WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Reviews
While they have plenty of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all differ in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher price 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, however as an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a different method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine Reviews
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous projects since 2012. I do not utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current client on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational 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 Reviews
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the general rule is that the more complex your site is, the more complicated the options to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text website with a couple of standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically additional plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
However a slow site doesn’t indicate that you require a bigger, better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just need to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to remain fast as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … however either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wpengine Reviews
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to start filling the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that method no matter how big or intricate the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are free to focus on speed elements that you can easily manage 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 supply global data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Reviews
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Reviews
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my 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 & changed 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 hard thing about consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is since they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I like to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 require an investment of loan, time and expertise.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually communicated with in fact knew the great operations of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after several concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Reviews
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically because their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). However they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals 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 commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top 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 for free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped customers who have been. It’s aggravating, tedious & an usually pricey 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 Reviews
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which enable more storage & more check outs (ie, basically as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & 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 entire monthly charge right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time fixing problems.
Essentially, if your time is better allocated far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Reviews
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing fundamental site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise developed 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 happen. The phone support is a crucial factor, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a startup site owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s special backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any previous routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wpengine Reviews
WP Engine excels not just on present functions but also on creating brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented new developer features that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have changed drastically because I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to integrate finest practices into application & tasks with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of stand because they simply aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit 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 Reviews
All that said, here are a few of the bigger picture drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be rather made complex– especially if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can lead to some designers making mistakes varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or merely not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner consumers than they already do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the basic user. Wpengine Reviews
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (when you surpass the knowing curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website checklists to help troubleshoot all sorts of concerns.
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 they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Reviews
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior for good factors, however those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But 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 enables less adaptability too. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element additional hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish 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 allow on a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your website needs many plugins for full performance.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you can’t really do automatic 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 service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for efficiency & not needing to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wpengine Reviews
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even include much of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires extra expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to spread out the expense of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, but what is finest for you based upon your goals, budget, resources & habits.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a great service with a strong product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to stress over hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see exactly what you think of their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more freedom/ better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wpengine Reviews