WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Git
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, 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 website content + performance.
Every rival 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 customized WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it’s important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, usually with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a various approach. 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 “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Git
I’ve used WP Engine for different tasks given that 2012. I do not use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Git
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, however the guideline is that the more intricate your site is, the more complex the services to speed become.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a few standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
But a sluggish website doesn’t imply that you require a bigger, better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay quick as you grow. There are lots of services … however either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the specific chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Git
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin packing the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or intricate the site gets.
*Keep in mind 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 may get with other services because you are totally free to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, however they also offer international data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Git
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Git
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a big focus 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 company has 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 tough thing about customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever know if the story is since 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 deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to search for access, systems, and understanding, all three require a financial investment of money, time and expertise.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has engaged with actually understood the great functions of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Git
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically because their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, 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 even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe is still eventually 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 takes place. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have helped clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & an usually expensive circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Git
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which enable more storage & more visits (ie, essentially as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, but 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 incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time repairing issues.
Essentially, if your time is better designated far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Git
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of clients 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 client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing fundamental site 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 irritated at having to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is an essential element, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any previous routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make promises and provide support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Git
WP Engine stands out not just on present functions however likewise on producing new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented new designer features that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually changed drastically considering that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web development to integrate best practices into execution & jobs 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 suitable for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of are valid due to the fact that they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some customers. I do not utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not require a number of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Git
All that said, here are a few of the larger image drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be quite made complex– specifically if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the special backend can lead to some designers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev website available to the public or merely not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more novice customers than they currently do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never explain finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Git
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to enjoy that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (once you surpass the learning curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website checklists to assist repair 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.
Again– they have reasons why they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just look after everything.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Git
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, however those restrictions restrict adaptability and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured enables less flexibility as well. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a number of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor 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 handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Company. And this point goes further if your website requires lots of plugins for complete performance.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t really do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up needing to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not having to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the functions you’re getting, you really do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Git
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed earlier that doesn’t even consist of a number of the functions you do not 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 costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t use them to expand the cost of your plan,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, however what is best for you based on your goals, budget, resources & habits.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want 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 install and see what you think of their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more flexibility/ better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Git