WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Meet And Greet
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to supply handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Meet And Greet
While they have plenty of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name recognition and advanced features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief 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 after that there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher cost 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 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 alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is essential to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a various approach. 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 Meet And Greet
I’ve used WP Engine for different tasks considering that 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present client 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 mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Meet And Greet
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complex your site is, the more intricate the options to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a few standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with a budget friendly shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish website does not suggest that you require a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to remain fast as you grow. There are lots of services … but either you or a designer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Meet And Greet
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complicated the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are free to focus on speed factors that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an integrated CDN, but they likewise provide international information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Meet And Greet
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Meet And Greet
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a big 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 business 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 difficult thing about client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that they talked 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 treats support as an investment or an expense.
I want to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually connected with really knew the great operations of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Meet And Greet
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the downsides). But they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals are fairly uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something happens. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have assisted clients who have actually been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a normally costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Meet And Greet
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or developer time repairing issues.
Basically, if your time is better designated far 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 a financial investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Meet And Greet
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears 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 customer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous fundamental website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is an essential aspect, particularly being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make pledges and supply support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Meet And Greet
WP Engine excels not just on current features but also on developing brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new developer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually altered radically given that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web development to incorporate best practices into implementation & tasks with developers.
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 best suitable for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of are valid because they simply aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some customers. 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 Meet And Greet
All that said, here are a few of the bigger picture disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be rather made complex– specifically if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they likewise do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the distinct backend can lead to some designers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open to the general public or just not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they already do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Meet And Greet
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to enjoy that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a huge deal (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site lists to assist fix 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 for the most parts, support will simply look after everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Meet And Greet
WP Engine’s proprietary 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 as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for good reasons, however those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller websites, it gets the job done 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 with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured allows for less flexibility too. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also pricey to pay based upon a variety of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor 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 site on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes further if your site requires numerous plugins for complete performance.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot really do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up needing to do a painful migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for performance & not needing to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the functions you’re getting, you actually don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Meet And Greet
Many shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even consist of a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to expand the cost of your plan,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, but exactly what is finest for you based upon your objectives, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a strong product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to fret about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit 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 consider their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more freedom/ better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine Meet And Greet