WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Austin Careers
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to supply managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Austin Careers
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all vary in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, generally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a different technique. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Austin Careers
I have actually used WP Engine for different tasks given that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary 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 pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business mentioned. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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. Wp Engine Austin Careers
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the options to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a few basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually additional plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site does not mean that you require a bigger, much better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply need to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to remain quick as you grow. There are plenty of services … but either you or a developer must implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and determine the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Austin Careers
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up 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 start loading the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right out of package, and have it stay that way no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are totally free to focus on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, however they also offer international information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Austin Careers
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Austin Careers
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 & changed 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 thing about consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never know if the story is since they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or an expense.
I want to search for access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need an investment of loan, time and know-how.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site via chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has connected with in fact knew the great workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of several issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Austin Careers
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically since their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). But 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 whole Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials are fairly 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a lot of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a typically costly situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Austin Careers
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same cost 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 monthly.
Both which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, essentially as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & 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 whole month-to-month fee right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) 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 issues or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time repairing concerns.
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 an investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Austin Careers
Like I said at the beginning, 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 a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first customer type seems to be WordPress designers 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 site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is a crucial factor, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website all at once.
They do not 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, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, so many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Austin Careers
WP Engine stands out not only on existing functions but also on producing new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web development finest practices have altered radically since I started observing the market *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web development to integrate finest practices into application & jobs 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 very best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And numerous stand since they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this website because I do not require much of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Austin Careers
All that said, here are a few of the larger photo drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be quite complicated– particularly if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can cause some developers making mistakes ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or just not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner consumers 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 extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Austin Careers
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to view that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a huge deal (when you get past the learning curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website checklists to help troubleshoot all sorts of problems.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And most of the times, support will just take care of it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Austin Careers
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly 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 habits for great factors, however those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured permits less adaptability as well. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to aspect extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Business. And this point goes further if your website requires many plugins for full functionality.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you cannot really do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up having to do an unpleasant migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for performance & not having to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you actually do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Austin Careers
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even include much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits needs extra costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly 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 rate. You can’t use them to spread out the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a pricey option, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, however what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to worry about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more liberty/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Austin Careers