WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Transfer
While they have a lot of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services supplied. Some merely 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 managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is necessary to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a different technique. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine Transfer
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various tasks since 2012. I don’t use them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business discussed. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular 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 Transfer
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, but the general rule is that the more intricate your website is, the more complex the options to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text site with a few 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.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
But a slow website doesn’t suggest that you need a larger, better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, however sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply need to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to remain quickly as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … but either you or a designer should execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Wpengine Transfer
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs 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 theme, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to begin filling the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or intricate the website gets.
*Note 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 may get with other services since you are free to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, however they also offer global data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Transfer
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Transfer
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 business 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 said, the difficult feature of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is because they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I like to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need an investment of cash, time and competence.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has engaged with really understood the fine functions of WordPress and has 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 shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Transfer
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically since their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). But they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials are fairly straightforward:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something happens. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a lot of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have assisted customers who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & an usually pricey scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Transfer
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both which permit more storage & more visits (ie, basically as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge 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 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 might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time fixing concerns.
Generally, if your time is much better assigned away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Transfer
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 customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that process take place. The phone support is an essential element, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wpengine Transfer
WP Engine stands out not only on existing features however also on creating brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web development best practices have altered drastically given that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know sufficient web advancement to incorporate finest practices into application & 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And many stand since they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some customers. I don’t utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not require a number of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Transfer
All that said, here are some of the larger picture downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite made complex– particularly if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can lead to some designers making errors ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or just not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they currently do.
Like many custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe best practice for the general user. Wpengine Transfer
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to enjoy that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a big deal (once you surpass the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site lists 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.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And in most cases, support will just look after it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Transfer
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or very genuine physical limitations), however 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 discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, however those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured allows for less adaptability too. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise pricey to pay based upon a number of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to factor extra 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 site on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Business. And this point goes further if your website needs numerous plugins for full performance.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t truly do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
In any 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 normally paying for efficiency & not having to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the functions you’re getting, you actually don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wpengine Transfer
Many shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed earlier that doesn’t even include many of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs additional expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You cannot use them to spread out the cost of your plan,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, but exactly what is best for you based upon your objectives, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a strong item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to worry about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see what you think about their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more freedom/ much better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer service.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wpengine Transfer