WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to supply managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all differ in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the site 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 alternatives, but as an entire, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a different technique. This evaluation will 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 Lets Encrypt
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various tasks since 2012. I do not use them for my main websites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies pointed out. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class client 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 Lets Encrypt
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complex your website is, the more complicated the solutions to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a few standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually extra plugins, custom style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a slow site does not imply that you need a bigger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but 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.
Picture you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may just have to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain fast as you grow. There are lots of options … but either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have customized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting 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 among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to begin filling the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right from the box, and have it remain that method no matter how big or complex the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are totally free to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an integrated CDN, but they likewise offer global data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place 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 & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the hard feature of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is because they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I prefer to look for access, systems, and understanding, all three need an investment of loan, time and competence.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing much better striking all 3 boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has interacted with really knew the fine workings of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of numerous issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically because their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals are fairly simple:
- 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 commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that even though 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 eventually 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 & all set to roll back if something takes place. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually helped customers who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a generally expensive scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same rate from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates every 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 whole monthly fee right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or designer time fixing problems.
Generally, if your time is much better assigned far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is an essential factor, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a startup site owner that has the budget and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They do not have any previous habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, so many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
WP Engine stands out not just on current features but also on creating new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented new designer features that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even general web advancement best practices have actually altered drastically since I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to incorporate finest practices into application & 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many stand since 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 consumers. I do not use them for this site since I do not need a number of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
All that said, here are some of the larger photo drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be quite made complex– especially if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can result in some designers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site available to the public or merely not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice clients than they currently do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to see that video numerous 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 going to be a huge deal (when you surpass the learning curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However 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 help troubleshoot 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 in many cases, support will just look after all of it.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or very real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, but those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured allows for less flexibility also. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, but it’s also pricey to pay based on a variety of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to element additional hosting bills 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 deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your site needs lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot truly do automated email 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 supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically paying for performance & not having to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly 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” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even include much of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits needs extra expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t use them to spread out the cost of your plan,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is an expensive option, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, but exactly what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to fret about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. 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 existing host & desire more freedom/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt