WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Events
While they have a lot of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name recognition and advanced features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all vary in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a various method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Events
I’ve used WP Engine for various tasks because 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Events
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, however the guideline is that the more intricate your website is, the more intricate the solutions to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with an inexpensive shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually extra plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish website does not suggest that you require a bigger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may 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 aid to stay quick as you grow. There are lots of services … but either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Events
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to start filling the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complex the site gets.
*Note 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 given that you are free to focus on speed elements that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an integrated CDN, however they likewise offer worldwide data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Events
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Events
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my 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 hard feature of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is because they spoke with 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 deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I like to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need a financial investment of loan, time and proficiency.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the site by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually engaged with really understood the fine functions of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after a number of concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Events
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly since their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). However 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 Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However 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 community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security essentials are relatively 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 discover 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 website safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something takes place. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security companies 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 sites (knock on wood), however have actually helped clients who have been. It’s aggravating, tedious & a typically costly circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Events
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which enable more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & 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 month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge 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 could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or developer time repairing issues.
Basically, if your time is better assigned 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 a cost.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Events
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is an essential aspect, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on launching a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any prior routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Events
WP Engine excels not only on present features however likewise on producing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented new designer functions that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even general web development finest practices have altered drastically because I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to incorporate finest practices into implementation & projects with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And numerous are valid because they merely aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I do not use them for this site since I do not require many of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Events
All that said, here are some of the bigger photo downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be quite made complex– particularly if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can cause some developers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website available to the general public or merely not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they already do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Events
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to enjoy that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a big deal (when you get past the knowing curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site checklists to assist fix all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And in most cases, support will just look after all of it.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Events
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for good factors, but those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured enables less versatility also. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also costly to pay based upon a number of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to aspect extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Service. And this point goes further if your website needs lots of plugins for full performance.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot really do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up having to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying 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 actually don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Events
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even include many of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits needs additional costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted 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 use them to expand the cost of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, however exactly what is best for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to stress over hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see what you think of their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more freedom/ much better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer support.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Events