WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Bloomberg
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to supply handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Bloomberg
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all differ in services supplied. Some simply 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 really purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as an entire, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is very important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a different approach. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Bloomberg
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous jobs since 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Bloomberg
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more complicated the services to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text website with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with an economical shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually additional plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
However a slow website does not imply that you require a bigger, much better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might just have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay quickly as you grow. There are a lot of services … however either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the specific chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Bloomberg
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, additional scripts, too many 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 data to start loading the page.
It’s great to have that kind of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that method no matter how big or complicated the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are complimentary to focus on speed factors that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an integrated CDN, but they also offer international information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Bloomberg
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Bloomberg
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes 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:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has actually grown & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard aspect of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever know if the story is because they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I want to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need a financial investment of loan, time and competence.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually interacted with in fact understood the fine workings of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Bloomberg
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly because their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). However they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That indicates 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 advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security basics are relatively 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 business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a lot of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also 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 for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted clients who have actually been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a normally expensive scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Bloomberg
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost 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 monthly.
Both which permit more storage & more visits (ie, generally as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & 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 entire monthly cost right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or designer time repairing concerns.
Generally, if your time is much better assigned away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Bloomberg
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first consumer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process happen. The phone support is a crucial aspect, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s special backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They do not have any prior practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, so many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Bloomberg
WP Engine excels not only on present features however also on producing new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented new developer features that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web development best practices have altered radically considering that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand enough web advancement to integrate finest practices into execution & jobs with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And lots of are valid due to the fact that they just aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some customers. I don’t utilize them for this website since I do not require a number of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Bloomberg
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger image drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be rather complicated– specifically 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 absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can lead to some developers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open to the public or just not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more novice clients than they currently do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Bloomberg
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to watch that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a big deal (as soon as you get past the learning curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website checklists to help repair all sorts of problems.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And in many cases, support will just take care of everything.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Bloomberg
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise connected 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 somewhat consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, but those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good 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 prices is structured enables less versatility too. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to aspect additional 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 a Personal or Company. And this point goes further if your site requires numerous plugins for full functionality.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t really do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up needing to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not having to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the functions you’re getting, you actually do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Bloomberg
Many shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as discussed previously that doesn’t even consist of a number of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the cost. You cannot utilize them to spread out the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is an expensive option, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, but exactly what is finest for you based on your goals, budget, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to fret about hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more freedom/ much better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Bloomberg