WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Control Panel
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to supply managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Control Panel
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all vary in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
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 comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a various technique. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Control Panel
I have actually used WP Engine for different projects since 2012. I don’t use them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning 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 Control Panel
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, but the guideline is that the more intricate your site is, the more intricate the services to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a few standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
However a slow website does not indicate that you need a bigger, better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might just have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to remain fast as you grow. There are lots of options … but either you or a developer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and identify the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Control Panel
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because 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, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it remain that method no matter how big or complex the website 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 since you are complimentary to concentrate on speed factors that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an integrated CDN, however they likewise supply worldwide information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Control Panel
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Control Panel
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position 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 business has actually 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 said, the tough feature of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever know if the story is since they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three require a financial investment of cash, time and knowledge.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the site through chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually interacted with really knew the great functions of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Control Panel
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, 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 needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large community releasing updates & testing 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 see that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site secure 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 & all set to roll back if something occurs. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped customers who have been. It’s aggravating, tedious & a generally costly circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Control Panel
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which enable more storage & more sees (ie, generally as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire month-to-month fee right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or developer time fixing issues.
Generally, if your time is better allocated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Control Panel
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots 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 development & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer 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 automatic migration tool & customer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is an essential aspect, specifically having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a start-up site owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s special backend and intend on releasing a near-complete site at one time.
They don’t have any prior routines or customs 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 supply support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Control Panel
WP Engine excels not only on existing functions however also on creating brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually altered significantly given that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to incorporate best practices into execution & tasks with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually 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 best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And many are valid because they simply aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some clients. I don’t use them for this site due to the fact that I do not need many of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Control Panel
All that said, here are some of the bigger picture drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction 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, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can lead to some developers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or simply not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they currently do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Control Panel
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to enjoy 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-made backend isn’t really going to be a substantial deal (when you surpass the knowing curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site lists to assist 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 why they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply look after it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Control Panel
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is also associated with 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 predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, however those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sites, 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 open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured permits less versatility as well. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, however it’s also expensive to pay based on a variety of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to factor additional hosting bills 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 Service. And this point goes further if your website needs numerous plugins for complete performance.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot actually do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up having to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for performance & not needing to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you truly don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually visiting regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Control Panel
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable 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 rather a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even include much of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra expenses & technical implementation 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 websites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to spread out the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, but exactly what is best for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to fret about hosting problems.
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 exactly what you think about their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more liberty/ much better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Control Panel