WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Export Database
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 Export Database
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as a whole, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it’s important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a different method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Export Database
I have actually used WP Engine for different tasks considering that 2012. I do not use them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Export Database
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the options to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of basic plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom-made theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish website does not imply that you need a larger, much better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain fast as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … but either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Export Database
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough information to start filling the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or complicated the website gets.
*Keep in mind 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 since you are free to focus on speed aspects that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, but they likewise provide worldwide data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Export Database
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Export Database
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very 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 & 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 feature of client 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 spoke 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 an investment or a cost.
I prefer to look for access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need an investment of loan, time and proficiency.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the site via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has engaged with in fact understood the fine operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after a number of issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Export Database
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are fairly uncomplicated:
- 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a lot of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a typically expensive situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Export Database
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k gos to per month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup 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 cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time repairing concerns.
Basically, if your time is better assigned far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Export Database
Like I said at the beginning, 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 consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type seems 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 develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing standard site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that process take place. The phone support is a crucial factor, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third consumer type is a startup site owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any previous habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Export Database
WP Engine excels not only on current features but likewise on creating brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new developer features that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have changed significantly since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to incorporate finest practices into execution & projects 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 everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of stand since 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 consumers. I do not use them for this website due to the fact that I do not require a lot of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Export Database
All that said, here are a few of the larger picture downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be quite complicated– especially if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they likewise don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can cause some designers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open to the general public or merely not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they already do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never explain finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Export Database
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to enjoy that video multiple 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 custom backend isn’t going to be a huge deal (when you get past the learning curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site checklists to help fix all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons why they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just look after it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Export Database
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin behavior for great factors, but those restrictions limit flexibility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done 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 to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured permits less versatility too. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based upon a number of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to factor additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish 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 permit on an Individual or Service. And this point goes further if your website requires many plugins for complete performance.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot truly do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up having to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for efficiency & not needing to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Export Database
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the very 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) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed earlier that does not even consist of a lot of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires 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 need to factor those into the price. You cannot use them to expand the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is an expensive option, especially compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, however what is best for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to worry about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see what you think about their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more flexibility/ better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine Export Database