WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Raises
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to provide managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Raises
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all differ in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a various technique. This review 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 Raises
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous projects since 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business mentioned. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer service.” 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 Raises
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your site is, the more complicated the services to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of basic plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally additional plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a slow site does not imply that you need a larger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply need to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain quick as you grow. There are a lot of services … but either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have actually customized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Raises
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough information to start loading the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or intricate the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are free to focus on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an integrated CDN, but they likewise supply worldwide data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Raises
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Raises
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my 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 stated, the hard thing about customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever know if the story is since they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need a financial investment of loan, time and expertise.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing much better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site via chat.
Based on their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually interacted with actually understood the fine workings of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of numerous concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Raises
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly since their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, 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 discover that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely 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 actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a typically expensive scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Raises
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both which enable more storage & more sees (ie, basically as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly 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 might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time fixing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better assigned away from technical issues, 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 a cost.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Raises
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on advancement & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process take place. The phone support is an essential aspect, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third client type is a startup site owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site at one time.
They don’t have any previous practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of clients, 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 performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Raises
WP Engine stands out not only on existing functions however also on creating brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new designer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even general web development best practices have altered drastically since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web advancement to incorporate best practices into application & projects with designers.
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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of are valid since they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some customers. I do not use them for this site because I do not need many of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Raises
All that said, here are a few of the larger photo downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be rather made complex– specifically if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can result in some designers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev website open to the public or simply not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they already do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never describe best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Raises
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial deal (when you get past the learning curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site checklists to assist troubleshoot 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 in most cases, support will just look after it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Raises
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for great reasons, but those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured enables less adaptability as well. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise pricey to pay based on a number of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to factor additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want 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 allow on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your website needs numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot truly do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up needing to do a painful migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for efficiency & not needing to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you actually do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Raises
Many shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even include many of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to expand the expense of your plan,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, especially compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, but what is best for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a fantastic service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to stress over 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 assurance. So do a test install and see what you think about their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more flexibility/ much better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer support.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Raises