WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Youtube
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to offer handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Youtube
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 recognition and advanced functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all vary in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that 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. Generally, 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 material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is necessary to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a various approach. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Youtube
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various tasks since 2012. I don’t use them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business mentioned. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer service.” Here is their promo pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Wp Engine Youtube
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, however the guideline is that the more intricate your website is, the more complicated the solutions to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a few fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow website does not mean that you require a bigger, much better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but sometimes it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay quickly as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … however either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the specific chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Youtube
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right out of package, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or complex the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed aspects that you can easily 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 international information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Youtube
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Youtube
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has 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 thing about consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never know if the story is because they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I like to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of money, time and competence.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the website by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with really understood the great functions of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (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 get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Youtube
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially because their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security essentials are relatively 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 commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is simple, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site safe and secure 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 & ready to roll back if something happens. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have assisted clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & an usually costly circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Youtube
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both of which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially 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 have actually also run lots of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes on a monthly basis. 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 gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular 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 fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time repairing issues.
Generally, if your time is better assigned far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal 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 pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Youtube
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process take place. The phone support is a key element, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on launching a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, so many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Youtube
WP Engine excels not just on existing features but likewise on producing new, advanced hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new developer features that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually changed drastically considering that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to incorporate best practices into application & jobs with designers.
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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of are valid because they merely aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this site since I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Youtube
All that stated, here are some of the bigger image 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. Which distinction can be quite complicated– specifically if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the distinct backend can result in some developers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or simply not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they currently do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Youtube
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to watch that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (as soon as you get past the learning curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site checklists to help troubleshoot all sorts of issues.
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 they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply look after all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to get 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 are familiar. Wp Engine Youtube
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for great reasons, however those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured enables less versatility as well. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also pricey to pay based on a number of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to factor extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Business. And this point goes further if your website needs many plugins for complete performance.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot truly do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for performance & not needing to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the functions you’re getting, you actually do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually visiting regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Youtube
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that does not even include a lot 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 limits needs additional expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted 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 use them to expand the expense of your plan,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a costly choice, especially compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, but what is finest for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to fret about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see what you think about their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more flexibility/ much better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer service.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Youtube