WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Cpanel
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to offer managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Cpanel
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 features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all vary in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as an entire, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it’s important to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, normally with user-generated evaluations based upon 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 web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Cpanel
I have actually used WP Engine for various projects considering that 2012. I do not use them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” Here is their promo 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 Cpanel
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the guideline is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the options to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text site with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
But a slow site doesn’t imply that you require a bigger, better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might just need to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay quick as you grow. There are lots of services … however either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and identify the precise chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Cpanel
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating 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 among 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 data to start loading the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right from package, and have it remain that method no matter how big or complicated the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are totally free to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an integrated CDN, but they likewise supply global information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Cpanel
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Cpanel
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes 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 company has actually grown & changed 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 client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever know if the story is because they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to search for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 need an investment of money, time and competence.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually connected with actually knew the fine operations of WordPress and has actually had the ability 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 throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of several problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Cpanel
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly because their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But 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 whole Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security essentials are fairly 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe 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 & ready to roll back if something occurs. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped customers who have been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a normally pricey situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Cpanel
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, generally as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular 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 site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time repairing problems.
Generally, if your time is much better allocated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Cpanel
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on development & design without dealing with 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 website over to their customer.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous basic site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that process happen. The phone support is a key aspect, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a startup website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on releasing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any prior habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. 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 kind of consumer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, so many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Cpanel
WP Engine stands out not just on current features but likewise on producing brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented new designer features that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even general web development finest practices have actually changed significantly since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to integrate best practices into application & tasks with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of stand due to the fact that they just aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I do not use them for this site because I do not need much of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Cpanel
All that stated, here are some of the bigger photo disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be rather complicated– especially if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the distinct backend can lead to some developers making errors varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site open to the general public or simply not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice clients than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Cpanel
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to enjoy that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site lists to assist troubleshoot all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons why they do all this. And most of the times, support will just take care of all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Cpanel
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, however those restrictions restrict adaptability and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured enables less adaptability as well. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also expensive to pay based on a number of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or simply wish 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 flexible you wish 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 many plugins for full performance.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot actually do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up having to do a painful 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 rates based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for efficiency & not having to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you actually do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Cpanel
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental 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 trustworthy VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even consist of many of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs 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 tasks or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the rate. You cannot utilize them to spread out the expense of your strategy,particularly 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 & dish out your site files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, especially compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, however exactly what is best for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to worry about hosting issues.
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 what you consider their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more liberty/ much better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer support.
And finally, 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 streamline things. Wp Engine Cpanel