truly do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for performance & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally visiting regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Php 7
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) managed 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 certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned previously that does not even consist of much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires additional costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the price. You can’t use them to expand the cost of your plan,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, especially compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, however what is best for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a fantastic service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to stress over hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see what you think of their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more flexibility/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wpengine Php 7