WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Website
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to supply handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Website
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
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 after that there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it’s important to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a various technique. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Website
I have actually used WP Engine for different jobs considering that 2012. I don’t use them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “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 Website
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, but the general rule 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 couple of little images, you’ll be great with a budget friendly shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally extra plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow site does not imply that you require a bigger, much better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, however often it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may just have to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to remain quick as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … but either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Website
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a customized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right out of package, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or complex the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are free to focus on speed elements that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an integrated CDN, but they also offer worldwide data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Website
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Website
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a big emphasis 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 company has actually grown & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard thing about consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never know if the story is due to the fact that they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I want to search for access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need an investment of loan, time and competence.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has communicated with really understood the fine operations 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 customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after a number of issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Website
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically due to the fact that their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But 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 large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals 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 utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & ready to roll back if something happens. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a lot of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a generally pricey situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Website
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost 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 allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates every month & 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 monthly fee right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge 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 might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time fixing problems.
Basically, if your time is better allocated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Website
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on advancement & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing basic site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at having to handle technical development 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 budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is an essential element, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a startup 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 special backend and plan on introducing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, so many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Website
WP Engine excels not only on existing features but also on developing new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web advancement best practices have changed drastically since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to integrate finest practices into implementation & projects with developers.
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 very best suitable for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of are valid because they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I do not utilize them for this website because I do not require a lot of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Website
All that stated, here are a few of the larger photo disadvantages of utilizing 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– specifically if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can lead to some designers making errors ranging from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site available to the public or simply not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they currently do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never explain best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Website
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to enjoy that video multiple 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 really going to be a huge offer (when you get past the knowing curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website checklists to assist fix 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.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply take care of everything.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Website
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for great factors, however those restrictions restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured allows for less flexibility also. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise costly to pay based on a variety of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to aspect additional hosting costs 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 handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Service. And this point goes further if your site needs lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t actually do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up having to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Website
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely manage 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 “little” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed earlier that doesn’t even consist of a number of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional expenses & technical implementation 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 sites, you need to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to expand the expense of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, but what is finest for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to fret about hosting problems.
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 guarantee. So do a test install and see what you think of their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more freedom/ better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Website