WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Cname
While they have a lot of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all vary in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses 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 competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as an entire, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is very important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, generally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a different approach. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Cname
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various projects since 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” Here is their promo 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 Cname
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, but the guideline is that the more complex your website is, the more complex the options to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a slow site does not indicate that you require a bigger, much better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, however often it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might just need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain fast as you grow. There are lots of options … but either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Cname
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 installs still succeed on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s good 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.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, but they likewise offer worldwide data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Cname
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Cname
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among 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 said, the hard feature of consumer 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 talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to search for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of cash, time and expertise.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the website via chat.
Based on their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with actually knew the fine workings of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after several issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Cname
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly due to the fact that their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). However they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial 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 nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security basics 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 two. 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 secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have assisted customers who have been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a normally pricey situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Cname
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are just starting out 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 visits (ie, basically as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes each month. 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 visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or designer time fixing issues.
Essentially, if your time is much better designated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Cname
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable 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 first client type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine handles 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, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client 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 transfer to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a crucial aspect, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third client type is a start-up website owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any prior routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make pledges and offer support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, so many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Cname
WP Engine excels not only on current features but likewise on developing brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented new developer features that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web development finest practices have actually altered drastically given that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to incorporate finest practices into execution & tasks with designers.
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 best fit for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of stand due to the fact that they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I don’t use 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. Wp Engine Cname
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger photo disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be rather complicated– particularly if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the special backend can cause some designers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site available to the general public or simply not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they currently do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never explain finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Cname
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom 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 ideal IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a big deal (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website 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.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply take care of it all.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Cname
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, however those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured enables less flexibility too. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also pricey to pay based on a variety of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to element extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile 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 enable on an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your site requires lots of plugins for full performance.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t truly do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up having to do a painful migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for efficiency & not having to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the functions you’re getting, you actually don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Cname
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable 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 monthly tier.
And as mentioned previously that does not even include much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires extra expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot use them to expand the cost of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, however exactly what is best for you based upon your objectives, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to stress over hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see what you think of their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more liberty/ much better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. 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 quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Cname