WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Jobs
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to offer managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Jobs
While they have plenty of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: 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.
And then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is very important to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual 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 “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Jobs
I have actually utilized WP Engine for different tasks since 2012. I don’t use them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely 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 upon my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, effective 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 Jobs
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal 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 ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically extra plugins, custom style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish site doesn’t suggest that you require a larger, better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just need to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to remain quickly as you grow. There are lots of services … however either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Jobs
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of 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 quickly the server returned enough data to start loading the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that way 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 better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because you are totally free to concentrate on speed factors that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an integrated CDN, but they likewise supply global information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Jobs
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Jobs
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position 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 company has grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard thing about consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never understand if the story is since they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I prefer to look for access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need a financial investment of cash, time and know-how.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the website by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has connected with in fact knew the fine operations of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Jobs
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically due to the fact that their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially 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 “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security companies on code reviews 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 actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & an usually pricey circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Jobs
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and just as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same price from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both of which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small 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 site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation 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 visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or designer time repairing issues.
Essentially, if your time is much better assigned far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Jobs
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that process happen. The phone support is a crucial element, especially being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup 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 unique backend and intend on launching a near-complete site all at once.
They don’t have any previous habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, so many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Jobs
WP Engine excels not just on existing features but likewise on producing new, innovative hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new developer features that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have actually altered significantly since I started observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand enough web development 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of are valid since they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not require a lot of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Jobs
All that stated, here are some of the bigger picture downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be rather complicated– particularly if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the unique backend can lead to some designers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site available to the public or just not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they already do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Jobs
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to see that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a big deal (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of website checklists to assist troubleshoot all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And most of the times, support will just look after everything.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Jobs
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, but those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your website could 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 prices is structured allows for less versatility also. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also expensive to pay based upon a number of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to element extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Service. And this point goes further if your website requires lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you cannot really do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for efficiency & not needing to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you truly 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 usually visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Jobs
Many shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that does not even consist of many of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to expand the cost of your strategy,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is an expensive option, especially compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, but what is best for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to stress over hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see exactly 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, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Jobs