WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Linkedin
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all differ 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 different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers 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 website material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a various technique. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Linkedin
I have actually used WP Engine for various projects given that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All information & 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 pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Linkedin
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complex your website is, the more intricate the services to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom-made theme 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 set up.
But a sluggish site doesn’t imply that you need a larger, much better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may simply need to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain fast as you grow. There are a lot of options … but 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 personalized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Linkedin
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or complicated the website 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 may get with other services since you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, but they also supply global information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Linkedin
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Linkedin
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult thing about client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever know if the story is since they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I want to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need an investment of cash, time and competence.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the site via chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually connected with actually understood the great workings of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Linkedin
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially because their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the downsides). But they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very 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 business arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that even though security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally 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. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a lot of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have helped customers who have been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a generally costly scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Linkedin
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both of which enable more storage & more gos to (ie, generally as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k sees each month on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
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.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes monthly. 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 gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time repairing problems.
Essentially, if your time is better designated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Linkedin
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types 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 first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is a key element, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any previous habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Linkedin
WP Engine stands out not just on existing features but also on creating new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even basic web development best practices have changed radically since I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to incorporate finest practices into execution & tasks 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 very best fit for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of stand since they just aren’t a fit 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 don’t use them for this website since I do not require much of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Linkedin
All that said, here are a few of the larger photo 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 made complex– especially if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can cause some developers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open to the general public or merely not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they currently do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never describe finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Linkedin
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to enjoy that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (when you get past the learning curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site lists to assist repair 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 in most cases, support will just look after everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Linkedin
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is also connected 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 consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, however those restrictions restrict adaptability and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured enables less flexibility also. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based on a number of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor extra 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 manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your website requires many plugins for full functionality.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you can’t actually do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer 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 prices based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for performance & not needing to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you truly don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Linkedin
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even consist of much of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs extra costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to expand the cost of your plan,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, especially compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, but what is finest for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a strong item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to stress over hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see what you think of their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more flexibility/ much better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, 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 Linkedin