WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Email Address
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to supply handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Email Address
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all vary in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides 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 website material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as an entire, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
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 lot of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a different approach. This review will 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 Email Address
I have actually used WP Engine for different tasks since 2012. I don’t use them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying client or specialist 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 “stunning speed, effective 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 Email Address
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, however the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the services to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text site with a few standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually extra plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
However a slow website does not imply that you need a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just need to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain quick as you grow. There are lots of options … however either you or a developer must implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Email Address
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform due to the fact that 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, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to start filling the page.
Now here is the speed test of a standard WordPress install. WP Engine not just gets solid TTFB times however keep in mind how comparable the First Byte and First Render are to the Unoptimized website.
It’s good to have that type of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are complimentary to concentrate on speed aspects 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 integrated CDN, however they also supply global data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Email Address
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Email Address
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a big focus 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 company has grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the hard thing about consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever understand 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 review, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I like to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three require an investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with in fact understood the great functions of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Email Address
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). However they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals 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 see that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe and secure 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 everything off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a lot of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped customers who have been. It’s frustrating, tedious & a generally costly scenario (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 Email Address
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, generally as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of small 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 worth & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly 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 could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time fixing concerns.
Basically, if your time is better allocated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Email Address
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on development & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process take place. The phone support is an essential factor, particularly being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer 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 discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any prior practices or custom-mades 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 promises and provide support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Email Address
WP Engine excels not only on present functions but also on producing new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new developer features that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even basic web development best practices have altered drastically given that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web advancement to incorporate finest practices into execution & tasks with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And numerous stand since they merely aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit 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 comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Email Address
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger image disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be rather complicated– specifically if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can result in some developers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev site available to the public or just not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they currently do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Email Address
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (once you get past the learning curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website lists to assist 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 why they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply take care of all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Email Address
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or very real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin behavior for good factors, however those restrictions restrict adaptability and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured allows for less flexibility too. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise costly to pay based on a variety of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to aspect 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 manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Service. And this point goes further if your website needs lots of plugins for full functionality.
The exact same chooses 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 utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot truly do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up having to do a painful migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for performance & not needing to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you actually do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Email Address
Many shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even include a number of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot utilize them to spread out the expense of your plan,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a pricey option, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, however what is best for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a fantastic service with a solid product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to fret about hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more freedom/ better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer support.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Email Address