WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Plugin Updates
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to provide handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Plugin Updates
While they have plenty of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all vary in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost 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 an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is very important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a various approach. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Plugin Updates
I have actually utilized WP Engine for different jobs given that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current client on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or specialist 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 assure “stunning speed, effective 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 Plugin Updates
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your site is, the more complex the options to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a budget friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site does not mean that you need a bigger, much better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more powerful 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.
Imagine you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain quick as you grow. There are lots of services … but either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have actually tailored servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Plugin Updates
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra 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 start packing the page.
It’s great to have that kind of speed right from the box, 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 consumed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are totally free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, however they also supply worldwide information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Plugin Updates
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Plugin Updates
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place 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 business 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 said, the hard feature of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never understand if the story is due to the fact that they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of money, time and proficiency.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the website via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has engaged with really understood the fine functions of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after numerous concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Plugin Updates
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly since their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely 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 & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals 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 utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site protected is still eventually 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 occurs. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also 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), but have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s discouraging, laborious & a normally costly scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Plugin Updates
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both of which enable more storage & more gos to (ie, basically as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes on a monthly basis. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time repairing concerns.
Basically, if your time is much better designated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal 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.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Plugin Updates
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing basic site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is an essential element, especially being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any prior practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. 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 kind of consumer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Plugin Updates
WP Engine excels not only on present functions however likewise on producing brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new designer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web development finest practices have altered significantly since I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know sufficient web advancement to incorporate finest practices into implementation & projects with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And numerous are valid since they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this website because I do not require a number of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Plugin Updates
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger picture disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite made complex– specifically if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can lead to some developers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open up to the public or merely not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice clients than they already do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never describe best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Plugin Updates
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to see that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (when you get past the learning curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site checklists to help 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 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 many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Plugin Updates
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit more to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for great factors, but those restrictions limit flexibility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured enables less versatility too. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a variety of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to aspect additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow 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 looking to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot really do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for efficiency & not having to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Plugin Updates
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic 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 reliable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even consist of many of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to expand the expense of your strategy,particularly 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 & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, especially compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, however exactly what is best for you based upon your goals, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to stress over hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more freedom/ much better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine Plugin Updates