WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine User Portal
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to provide managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine User Portal
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all differ in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a various technique. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine User Portal
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various jobs because 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business pointed out. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically 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 User Portal
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, however the general rule is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the solutions 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 an inexpensive shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally extra plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
But a sluggish website doesn’t mean that you need a larger, much better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, however often it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to stay quick as you grow. There are lots of options … but either you or a designer should execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine User Portal
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing 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 among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra 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 quickly the server returned enough data to start packing the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or intricate the website 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 might get with other services given that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly 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 likewise offer global information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine User Portal
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine User Portal
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually grown & changed 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 tough thing about customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody 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 review, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three need an investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website through chat.
Based on their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually communicated with in fact understood the great functions of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but 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 obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine User Portal
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,especially since their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). However they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals are fairly straightforward:
- 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 discover that even though security on WordPress is simple, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s discouraging, laborious & a typically pricey situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine User Portal
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same price from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, basically as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k gos to per month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & 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 whole month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly 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 month-to-month charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time repairing concerns.
Generally, if your time is much better allocated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial 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 User Portal
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 customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first client type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on advancement & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that process happen. The phone support is a key element, particularly being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a start-up website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on launching a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any prior habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make pledges and supply support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine User Portal
WP Engine excels not only on current functions but likewise on developing brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development best practices have actually altered radically because I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to integrate finest practices into implementation & jobs 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (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 locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some clients. I do not utilize them for this site because I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine User Portal
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger picture disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be quite complicated– particularly if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the unique backend can lead to some designers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev website open up to the public or merely not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they already do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine User Portal
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to watch that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (once you surpass the learning curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site checklists to assist 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 they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply take care of everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine User Portal
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really real 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 prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for good reasons, but those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured permits less flexibility too. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise costly to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your site requires lots of plugins for full functionality.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t really do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for performance & not having to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally visiting regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine User Portal
Many shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even consist of much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t utilize them to spread out the expense of your plan,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, however what is best for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to stress over hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see what you think of their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more flexibility/ better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine User Portal