WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Minify
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to offer handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Minify
While they have lots of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all differ in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying 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 greater price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every competitor 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 conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it’s important to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a different method. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Minify
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various jobs given that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a current client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer care.” Here is their promotion 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 Minify
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, however the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more complicated the options to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text site with a few basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a budget friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally additional plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
However a slow website does not imply that you need a bigger, better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay fast as you grow. There are lots of solutions … but either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have customized servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Minify
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin packing the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how big or intricate the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are free to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an integrated CDN, but they also provide international data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Minify
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Minify
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since 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 position 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 actually grown & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough aspect of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never know if the story is because they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need an investment of loan, time and knowledge.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site via chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually connected with really understood the fine workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (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 associate was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Minify
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically due to the fact that their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). 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 indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security essentials are fairly simple:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that even though security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something happens. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a great deal of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have actually been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & an usually expensive scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Minify
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both of which enable more storage & more visits (ie, essentially as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of little WordPress websites off a low expense 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 worth & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & 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 entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular 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 monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is better allocated far from technical issues, 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 instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Minify
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable 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 first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces 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 an ongoing basic site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is an essential factor, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a startup website owner that has the budget and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on launching a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any prior routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, numerous of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Minify
WP Engine excels not only on existing functions however likewise on developing brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have actually changed significantly given that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web development to incorporate best practices into application & tasks 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And numerous stand due to the fact that they simply aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not require many of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Minify
All that stated, here are some of the bigger photo drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be rather made complex– particularly if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can lead to some developers making mistakes varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the public or simply not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they currently do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Minify
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to enjoy that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a big deal (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website lists to assist troubleshoot 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.
Once again– they have reasons why they do all this. And most of the times, support will just look after all of it.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Minify
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit more 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 prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, but those restrictions limit versatility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured allows for less flexibility also. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s also pricey to pay based upon a variety of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor additional hosting costs 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 handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes further if your website needs lots of plugins for complete performance.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you can’t actually do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up having to do an agonizing migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based on 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 rates based upon the features you’re getting, you actually do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Minify
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed earlier that does not even consist of many of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits requires extra expenses & technical execution 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 websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t utilize them to spread out the cost of your strategy,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is an expensive option, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, however what is best for you based on your goals, budget, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use an excellent service with a solid item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to stress over 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 assurance. So do a test set up and see what you think of their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more flexibility/ much better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Minify