WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Terms Of Service
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first business to supply handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Terms Of Service
While they have plenty of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many methods -and they have broad name recognition and innovative features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all differ in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal 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 actually purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as an entire, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a different approach. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Terms Of Service
I have actually used WP Engine for different projects given that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, effective 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 Terms Of Service
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complex your site is, the more complicated the options to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a few standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with an inexpensive shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom-made theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
But a slow site doesn’t imply that you need a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay fast as you grow. There are plenty of options … but either you or a developer must implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Terms Of Service
They don’t even permit 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 due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to start filling the page.
Now here is the speed test of a standard WordPress install. WP Engine not only gets strong TTFB times however keep in mind how comparable the First Byte and First Render are to the Unoptimized website.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complex the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an integrated CDN, however they also offer global data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Terms Of Service
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Terms Of Service
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the hard aspect of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is since they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I want to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three need a financial investment of cash, time and knowledge.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the website through 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 knew the great functions of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Terms Of Service
I make sure 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 display in the downsides). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very 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 commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t 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 whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have helped clients who have been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a generally costly circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Terms Of Service
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and just up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which enable more storage & more visits (ie, essentially as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k sees each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or designer time repairing issues.
Generally, if your time is better designated far 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.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Terms Of Service
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first consumer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on development & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that process happen. The phone support is a crucial element, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any previous practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Terms Of Service
WP Engine excels not only on existing features but also on developing new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented new developer functions that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even general web development finest practices have actually altered significantly given that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web development to integrate finest practices into application & projects 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 fit for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many are valid since they simply aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some clients. I don’t use them for this website because I do not require many of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Terms Of Service
All that said, here are a few of the larger photo drawbacks of using 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 rather made complex– especially if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can cause some developers making mistakes ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev site open up to the public or merely not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never describe best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Terms Of Service
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to see that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a huge deal (as soon as you get past the learning curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website lists 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 most of the times, support will just take care of everything.
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 numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Terms Of Service
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is also 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 somewhat consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or very real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for great factors, however those restrictions limit flexibility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured allows for less versatility too. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible 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 enable on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes further if your site needs lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t actually do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for efficiency & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually visiting frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Terms Of Service
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even consist of many of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to expand the cost of your plan,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, however what is best for you based upon your objectives, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a terrific service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more features 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 do not wish to worry about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more liberty/ much better rates 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 elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Terms Of Service