WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all differ in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however as a whole, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it’s important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a different approach. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous projects considering that 2012. I don’t use them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies discussed. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Vs Flywheel
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more complex the options to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text site with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically extra plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a slow site doesn’t mean that you need a larger, better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may simply have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay quick as you grow. There are a lot of services … however either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually customized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well 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 bloated theme, 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 determines how quickly the server returned enough information to start loading the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right out of package, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or intricate the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because you are complimentary to focus on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an incorporated CDN, however they likewise supply international data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among 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 & 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 tough feature of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is since they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I want to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three require an investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the site through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has interacted with actually knew the great functions of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to expertly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,especially since their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But 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 whole Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security basics 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 industrial 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 don’t lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a lot of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, laborious & an usually pricey circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same rate 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 which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time fixing problems.
Generally, if your time is much better assigned far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that process occur. The phone support is a key factor, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third consumer type is a startup website owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any prior practices or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make pledges and supply support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, so many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
WP Engine stands out not only on current functions but likewise on producing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web development best practices have actually changed significantly because I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to integrate best practices into execution & tasks with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of are valid since they merely aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not require a number of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
All that stated, here are some of the larger picture downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be rather made complex– especially if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can lead to some designers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open to the general public or simply not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they already do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever describe finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to see that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a substantial deal (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site lists to help troubleshoot 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 why they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply look after everything.
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 lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, but those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However 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 as well. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also pricey to pay based on a number of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to factor 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 website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your site needs lots of plugins for complete performance.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you can’t really do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up having to do a painful migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for performance & not having to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even consist of many of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t utilize them to spread out the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are hitting 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 site files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, especially compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, but what is best for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a fantastic service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to fret about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more flexibility/ better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Vs Flywheel