WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Hosting Reviews
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first companies to offer handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Hosting Reviews
While they have plenty of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as a whole, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is very important to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a different method. This review will 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 Reviews
I have actually used WP Engine for different jobs since 2012. I do not use them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business mentioned. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer service.” Here is their discount pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Wp Engine Hosting Reviews
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the solutions to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with an affordable shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site doesn’t indicate that you require a larger, better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to stay quickly as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … however either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have customized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the precise chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Hosting Reviews
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to start filling the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that method no matter how big or complicated 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 since you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, but they also supply global information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Hosting Reviews
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 Reviews
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has 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 stated, the hard thing about customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never know 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 discuss in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I prefer to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of loan, time and competence.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually interacted with really understood the fine workings 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 between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after numerous concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Hosting Reviews
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically since their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security basics are fairly uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website 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 takes place. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a lot of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & a generally expensive situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Hosting Reviews
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both which enable more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes each month. 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 gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or designer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is better designated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Hosting Reviews
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on development & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the site directly 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 handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that process happen. The phone support is an essential aspect, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a start-up site 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 unique backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website at one time.
They do not have any previous practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, many of the improvements 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 advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Hosting Reviews
WP Engine excels not only on existing features but likewise on creating brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually altered significantly given that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to integrate best practices into application & tasks with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of are valid because they just aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some clients. I do not utilize them for this site because I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Hosting Reviews
All that said, here are some of the bigger image disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be rather made complex– particularly if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they likewise do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can cause some developers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website available to the general public or simply not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they currently do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever explain best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Hosting Reviews
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (once you get past the learning curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety 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.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Hosting Reviews
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or very real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for great factors, however those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad 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 rates is structured allows for less adaptability also. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise pricey to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect extra 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 website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your website needs lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The exact same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t really do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for performance & not needing to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based on the functions you’re getting, you actually do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Hosting Reviews
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even include a number of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You can’t use them to expand the expense 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 an expensive choice, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, but what is finest for you based upon your goals, budget, resources & routines.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a great service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to fret about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see what you think of their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more flexibility/ much better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Hosting Reviews