WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine 502 Bad Gateway
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to supply managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wpengine 502 Bad Gateway
While they have lots of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site 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 brief variation: They all vary in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is necessary to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a various method. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine 502 Bad Gateway
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous projects considering that 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer service.” 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. Wpengine 502 Bad Gateway
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your website is, the more intricate the options to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually extra plugins, customized theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
However a slow site doesn’t mean that you require a bigger, much better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize 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 options … but either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually customized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wpengine 502 Bad Gateway
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting 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 rapidly the server returned enough data to start loading the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how big or intricate 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 might get with other services given that you are totally free to focus on speed factors that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an incorporated CDN, however they likewise supply international information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine 502 Bad Gateway
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine 502 Bad Gateway
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a big emphasis 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 grown & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the hard aspect of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never know if the story is due to the fact that they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the fundamental 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 knowledge, all 3 need an investment of loan, time and proficiency.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has connected with in fact knew the fine workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine 502 Bad Gateway
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly since their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). But they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security essentials 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. 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. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe is still ultimately 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 whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something happens. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped customers who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a generally expensive 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. Wpengine 502 Bad Gateway
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only up to 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & 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 regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or designer time fixing concerns.
Basically, if your time is better allocated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine 502 Bad Gateway
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a key element, particularly being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on launching a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any previous routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wpengine 502 Bad Gateway
WP Engine stands out not only on present functions however also on creating new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development finest practices have changed radically considering that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web development to incorporate finest practices into execution & tasks with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of are valid due to the fact that they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some customers. I do not use them for this site since I do not require many of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine 502 Bad Gateway
All that stated, here are some of the bigger picture drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite complicated– particularly if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can lead to some designers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website available to the public or merely not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they currently do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never explain best practice for the basic user. Wpengine 502 Bad Gateway
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to view 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 custom-made backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (when you get past the knowing 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 ever actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site lists 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 why they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just look after everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. 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 don’t need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine 502 Bad Gateway
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to specify 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 prohibit specific plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, but those restrictions restrict adaptability and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But 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 permits less versatility too. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise costly to pay based on a number of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to element 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 manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your website requires many plugins for full performance.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t truly do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up needing to do a painful migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically paying for efficiency & not needing to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the functions you’re getting, you really don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally logging in often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wpengine 502 Bad Gateway
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed earlier that does not even include many of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to spread out the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is an expensive option, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, but what is finest for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to worry about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see what you think of their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more freedom/ better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wpengine 502 Bad Gateway