WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Turn Off Caching
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to offer handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Turn Off Caching
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: 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.
Then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however as a whole, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is essential to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a different method. This evaluation will take a 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 Turn Off Caching
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous tasks because 2012. I do not use them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business discussed. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Turn Off Caching
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, but the general rule is that the more intricate your website is, the more complex the solutions to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally extra plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
However a slow site doesn’t indicate that you need a larger, much better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to stay quickly as you grow. There are lots of solutions … but either you or a designer should execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Turn Off Caching
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra scripts, too many 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 begin loading the page.
It’s great to have that kind of speed right out of package, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or intricate the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services since you are complimentary to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an integrated CDN, but they likewise provide worldwide data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Turn Off Caching
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Turn Off Caching
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a big 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 & changed 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 tough feature of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone 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 point out in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to search for access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need a financial investment of cash, time and competence.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing far better hitting all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the website through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually interacted with really knew the great workings of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Turn Off Caching
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically due to the fact that their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). But they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped clients who have been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a typically expensive situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Turn Off Caching
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just 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 same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both which permit more storage & more gos to (ie, generally as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time repairing issues.
Generally, if your time is better allocated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Turn Off Caching
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer 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 & consumer support to make that process take place. The phone support is a key factor, particularly being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd customer type is a startup website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on releasing a near-complete site simultaneously.
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 functions, consumers, and support that they can make pledges and offer support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Turn Off Caching
WP Engine excels not just on current features but also on developing brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web development finest practices have changed radically since I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to integrate best practices into execution & projects 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable 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 many stand because they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some clients. I do not utilize them for this website since I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Turn Off Caching
All that said, here are a few of the bigger image disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite made complex– especially if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can cause some developers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or merely not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they currently do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Turn Off Caching
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to see that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (when you surpass the knowing curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site lists to help fix all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply take care of everything.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Turn Off Caching
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for good reasons, but those restrictions restrict adaptability and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured permits less versatility too. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also costly to pay based upon a number of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to aspect extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your site requires numerous plugins for full performance.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you cannot truly do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up having to do an agonizing migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for performance & not needing to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you actually do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Turn Off Caching
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to 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 relatively transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even consist of a number of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs additional costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the price. You cannot use them to spread out the expense of your plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, however exactly what is best for you based upon your goals, budget, resources & routines.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a strong product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to worry about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more freedom/ better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Turn Off Caching