WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Customer Service
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first companies to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Customer Service
While they have plenty of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all differ in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as an entire, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it’s important to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a various technique. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Customer Service
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous jobs given that 2012. I do not utilize them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Customer Service
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, however the general rule is that the more intricate your site is, the more complex the options to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site doesn’t suggest that you require a bigger, much better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may simply need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to remain quickly as you grow. There are plenty of options … but either you or a designer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Customer Service
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra 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 great to have that kind of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or intricate 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 concentrate on speed elements that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an integrated CDN, however they likewise provide international data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Customer Service
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Customer Service
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 & altered 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 hard thing about client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that they talked with 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 a financial investment or a cost.
I want to search for access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need an investment of loan, time and competence.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually connected with in fact knew the fine operations of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Customer Service
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly due to the fact that their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). But they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that even though 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 do not lock it, keeping your website protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally 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 happens. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a lot of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have assisted customers who have actually been. It’s aggravating, laborious & an usually expensive situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Customer Service
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reliable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k sees each month on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
If you lose any check outs 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 website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or developer time repairing problems.
Generally, if your time is better assigned far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Customer Service
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots 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 handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a crucial element, especially being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a startup site owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s special backend and plan on introducing a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any previous practices or customs 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 pledges and provide support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, so many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Customer Service
WP Engine stands out not only on existing features but likewise on creating brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new designer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually changed drastically considering that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand enough web advancement to incorporate 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of are valid because they just aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some customers. I don’t utilize them for this site because I do not require many of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Customer Service
All that said, here are some of the bigger image disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be quite made complex– particularly if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely 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 result in some designers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site available to the public or simply not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they currently do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never explain best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Customer Service
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to watch that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a huge deal (once you get past the learning curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site lists to assist fix 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 look after it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Customer Service
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for good factors, however those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured allows for less versatility also. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a number of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to element 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 website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your website needs many plugins for full performance.
The exact same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot really do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for performance & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the functions you’re getting, you actually don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Customer Service
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) dealt with more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly deal with 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” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that does not even consist of a number of the functions you don’t 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 additional expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects 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 plan,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a pricey option, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, however what is best for you based upon your goals, budget, resources & habits.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to fret about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see what you think of their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more freedom/ better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Customer Service