WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Letsencrypt
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to provide managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Letsencrypt
While they have a lot of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is essential to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a different technique. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine Letsencrypt
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous jobs since 2012. I do not utilize them for my main websites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Letsencrypt
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, however the general rule is that the more intricate your site is, the more complex the solutions to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a budget friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish site does not indicate that you need a bigger, better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases 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. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay quick as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … however either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with very aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Wpengine Letsencrypt
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right from package, and have it stay that method no matter how big or intricate the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are totally free to focus on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an integrated CDN, but they also offer worldwide information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Letsencrypt
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Letsencrypt
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has actually grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard thing about client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never understand if the story is since they spoke 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 access, systems, and understanding, all three require an investment of money, time and expertise.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with really knew the fine functions 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 between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to expertly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Letsencrypt
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically since their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). However they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security basics 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 observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have assisted customers who have been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & an usually 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 huge pro in my book. Wpengine Letsencrypt
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only up to 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 simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both which permit more storage & more sees (ie, basically as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices 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 whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time repairing problems.
Generally, if your time is better assigned away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Letsencrypt
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a crucial factor, particularly being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer 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 finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website at one time.
They do not have any prior routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, so many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wpengine Letsencrypt
WP Engine stands out not only on present functions however likewise on creating brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new designer features that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web development finest practices have actually altered radically because I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to integrate finest practices into application & jobs 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And numerous are valid since 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 fit for some clients. I do not utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Letsencrypt
All that said, here are some of the larger picture disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be quite complicated– especially if you have simply adequate 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 standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can result in some designers making errors varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or merely not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they currently do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never explain finest practice for the basic user. Wpengine Letsencrypt
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to enjoy that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a substantial deal (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site checklists to help fix all sorts of concerns.
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 in many cases, support will simply take care of all of it.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Letsencrypt
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to lowering & increasing complexity.
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 rather uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more 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 regional storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for good factors, but those restrictions limit flexibility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized 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 flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured enables less adaptability as well. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s also expensive to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to factor additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your site requires many plugins for complete performance.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t actually do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up having to do an agonizing migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for performance & not having to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the functions you’re getting, you really do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wpengine Letsencrypt
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even consist of a lot of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t use them to expand the cost of your plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a costly choice, specifically compared to 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 objectives, budget, resources & habits.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to worry about hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see exactly what you think of their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more liberty/ much better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wpengine Letsencrypt