WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Disallowed Plugins
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to provide managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Disallowed Plugins
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name recognition and advanced functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all differ in services supplied. 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 managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as a whole, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, 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 great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a different technique. This evaluation 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 Disallowed Plugins
I’ve used WP Engine for different projects considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business discussed. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” 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 Disallowed Plugins
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, but the guideline is that the more complex your site is, the more complicated the options to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
However a slow site doesn’t mean that you require a bigger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might just need to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay quick as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … but either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and determine the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Disallowed Plugins
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough information to start packing the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that method no matter how big or intricate the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services since you are free to focus on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, however they also provide international information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Disallowed Plugins
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Disallowed Plugins
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my 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 & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the difficult thing about customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never understand if the story is because they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or a cost.
I want to search for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 require a financial investment of money, time and expertise.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of 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 understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with in fact knew the fine operations of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, 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 was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Disallowed Plugins
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically due to the fact that their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security basics 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 use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, 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 occurs. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & a generally pricey circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Disallowed Plugins
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost 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 monthly.
Both which enable more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
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 entire 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 entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time fixing concerns.
Generally, if your time is much better assigned far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Disallowed Plugins
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems 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 procedure, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on development & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a much better host.
They’re also developed 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 occur. The phone support is a key element, specifically having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd customer type is a startup website owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any prior habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, so many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Disallowed Plugins
WP Engine stands out not only on present functions but also on creating new, innovative hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out new designer features that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even general web development finest practices have actually changed significantly considering that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to integrate best practices into execution & jobs with developers.
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 best suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many stand since they simply 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 consumers. I do not utilize them for this site because I do not need a lot of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Disallowed Plugins
All that stated, here are a few of the larger image disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be quite made complex– especially if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the distinct backend can lead to some designers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev website available to the general public or simply not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more novice customers than they currently do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever explain best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Disallowed Plugins
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to enjoy that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a huge deal (as soon as you get past the learning curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website checklists to assist troubleshoot 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 take care of it all.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Disallowed Plugins
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or very real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, however those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured allows for less flexibility as well. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also pricey to pay based on a number of gos to.
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 aspect extra hosting bills 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 enable on a Personal or Business. And this point goes further if your website requires numerous plugins for full functionality.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot really do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another email supplier 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 typically paying for efficiency & not having to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Disallowed Plugins
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) managed 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 definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even consist of much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits needs extra costs & technical implementation 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 websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to expand the cost of your strategy,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is an expensive option, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, but exactly what is finest for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a fantastic service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to worry about hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more flexibility/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive client service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine Disallowed Plugins