WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Banned Plugins
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first business to supply managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has ended up being 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 merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however as a whole, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it’s important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a different technique. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various tasks because 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class client service.” Here is their discount 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. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, however the general rule is that the more intricate your site is, the more complex the services to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom-made theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow website doesn’t mean that you require a bigger, better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, however sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply have to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay quick as you grow. There are plenty of options … however either you or a developer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra 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 quickly the server returned enough data to start filling the page.
It’s great to have that kind of speed right from the box, and have it remain 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 back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are totally free to concentrate on speed factors that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, but they likewise provide international data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Banned Plugins
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a huge 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 business 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 customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however 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 mention in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I like to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three need an investment of cash, time and expertise.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the site through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually communicated with actually understood the great workings of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially since their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge community launching updates & screening 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 use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that although security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially 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 happens. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have helped clients who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & an usually costly situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and just up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same rate 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 of which permit more storage & more sees (ie, essentially as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However 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 total value & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation 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 whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time fixing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better allocated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually 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. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first consumer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on advancement & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing basic website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential factor, especially being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third consumer type is a startup website owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s special backend and plan on launching a near-complete website simultaneously.
They do not have any prior practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
WP Engine excels not only on existing features however also on developing new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new developer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually altered drastically because I began observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web development to integrate best practices into execution & projects 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many are valid because they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some customers. I don’t use them for this website due to the fact that I do not need much of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
All that said, here are some of the larger photo drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be rather made complex– particularly if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the unique backend can cause some designers making mistakes ranging from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website available to the public or simply not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they currently do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never explain finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to watch that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (once you get past the learning curve). But for a lot of, 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 myriad of website checklists to help fix all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons why they do all this. And most of the times, support will just look after everything.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for good factors, however those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured allows for less versatility too. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise costly to pay based on a number of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor additional hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish 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 Service. And this point goes further if your website requires lots of plugins for complete performance.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are planning to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you cannot actually do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up needing to do an agonizing migration to another email company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for efficiency & not having to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Banned Plugins
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even include much of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits requires additional expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to spread out the expense of your plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, however what is best for you based on your goals, budget, resources & habits.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a terrific service with a solid product. 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 unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to worry about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see what you consider their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more liberty/ better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine Banned Plugins