WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Vs Hostgator
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to offer handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Vs Hostgator
While they have a lot of competition 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 site builders, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all vary in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And 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 install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, 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 examines online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a various technique. This review 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 “best fit” for. Wpengine Vs Hostgator
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous tasks considering that 2012. I do not utilize them for my main websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a current client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business pointed out. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer 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 Hostgator
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your site is, the more intricate the solutions to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically extra plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish website doesn’t imply that you require a bigger, much better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big 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 requires assistance to stay quick as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … however either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Wpengine Vs Hostgator
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra scripts, a lot of 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 information to start packing the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right out of package, and have it remain that method no matter how big 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 better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are totally 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 only supplies an incorporated CDN, but they likewise offer international information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Vs Hostgator
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Vs Hostgator
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good 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 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 stated, the difficult aspect of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never understand if the story is because they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or an expense.
I want to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of cash, time and competence.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has communicated with actually understood the great workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly help 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 Vs Hostgator
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially since their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But 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 very large community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, 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 use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a lot of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have assisted clients who have been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & an usually costly situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Vs Hostgator
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both of which enable more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes every 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 update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or designer time fixing problems.
Generally, if your time is better allocated far 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 a financial investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Vs Hostgator
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is an essential factor, particularly having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on releasing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wpengine Vs Hostgator
WP Engine excels not just on current features but likewise on developing brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer features that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually changed radically because I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web development to incorporate finest practices into execution & tasks 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous are valid since they simply 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 consumers. I don’t utilize them for this site since I do not need a number of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Vs Hostgator
All that said, here are some of the larger image disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be quite made complex– specifically if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can lead to some designers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev website available to the public or simply not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they currently do.
Like many custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the basic user. Wpengine Vs Hostgator
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to see 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 custom-made backend isn’t going to be a big offer (when you get past the knowing curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site lists 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.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply take care of everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Vs Hostgator
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin habits for great factors, but those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done 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 enables less adaptability also. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise pricey to pay based on a variety of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Company. And this point goes even more if your site needs many plugins for full functionality.
The exact 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 utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot actually do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up needing to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail 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 normally spending for efficiency & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the functions you’re getting, you really don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wpengine Vs Hostgator
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how quickly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even consist of a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits requires extra costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the price. You can’t utilize them to expand the expense of your plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, especially compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, however what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a strong item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to stress over hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see what you consider their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more freedom/ much better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer service.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wpengine Vs Hostgator