WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Object Caching
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 Object Caching
While they have plenty of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all differ in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really 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 greater rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it’s important to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a different technique. This review will 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 Object Caching
I’ve used WP Engine for numerous tasks considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class client 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 Object Caching
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your site is, the more intricate the options to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text site with a few standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish site doesn’t indicate that you require a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain quickly 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 takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Object Caching
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a customized caching setup.
The interesting 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 puffed up style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin loading the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right out of package, and have it stay 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 may get with other services since you are free to focus on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, but they also provide global information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Object Caching
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Object Caching
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are really offering 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 lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough feature of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never know if the story is due to the fact that they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to look for access, systems, and knowledge, all three need a financial investment of money, time and expertise.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the site by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually communicated with actually understood the fine operations of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to expertly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Object Caching
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,especially due to the fact that their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they seem to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials 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 notice that although 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 do not lock it, keeping your website secure 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 & prepared to roll back if something takes place. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have assisted clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & an usually pricey situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Object Caching
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which permit more storage & more gos to (ie, generally as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & 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 whole monthly charge right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time repairing concerns.
Basically, if your time is much better allocated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Object Caching
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on development & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is a key aspect, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third consumer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s special backend and plan on launching a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any previous routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make pledges and offer support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Object Caching
WP Engine stands out not just on present functions but likewise on creating brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even basic web development finest practices have actually changed drastically since I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to incorporate finest practices into execution & jobs 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous stand due to the fact that they merely aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some customers. I don’t use them for this site since I do not need many of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Object Caching
All that said, here are some of the bigger picture disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be rather complicated– specifically if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can lead to some developers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website open to the public or just not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they currently do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing 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 Object Caching
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to see that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a huge deal (once you surpass the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website lists to help repair 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 they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply take care of all of it.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Object Caching
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior for great reasons, but those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured enables less flexibility also. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise pricey to pay based upon a number of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish 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 enable on an Individual or Service. And this point goes even more if your site requires many plugins for full performance.
The very same goes 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 use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t really do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for efficiency & not needing to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the functions you’re getting, you actually don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Object Caching
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the very 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 standard caching) handled more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even include a lot of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot use them to expand the expense of your plan,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a pricey option, especially compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, however what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use an excellent service with a solid product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to fret 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 talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more freedom/ better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer care.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Object Caching