WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Error Log
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first business to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Error Log
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all differ in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however as an entire, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to understand prior to 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 fine however I take a various approach. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Error Log
I have actually utilized WP Engine for different tasks because 2012. I do not use them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current client on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational 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. Wp Engine Error Log
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your site is, the more intricate the solutions to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a few standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
However a slow site does not suggest that you need a bigger, better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might just have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to stay fast as you grow. There are plenty of services … but either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the precise chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Error Log
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin packing the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right out of package, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or intricate the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might 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, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an integrated CDN, however they likewise supply worldwide information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Error Log
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Error Log
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. 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 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 actually grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard aspect of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never 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 point out in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to look for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of loan, time and competence.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the site via chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has communicated with in fact understood the fine functions of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Error Log
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). But they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security essentials are fairly 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site safe is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a great deal of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a normally expensive circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Error Log
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both which enable more storage & more visits (ie, basically as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup 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 regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or developer time repairing concerns.
Basically, if your time is better assigned away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Error Log
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, 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 maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a better host.
They’re also established 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 happen. The phone support is a key element, particularly being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on releasing a near-complete site all at once.
They don’t have any previous practices 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 provide support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Error Log
WP Engine excels not just on current features however also on producing brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new developer features that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even general web development finest practices have changed radically since I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web development to incorporate finest practices into implementation & projects 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 Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of stand since they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I don’t utilize them for this site because I do not require a number of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Error Log
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger picture disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be quite made complex– specifically if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the distinct backend can result in some designers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open to the public or just not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they currently do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Error Log
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to see that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (when you get past the knowing curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site lists 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 that they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply look after all of it.
However, you still do not 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 handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Error Log
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or very real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, however those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared to 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, but it’s likewise pricey to pay based on a number of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to aspect extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Business. And this point goes even more if your website needs many plugins for full performance.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot really do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up having to do a painful migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for efficiency & not needing to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the functions you’re getting, you actually don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Error Log
Many shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed earlier that doesn’t even include a number of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t utilize them to expand the cost of your plan,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a pricey option, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, but exactly what is best 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 provide a great service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to fret about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans 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 chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more freedom/ better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Error Log