WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Cron
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all vary in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a various approach. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Cron
I’ve utilized WP Engine for different tasks considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” Here is their promotion 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 Cron
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, however the guideline is that the more intricate your site is, the more complicated the solutions to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text site with a couple of basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
However a slow website does not suggest that you need a bigger, much better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may 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 lots of options … however either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and identify the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Cron
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right out of package, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complex 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 may get with other services because you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, but they also offer international information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Cron
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Cron
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually grown & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult feature of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never know if the story is because they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I prefer to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of cash, time and know-how.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all 3 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 website by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has connected with in fact understood the fine operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Cron
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially because their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). But they seem to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security basics are fairly straightforward:
- 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 business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site secure is still eventually 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 happens. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have helped clients who have been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a normally costly situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Cron
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, essentially as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k sees each month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty 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 charge right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular 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 website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time fixing issues.
Essentially, if your time is much better designated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Cron
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous fundamental site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually 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 managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is a key factor, specifically being able to “just 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 comfy learning WP Engine’s special backend and intend on releasing a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any previous routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, numerous of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Cron
WP Engine stands out not only on present functions but also on developing new, advanced hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even basic web development finest practices have actually changed drastically because I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to integrate best practices into application & jobs 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And lots of are valid because they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I don’t use them for this website due to the fact that I do not need many of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Cron
All that stated, here are some of the larger photo disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be rather complicated– especially if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they likewise do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can lead to some developers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open to the public or just not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they already do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Cron
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to view that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a huge deal (when you surpass the learning curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site checklists to assist troubleshoot 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.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply look after it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t 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 anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Cron
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s special 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 foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, but those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured enables less adaptability too. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also costly to pay based on a variety of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to element additional 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 website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes further if your website requires lots of plugins for complete performance.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t really do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up having to do a painful migration to another email company 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 typically spending for performance & not having to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you really do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Cron
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even consist of much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits requires extra costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t use them to expand the expense of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, but what is best for you based on your goals, budget, resources & routines.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to stress over hosting concerns.
If handled 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 set up and see exactly what you think of their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more liberty/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer support.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Cron