WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Vs Flywheel
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first companies to offer handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wpengine Vs Flywheel
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has become a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all vary in services offered. 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. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the site 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 choices, however as an entire, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a various technique. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Vs Flywheel
I have actually used WP Engine for various tasks considering that 2012. I don’t use them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies pointed out. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or specialist 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 guarantee “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” Here is their discount pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Wpengine Vs Flywheel
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, but the general rule is that the more intricate your site is, the more complicated the solutions to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally extra plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a slow site doesn’t mean that you need a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to remain fast as you grow. There are plenty of services … but either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the precise chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wpengine Vs Flywheel
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a customized 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 among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough information to begin loading the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right out of package, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or complicated the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, however they likewise supply worldwide information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Vs Flywheel
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Vs Flywheel
Customer support has actually 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 an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a huge 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 business has grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the difficult feature of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however 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 company treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I like to look for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 require an investment of loan, time and expertise.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing better hitting all three boxes. They keep a range 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 upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually communicated with really knew the great operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after several problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Vs Flywheel
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically because their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). However 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 suppliers.
However there is 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 community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials are fairly 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 notice that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty 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 is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a lot of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted customers who have been. It’s discouraging, tedious & an usually pricey 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 Vs Flywheel
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same price from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which enable more storage & more gos to (ie, generally as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your installation 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 entire regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time repairing issues.
Generally, if your time is better allocated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Vs Flywheel
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing basic 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 website owner who is frustrated at having to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move 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 automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is an essential factor, especially being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on releasing a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any previous practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, numerous of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Wpengine Vs Flywheel
WP Engine stands out not only on current features but likewise on creating new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web development best practices have altered significantly considering that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to integrate best practices into execution & tasks with designers.
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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And many are valid because they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some clients. I don’t use them for this website due to the fact that I do not require a number of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Vs Flywheel
All that said, here are a few of the bigger photo downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite complicated– particularly if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can cause some developers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev site open to the general public or just not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more novice customers than they already do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the general user. Wpengine Vs Flywheel
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to see that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a substantial deal (when you surpass the learning curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site lists to help fix 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 that they do all this. And in many cases, support will just take care of all of it.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Vs Flywheel
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or extremely real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to define 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 use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, but those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical 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 always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured enables less versatility too. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a variety of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to factor additional 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 site on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Company. And this point goes even more if your website requires many plugins for complete functionality.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t truly do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for performance & not having to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you really do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically visiting regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wpengine Vs Flywheel
Many shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed previously that doesn’t even consist of much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to spread out the expense of your strategy,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a costly option, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, but what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a fantastic service with a strong item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to fret about hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go have 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 consider their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more liberty/ better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wpengine Vs Flywheel