WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Staging Url
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wpengine Staging Url
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name recognition and advanced functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all differ in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but 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 cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as an entire, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is very important to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however 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 Staging Url
I’ve utilized WP Engine for different projects given that 2012. I do not use them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business mentioned. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular 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 Staging Url
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the services to speed become.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a few standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally additional plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site doesn’t suggest that you require a larger, better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may 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 needs aid to remain quickly as you grow. There are a lot of services … but either you or a developer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wpengine Staging Url
They don’t even enable 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 sets up still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough information to start filling the page.
It’s great to have that kind of speed right from the box, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or complex the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are totally free to focus on speed factors that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, but they also offer worldwide data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Staging Url
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Staging Url
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has actually grown & altered a lot 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 customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever know if the story is due to the fact that they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to search for access, systems, and understanding, all three need an investment of loan, time and competence.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually connected with really understood the fine workings of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after a number of concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Staging Url
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly since their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole 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 a problem with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials are relatively simple:
- 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 commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something happens. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped clients who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a normally costly circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Staging Url
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same price from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both of which enable more storage & more visits (ie, basically as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of small WordPress websites off a low cost 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 overall value & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or designer time repairing issues.
Generally, if your time is much better assigned away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Staging Url
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases 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 an ongoing fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing site owner who is irritated at needing to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that process take place. The phone support is a key aspect, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third consumer type is a start-up site owner that has the spending plan and desires 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 website simultaneously.
They don’t have any previous habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, numerous of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wpengine Staging Url
WP Engine stands out not only on current functions however likewise on producing new, advanced hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even general web development finest practices have altered radically since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to incorporate best practices into execution & jobs 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 best suitable for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And lots of stand since they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some customers. I do not use them for this website since I do not require a number of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Staging Url
All that stated, here are a few of the larger picture drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, 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 dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they likewise do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can lead to some developers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or merely not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice clients than they currently do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss finest practice for the basic user. Wpengine Staging Url
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a huge deal (once you surpass the learning curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site lists to assist repair all sorts of problems.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply look after everything.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Staging Url
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or extremely genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, but those restrictions limit flexibility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured permits less adaptability too. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s also costly to pay based on a number of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to factor extra hosting expenses 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 further if your website needs numerous plugins for complete performance.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t actually do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up having to do an unpleasant migration to another email company mid-campaign.
Either way, 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 typically paying for efficiency & not having to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Staging Url
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard 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 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” website owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t even include much of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits needs extra costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t use them to expand the cost of your plan,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a costly option, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest overall, however exactly what is best for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a terrific service with a solid item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to fret about hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see what you consider their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more flexibility/ better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive 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 a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wpengine Staging Url