WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Subdomains
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first business to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Subdomains
While they have lots of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief 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.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + 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 personalized WordPress hosting options.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is necessary to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a different approach. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Subdomains
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various jobs because 2012. I do not use them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a current 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 discussed. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer service.” Here is their discount pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Wp Engine Subdomains
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, but the guideline is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the services to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a few basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
However a slow site doesn’t suggest that you need a larger, better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might just need to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay quickly as you grow. There are a lot of services … but either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Subdomains
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, additional scripts, too many 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 start packing the page.
It’s good to have that kind 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 back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are free to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, however they likewise offer worldwide data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Subdomains
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Subdomains
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place 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 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 said, the hard feature of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever know if the story is because they spoke with 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 business treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to look for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of loan, time and competence.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over 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 actually knew the great operations of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after several concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Subdomains
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly due to the fact that their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). However they appear to understand 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 suppliers.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials are fairly 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a lot of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have helped clients who have been. It’s discouraging, laborious & a generally costly scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Subdomains
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, essentially as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices downside 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 developer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup 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 whole monthly charge right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or developer time repairing issues.
Generally, if your time is better allocated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Subdomains
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first customer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a key element, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a startup website owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s special backend and plan on releasing a near-complete site all at once.
They do not have any previous practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make pledges and offer support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements 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 modification. Wp Engine Subdomains
WP Engine stands out not only on current functions however also on producing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new developer features that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web advancement best practices have actually altered significantly considering that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to incorporate best practices into execution & 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And numerous are valid due to the fact that they merely aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some clients. I don’t use them for this site due to the fact that I do not need a lot of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Subdomains
All that said, here are a few of the larger image drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be rather made complex– especially if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the unique backend can result in some developers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev website available to the general public or merely not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they already do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never explain best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Subdomains
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to watch that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a huge deal (as soon as you get past the learning curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site lists 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.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Subdomains
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin habits for good factors, however those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For instance, 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 not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured enables less versatility also. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to aspect additional hosting costs 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 manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Business. And this point goes further if your site needs many plugins for full functionality.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you can’t truly do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another email company mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for performance & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally visiting often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Subdomains
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even include many of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to expand the expense of your plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, however exactly what is best for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & habits.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use an excellent service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to fret about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more liberty/ much better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer support.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Subdomains