WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine How To Update Website Page
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to supply managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wpengine How To Update Website Page
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 methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short 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 separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as a whole, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal 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 webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine How To Update Website Page
I have actually used WP Engine for various jobs because 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business discussed. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class client 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. Wpengine How To Update Website Page
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the guideline is that the more complicated your site is, the more complicated the options to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically extra plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a slow site doesn’t suggest that you need a larger, much better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may just need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to remain fast as you grow. There are a lot of options … but either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wpengine How To Update Website Page
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to start loading the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right from package, and have it stay that way 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 even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are totally free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an incorporated CDN, however they also offer global information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine How To Update Website Page
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine How To Update Website Page
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very 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 lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the hard thing about client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never know if the story is because they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to search for access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require an investment of loan, time and proficiency.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually connected with in fact knew the great functions of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of several problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine How To Update Website Page
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically since their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). However they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security essentials are relatively straightforward:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically 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. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a great deal of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped customers who have been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & a generally pricey situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wpengine How To Update Website Page
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, generally as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k gos to 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 downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire month-to-month fee right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might 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 website 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.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time fixing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better allocated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine How To Update Website Page
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at having to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is a crucial aspect, especially being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s special backend and intend on releasing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any previous routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Wpengine How To Update Website Page
WP Engine excels not just on existing features but also on developing new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new developer features that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even general web development best practices have altered radically given that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know sufficient web advancement to integrate finest practices into execution & 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And numerous are valid because they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not require much of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine How To Update Website Page
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger picture drawbacks 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 difference can be quite made complex– especially if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can result in some developers making mistakes varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open to the general public or merely not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they currently do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never describe best practice for the basic user. Wpengine How To Update Website Page
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to see that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a big offer (as soon as you get past the knowing curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site lists to help fix 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 that they do all this. And in most cases, support will just take care of it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine How To Update Website Page
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, however those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed 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 way their prices is structured permits less adaptability as well. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based upon a number of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want 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 permit on a Personal or Company. And this point goes even more if your site requires numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t really do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up needing to do a painful migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for performance & not needing to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the functions you’re getting, you truly don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally visiting often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wpengine How To Update Website Page
Many shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed earlier that does not even include a lot of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits requires extra costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to expand the expense of your strategy,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, however exactly what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a fantastic service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to stress over hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install 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 freedom/ much better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wpengine How To Update Website Page