WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Max Upload Size
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Max Upload Size
While they have plenty of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market 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 home builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all differ in services offered. Some simply 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 handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a different method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Max Upload Size
I have actually used WP Engine for various projects because 2012. I do not use them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a current client on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business discussed. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” Here is their promo 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 Max Upload Size
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your site is, the more complicated the options to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a few fundamental 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 few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally additional plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish website doesn’t suggest that you need a larger, better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may just need to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to remain fast as you grow. There are plenty of services … but either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have customized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Max Upload Size
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up 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 theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to begin packing the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right out of package, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or complicated 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 since you are free to focus on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an integrated CDN, however they also supply worldwide data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Max Upload Size
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Max Upload Size
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very 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 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 stated, the hard feature of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever know if the story is since they spoke 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 deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three require an investment of money, time and competence.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the website through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with actually understood 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 during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Max Upload Size
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically because their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). However they seem to know that support is core to their worth 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 suppliers.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security essentials 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site secure 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 everything off-site & all set to roll back if something happens. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a lot of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have helped customers who have been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a typically expensive situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Max Upload Size
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reliable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which permit more storage & more visits (ie, generally as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small WordPress websites 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 site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could 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 website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time fixing problems.
Basically, if your time is better designated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Max Upload Size
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a key element, particularly being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer 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 comfortable discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on releasing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any prior practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once 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 kind of client.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Max Upload Size
WP Engine excels not just on present features but likewise on creating new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer features that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have actually altered drastically because I started observing the market *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to incorporate best practices into implementation & projects 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous are valid since they simply aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some clients. I do not utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not need a number of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Max Upload Size
All that stated, here are a few of the larger image disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be quite complicated– specifically if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can lead to some developers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev website available to the public or just not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they currently do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever describe best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Max Upload Size
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to watch that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a big offer (when you get past the learning curve). But for a lot of, 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 truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website checklists to assist troubleshoot all sorts of concerns.
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 take care of everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Max Upload Size
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or extremely real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, but those restrictions limit versatility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured permits less adaptability also. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise pricey to pay based on a number of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to factor extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Service. And this point goes even more if your website needs numerous plugins for full functionality.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize 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 called for & ended up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another email company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for efficiency & not needing to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the functions you’re getting, you truly don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Max Upload Size
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the exact 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 fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr period 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 rapidly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as discussed previously that doesn’t even include many of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few 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,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 site files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, especially compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, however exactly what is best for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a fantastic service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to worry about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a suitable 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 set up and see what you think of their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more freedom/ better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Max Upload Size