WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Downtime
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 handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Downtime
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name recognition and advanced functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all vary in services offered. 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 handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however as an entire, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, 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 contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a different approach. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Downtime
I’ve used WP Engine for different projects since 2012. I don’t use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class client service.” 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 Downtime
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your site is, the more complicated the options to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a few fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically additional plugins, customized theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish site does not imply that you need a bigger, better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, however sometimes it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might just need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay quickly as you grow. There are lots of services … but either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the precise chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Downtime
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a tailored 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 one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to start packing the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right from package, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or intricate the website 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 might get with other services since you are totally free to focus on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, however they likewise offer international information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Downtime
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Downtime
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has 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 said, the tough thing about consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never understand if the story is because they talked 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 business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I like to search for access, systems, and knowledge, all three require a financial investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the website through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has connected with really understood the fine workings of WordPress and has been able 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 shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Downtime
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly since their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the downsides). But they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty 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 essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a normally costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Downtime
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very 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 just a couple dollars per month.
Both which permit more storage & more sees (ie, essentially as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes on a monthly basis. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or designer time repairing problems.
Generally, if your time is much better allocated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually 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 Downtime
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on development & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process take place. The phone support is a crucial element, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on releasing a near-complete site at one time.
They don’t have any previous habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make pledges and offer support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Downtime
WP Engine excels not only on existing functions however likewise on creating new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new designer features that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web advancement best practices have actually changed drastically given that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to incorporate finest practices into implementation & 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of 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 customers. I don’t use them for this website due to the fact that I do not require many of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Downtime
All that stated, here are a few of the larger picture downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be quite complicated– especially if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has improved. 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 features exist, the distinct backend can result in some developers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or simply not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice customers than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never explain finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Downtime
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to see that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a big offer (once you surpass the learning curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site lists to help fix 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 most of the times, support will just look after all of it.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not need to get 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 Downtime
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really real physical limitations), but 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 pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, however those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted 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 way their prices is structured enables less flexibility also. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s also costly to pay based on a variety of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Service. And this point goes further if your site needs many plugins for complete functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t actually do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for efficiency & not needing to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based on the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Downtime
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed previously that doesn’t even consist of a number of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires additional expenses & 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 sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to expand 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 & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a costly option, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, but exactly what is finest for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to fret about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see exactly what you consider their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more freedom/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Downtime