WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Clear Cache
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to offer managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Clear Cache
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry 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 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 truly buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site 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 compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is necessary to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, normally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a different approach. 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 Clear Cache
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous projects considering that 2012. I do not use them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or specialist 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 support.” 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 Clear Cache
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the options to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically extra plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds 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 suggest that you need a bigger, much better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay quickly as you grow. There are plenty of options … however either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the precise chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Clear Cache
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to start packing the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or complex 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 might get with other services because you are complimentary to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an incorporated CDN, however they likewise supply worldwide information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Clear Cache
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Clear Cache
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a big emphasis 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 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 hard aspect of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need an investment of money, time and expertise.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all three boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the website through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually communicated with actually knew the great workings of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Clear Cache
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly since their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). But they seem to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required financial 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 nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security essentials are relatively 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something takes place. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a generally expensive scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Clear Cache
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, basically as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes on a monthly basis. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or designer time repairing problems.
Generally, if your time is much better allocated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Clear Cache
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental website upkeep. 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 having to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that process happen. The phone support is an essential aspect, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on launching a near-complete website simultaneously.
They do not have any previous practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make pledges and offer support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements 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 review modification. Wp Engine Clear Cache
WP Engine excels not only on current functions however likewise on producing new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented new developer functions that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have altered radically given that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know sufficient web advancement to incorporate best practices into execution & tasks 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 lots of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And numerous stand because they just aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some consumers. I do not use them for this site due to the fact that I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Clear Cache
All that said, here are a few of the larger image downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be quite complicated– specifically if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can cause some developers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site available to the public or merely not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they currently do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Clear Cache
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to view that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (once you surpass the learning curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site lists to help repair all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And in many cases, support will just take care of everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Clear Cache
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify 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 local storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, but those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured permits less flexibility as well. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s also expensive to pay based on a variety of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to factor extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Business. And this point goes even more if your site needs lots of plugins for full performance.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are planning to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t actually do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for performance & not having to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you truly 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 typically logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Clear Cache
Many shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even include much of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t utilize them to expand the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a costly choice, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest overall, however exactly what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a fantastic service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to fret about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see what you consider their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more flexibility/ much better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Clear Cache