WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Mysql
While they have plenty of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all vary in services provided. Some just 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 truly buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as a whole, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it’s important to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, generally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however 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 “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Mysql
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various projects since 2012. I don’t use them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business mentioned. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying consumer 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 “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer service.” Here is their discount 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 Mysql
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, but the guideline is that the more complicated your website is, the more intricate the services to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a few basic plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
However a sluggish website 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 effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may just need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate 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 developer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the precise chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Mysql
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed 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 bloated style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin filling the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right out of package, and have it remain that method no matter how big or complicated the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because you are totally free to focus on speed factors that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, however they also provide global information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Mysql
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Mysql
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a big emphasis 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 business has grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the hard thing about client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never 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 evaluation, the important part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to search for access, systems, and knowledge, all three require an investment of loan, time and competence.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the site via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has communicated with actually knew the fine workings of WordPress and has actually 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 shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after numerous problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Mysql
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially because their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). However they seem to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials are relatively straightforward:
- 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 observe that even though security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t 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 & ready to roll back if something occurs. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually helped customers who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tedious & a typically costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Mysql
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and only as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very 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 monthly.
Both which enable more storage & more sees (ie, generally as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & 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 monthly charge right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge 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 could be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or developer time fixing concerns.
Generally, if your time is better allocated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Mysql
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of clients, 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 designers and designers who wish to focus on development & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a crucial aspect, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd customer type is a startup website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any prior habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Mysql
WP Engine excels not just on current features but also on developing brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new designer features that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even general web development finest practices have actually changed drastically considering that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know sufficient 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of 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 an excellent fit for some customers. I do not use them for this website because I do not require a lot of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Mysql
All that stated, here are a few of the larger picture drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite complicated– particularly if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the unique backend can result in some designers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site open to the public or merely not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they currently do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Mysql
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to view that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website lists to assist repair 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.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Mysql
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really real physical limitations), however 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 rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin behavior for great factors, but those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured enables less versatility as well. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also pricey to pay based upon a variety of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to factor additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want 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 permit on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your website needs lots of plugins for full performance.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you can’t actually do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up needing to do a painful migration to another email service provider 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 typically spending for efficiency & not having to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the functions you’re getting, you really do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally logging in often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Mysql
Lots of 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 standard caching) dealt with more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even include many of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of 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,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, but exactly what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a great service with a strong product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to fret about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see what you think about their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more liberty/ better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Mysql