WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Salaries
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first companies to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Salaries
While they have plenty of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer 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 truly purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all compete with standard 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 very important to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a different technique. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Salaries
I have actually used WP Engine for different projects since 2012. I do not use them for my main sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business mentioned. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Salaries
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your site is, the more intricate the options to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text site with a few standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an inexpensive shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally extra plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a slow site does not imply that you require a larger, much better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to remain quick as you grow. There are lots of services … but either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Salaries
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have such a customized caching setup.
The fascinating 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 puffed up style, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to start loading the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are free to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an integrated CDN, however they also provide global information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Salaries
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Salaries
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a huge 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 company has actually grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the hard aspect of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never understand if the story is because they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I want to search for access, systems, and understanding, all three require an investment of money, time and proficiency.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing far better hitting all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has engaged with in fact knew the fine operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after numerous issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Salaries
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,especially because their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security basics are relatively simple:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that even though security on WordPress is simple, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. 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 basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Given that 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 likewise works closely with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually helped customers who have been. It’s frustrating, tedious & a normally pricey situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Salaries
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and just up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your 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 each month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, generally as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k sees per month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 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 entire monthly cost right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time repairing concerns.
Generally, if your time is better assigned away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Salaries
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the website 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 manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate 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 & customer support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential element, especially being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a startup website owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on launching a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Salaries
WP Engine excels not only on current functions however likewise on developing new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented new developer features that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even basic web development finest practices have changed drastically given that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand enough web advancement to integrate finest practices into application & tasks 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And many stand because they just aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some clients. I don’t utilize them for this site since I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Salaries
All that said, here are a few of the bigger image downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be rather complicated– specifically if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually 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 don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the special backend can result in some developers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website open to the public or just not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they already do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Salaries
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to see that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a substantial deal (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site lists to help repair all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply take care of everything.
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 don’t have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Salaries
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or very real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, but those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured allows for less versatility too. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s also pricey to pay based upon a number of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to aspect extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your website requires numerous plugins for full functionality.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you cannot really do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another email company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically paying for performance & not having to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the functions you’re getting, you truly don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Salaries
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to 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 fairly transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even include much of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to spread out the expense of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a costly choice, especially compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, however exactly what is best for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to worry about 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 exactly what you think about their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more freedom/ better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Salaries