WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Staging Url
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all differ in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, generally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a various method. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Staging Url
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various projects given that 2012. I don’t use them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Staging Url
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, but the general rule is that the more intricate your website is, the more complicated the solutions to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a few standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish site doesn’t suggest that you require a bigger, much better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine 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 eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay quickly as you grow. There are lots of solutions … however either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have actually tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and identify the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Wpengine Staging Url
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note 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 nice to have that sort of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how big or intricate the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are free to concentrate on speed factors that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, however they likewise supply international information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Staging Url
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Staging Url
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough feature of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever know if the story is since they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I like to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need an investment of cash, time and proficiency.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually connected with actually understood the great operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Staging Url
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially since their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the downsides). But they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That means 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. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials are fairly uncomplicated:
- 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 discover that even though security on WordPress is simple, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something takes place. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped clients who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a normally costly scenario (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 Staging Url
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same rate 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 per month.
Both of which permit more storage & more visits (ie, essentially as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k sees each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation 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 whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost 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 month-to-month charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or designer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better assigned far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Staging Url
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients 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 client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus 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, launches the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a key aspect, particularly being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third 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 comfy discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They do not have any previous habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wpengine Staging Url
WP Engine stands out not only on existing functions however also on creating brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented new designer features that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even general web development best practices have actually changed drastically considering that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to incorporate best practices into implementation & 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And numerous are valid because they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some consumers. I do not use them for this website due to the fact that I do not need a number of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Staging Url
All that said, here are a few of the bigger image drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be rather complicated– specifically if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can lead to some developers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open 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 consumers than they currently do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the basic user. Wpengine Staging Url
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to view that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a huge deal (when you surpass the learning curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website lists to assist 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 that they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just take care of everything.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Staging Url
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, however those restrictions restrict flexibility and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured allows for less flexibility as well. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish 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 Company. And this point goes further if your website needs lots of plugins for full performance.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t truly do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for efficiency & not needing to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally logging in often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wpengine Staging Url
Many shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr duration 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 visits, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even consist of much of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to expand the cost of your strategy,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, but exactly what is best for you based on 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 strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to fret about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go take 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 consider their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more liberty/ better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wpengine Staging Url