WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Php Version
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first business to supply handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Php Version
While they have a lot of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all vary in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a different method. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Php Version
I’ve used WP Engine for different jobs because 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Version
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more complex the solutions to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of basic plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with an economical shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally extra plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
However a slow site does not suggest that you need a bigger, much better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply need to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to remain quickly as you grow. There are a lot of services … but either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have customized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the specific chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wpengine Php Version
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating 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 clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to start packing the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right from the box, and have it remain that way no matter how big or intricate the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are totally free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, however they also provide worldwide information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Php Version
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Php Version
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put 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 company has 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 said, the tough aspect of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone 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 point out in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I want to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three require an investment of money, time and proficiency.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the website through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually connected with actually understood the fine workings of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Php Version
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly since their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). But they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security basics are relatively 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 utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something happens. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a great deal of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s aggravating, tedious & a normally costly scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Php Version
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just as much as 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 starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, basically as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation 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 entire regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole 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 website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly 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 mention any individual or designer time fixing problems.
Generally, if your time is much better allocated far from technical issues, 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 a financial investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Php Version
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous fundamental website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer 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 much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that process take place. The phone support is a key factor, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup site owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on launching a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wpengine Php Version
WP Engine excels not only on present features however likewise on developing brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented new designer features that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even basic web development best practices have actually altered significantly considering that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web advancement to integrate best practices into application & jobs 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 grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous are valid due to the fact that they just aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Php Version
All that said, here are some of the larger picture disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be rather complicated– especially if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
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 likewise don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can lead to some developers making mistakes varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev website 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 numerous custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain best practice for the basic user. Wpengine Php Version
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to view that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety 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 why they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply look after all of it.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Php Version
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s special 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 usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or very genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, but those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured permits less versatility also. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, but it’s also costly to pay based upon a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your site needs lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot actually do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up having to do a painful migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for performance & not having to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you actually do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually visiting often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wpengine Php Version
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t even consist of a number 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 local storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the price. You cannot use them to expand the cost of your plan,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a pricey option, especially compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best overall, but what is finest for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to worry about hosting concerns.
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 assurance. So do a test install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more flexibility/ better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer support.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wpengine Php Version