WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Migration
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to offer managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Migration
While they have a lot of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all vary in services 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 different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as a whole, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is essential to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, typically with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a various technique. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Migration
I’ve used WP Engine for numerous tasks given that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Migration
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your site is, the more complex the services to speed become.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a few standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a budget friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
But a sluggish site does not suggest that you need a bigger, much better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge 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 aid to stay fast as you grow. There are a lot of options … but either you or a designer should execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually customized servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Migration
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a personalized 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 determines how quickly the server returned enough information to begin packing the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it remain that method no matter how big or complicated the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are complimentary to focus on speed aspects that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, however they also supply international information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Migration
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Migration
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes 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:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has grown & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough feature of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever know if the story is because 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 want to search for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 require an investment of loan, time and competence.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually interacted with in fact knew the great workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “flip 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 Migration
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly since their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
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 large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Much like 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 essentially 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. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted clients who have actually been. It’s aggravating, laborious & an usually costly circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Migration
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and just up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k sees per month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole 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 could be WP Engine’s entire monthly 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 discuss any individual or designer time repairing problems.
Generally, if your time is better designated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Migration
Like I stated 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 consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on development & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a key aspect, especially being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a startup site owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make pledges and provide support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Migration
WP Engine stands out not only on current features but also on producing brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new developer features that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even general web development best practices have changed radically since I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to integrate best practices into execution & jobs 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 lots of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And many stand due to the fact that they simply 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 don’t utilize them for this website since I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Migration
All that stated, here are some of the bigger photo downsides 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 just adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they likewise don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can cause some developers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev website open to the general public or simply not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they already do.
Like numerous customized 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 explain best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Migration
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to watch that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a big deal (when you surpass the learning curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site lists to help 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 why they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just take care of it all.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Migration
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is also 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 need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for great factors, but those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured permits less flexibility also. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to factor additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile 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 a Personal or Service. And this point goes further if your website requires lots of plugins for complete performance.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot truly do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up needing to do an agonizing migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In either 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 usually paying for performance & not having to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you really do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally visiting regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Migration
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can definitely deal with 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 “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even consist of much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits needs additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to spread out the cost of your plan,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a costly choice, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, however what is best for you based upon your objectives, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to worry about hosting concerns.
If handled 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 install and see what you think about their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more freedom/ better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Migration