WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Hosting Login
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Hosting Login
While they have plenty of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but 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 traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is necessary to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a different approach. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Hosting Login
I have actually utilized WP Engine for different tasks since 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main websites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer service.” Here is their promotion pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Wp Engine Hosting Login
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the services to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually extra plugins, custom style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
However a slow site doesn’t indicate that you need a larger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, however sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may simply have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to stay fast as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … however either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have actually customized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Hosting Login
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing 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 one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to start loading the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complicated the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are totally free to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an integrated CDN, however they likewise provide global data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Hosting Login
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Hosting Login
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very 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 ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult aspect of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I want to search for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 require a financial investment of loan, time and proficiency.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the website by means of 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 fine functions of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Hosting Login
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,especially due to the fact that their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). However they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals 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 notice that even though security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & a normally expensive situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Hosting Login
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, generally as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your installation 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 entire regular monthly charge right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost 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 could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or designer time repairing concerns.
Basically, if your time is much better assigned far from technical problems, 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 instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Hosting Login
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on advancement & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, 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 a continuous standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is an essential element, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a startup website owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s special backend and plan on launching a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any prior habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, so many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Hosting Login
WP Engine stands out not just on present features however also on producing brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new designer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even general web development finest practices have changed drastically considering that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to integrate finest practices into execution & projects 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many are valid due to the fact that 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 suitable for some consumers. I don’t use them for this site since I do not require many of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Hosting Login
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger image disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be quite complicated– especially 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 standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can lead to some designers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open to the general public or just not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they already do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never describe finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Hosting Login
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to view that video several 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 really going to be a big offer (once you get past the learning curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site 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.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And most of the times, 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 don’t need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Hosting Login
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or extremely genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for great factors, however those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured permits less versatility as well. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise costly to pay based on a variety of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to element additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Service. And this point goes even more if your website requires many plugins for full performance.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot really do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for performance & not needing to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you actually do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Hosting Login
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly 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 monthly tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even consist of a lot of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot use them to spread out the cost of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, however exactly what is finest for you based upon your objectives, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to stress over hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think of their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more flexibility/ much better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer support.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Hosting Login