WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Php Version
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to supply managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Php Version
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all vary in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater cost 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 options, however as a whole, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is necessary to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a different technique. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Php Version
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various projects given that 2012. I do not utilize them for my main websites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” Here is their promo pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Wp Engine Php Version
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complex your site is, the more intricate the options to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally additional plugins, customized theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
However a slow website does not suggest that you require a bigger, much better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might simply have to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to remain quick as you grow. There are plenty of options … but either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Php Version
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra 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 loading the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or intricate the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are free to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an integrated CDN, however they also provide international information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Php Version
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Php Version
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 & altered 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 hard feature of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is because they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three require an investment of loan, time and proficiency.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site via chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually interacted with in fact understood the fine operations of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to expertly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after several issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Php Version
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically since their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However 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 entire Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security basics are fairly simple:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that even though security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something happens. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped customers who have been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a generally pricey situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Php Version
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same cost 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 of which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, basically as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes every month. 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 update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly cost 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 might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or developer time fixing concerns.
Basically, if your time is better assigned away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Php Version
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a crucial factor, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a startup site owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any previous routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, numerous of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Php Version
WP Engine excels not only on present features however also on producing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new designer functions that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have changed significantly since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to integrate best practices into execution & jobs with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has 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 plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And lots of stand since they just 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 clients. I do not utilize them for this site because I do not need many of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Php Version
All that said, here are a few of the larger picture downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be rather made complex– especially if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they likewise do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can lead to some developers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site available to the general public or just not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever describe finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Php Version
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to see that video several 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 backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (once you get past the learning curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of website checklists to help repair 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 most of the times, support will just look after it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Php Version
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or very genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, but those restrictions restrict adaptability and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured permits less adaptability as well. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, however it’s also costly to pay based upon a variety of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to element additional hosting costs 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 permit on a Personal or Business. And this point goes further if your site needs numerous plugins for full functionality.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t actually do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In either case, 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 usually spending for efficiency & not having to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the functions you’re getting, you actually don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Php Version
Many shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how quickly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed previously that doesn’t even consist of much of the features you don’t 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 limits requires additional expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the price. You can’t use them to spread out the expense of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, but what is finest for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to fret about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more liberty/ better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer care.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Php Version