WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Raising Prices
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first companies to supply managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Raising Prices
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all differ in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every competitor 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 choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is essential to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a various method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Raising Prices
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous projects considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational 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 Raising Prices
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the services to speed become.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish website does not mean that you need a bigger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, however sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much 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 help to remain quickly as you grow. There are lots of services … but either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common web host. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Raising Prices
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it stay that way no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are complimentary to focus on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, however they likewise offer worldwide data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Raising Prices
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Raising Prices
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a huge focus 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 actually grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard feature of 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 to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to look for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 require an investment of money, time and proficiency.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all three boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually interacted with really knew the fine functions of WordPress and has actually 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 during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Raising Prices
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly since their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). However they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a great deal of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security companies 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 free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a typically expensive circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Raising Prices
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which enable more storage & more check outs (ie, basically as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices 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 value & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & 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 update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or developer time repairing issues.
Generally, if your time is better assigned far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Raising Prices
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. 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 procedure, the very first consumer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can ensure 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 including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is an essential factor, particularly being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a startup website owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site at one time.
They don’t have any prior habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, numerous of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Raising Prices
WP Engine excels not just on current features but likewise on creating brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development best practices have changed drastically given that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to integrate best practices into application & tasks 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 best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of stand since they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not need a number of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Raising Prices
All that stated, here are some of the larger picture disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be quite made complex– especially if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can result in some designers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open to the public or merely 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 many custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Raising Prices
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site lists to assist troubleshoot all sorts of problems.
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 most of the times, support will just take care of it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Raising Prices
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, however those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured enables less versatility as well. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, however it’s also pricey to pay based on a number of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to factor additional hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Company. And this point goes further if your website needs many plugins for complete performance.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you can’t really do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up having to do an unpleasant 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 on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for efficiency & not having to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you actually don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Raising Prices
Many shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even consist of many 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 limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits requires extra expenses & technical execution 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 websites, you need to factor those into the price. You can’t utilize them to expand the expense of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a costly choice, especially compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best overall, but exactly what is finest for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to worry about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think of their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more freedom/ better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Raising Prices