WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Nameservers
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first business to supply handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Nameservers
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all vary in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers 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 site content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however as a whole, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
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 reviews online, normally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a various technique. This review will take a 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 Nameservers
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous jobs because 2012. I do not utilize them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business discussed. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular 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 Nameservers
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your site is, the more complex the solutions to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly 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 someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish website doesn’t imply that you need a bigger, much better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply need to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to stay quickly as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … however either you or a designer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Wpengine Nameservers
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually 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 additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin packing the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right from package, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or complicated the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are totally free to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an incorporated CDN, but they also offer global data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Nameservers
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Nameservers
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a huge focus 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 business has actually grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard feature of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is since they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I like to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three need an investment of cash, time and know-how.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website via chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually connected with actually knew the great operations of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Nameservers
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically since their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However 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 Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very 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 commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, 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. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & a generally costly scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Nameservers
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which permit more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes monthly. 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 sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee 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 monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time fixing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is better assigned far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Nameservers
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing basic site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that process happen. The phone support is an essential aspect, especially being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a startup site owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on launching a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior practices or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make pledges and supply support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Wpengine Nameservers
WP Engine stands out not only on current functions but also on producing new, advanced hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development best practices have changed radically because I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to integrate best practices into implementation & jobs 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And many stand because they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some clients. I don’t utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Nameservers
All that stated, here are some of the larger image downsides 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 difference can be rather complicated– especially if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
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 lots of hosting companies, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the distinct backend can cause some designers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open to the general public or merely not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice customers than they currently do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever explain best practice for the basic user. Wpengine Nameservers
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to view that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a huge deal (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site lists to help repair 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.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply look after it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Nameservers
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, but those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured permits less versatility as well. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also pricey to pay based upon a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to factor extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your site needs lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t really do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up having to do a painful migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for efficiency & not needing to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you truly don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Nameservers
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can definitely handle 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 “little” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned previously that does not even include a lot of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits needs additional expenses & technical application 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 rate. You can’t utilize them to spread out the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a costly option, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, but exactly what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a great service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to fret about hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see what you consider their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more freedom/ much better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wpengine Nameservers