WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Tx
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all differ in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every competitor 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 conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it’s important to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated evaluations based upon 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 webhosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Tx
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various projects because 2012. I do not utilize them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational 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 Tx
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, however the guideline is that the more complex your site is, the more complicated the options to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally extra plugins, custom style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a slow website doesn’t mean that you require a bigger, much better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, however often it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay quickly as you grow. There are plenty of options … however either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have customized servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Tx
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing 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 one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional 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 measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or complicated the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an integrated CDN, however they also supply global information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Tx
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Tx
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has 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 difficult aspect of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I want to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need a financial investment of loan, time and know-how.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website through chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually communicated with in fact understood the fine functions of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of several issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Tx
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,especially since their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site safe 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 & all set to roll back if something occurs. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually helped customers who have been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & an usually expensive scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Tx
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which enable more storage & more gos to (ie, generally as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k gos to per month on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup 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 entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time fixing concerns.
Basically, if your time is much better allocated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial 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 Tx
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a crucial element, specifically having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a startup site owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on releasing a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any previous habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Tx
WP Engine stands out not just on existing functions however also on developing brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out new designer features that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even general web advancement best practices have actually altered significantly because I began observing the market *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know sufficient web advancement to incorporate best practices into execution & tasks 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of are valid because they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some customers. I do not use them for this website because I do not need many of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Tx
All that stated, here are a few of the larger photo disadvantages 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. Which distinction can be rather made complex– specifically if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can lead to some developers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open to the public or simply not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they currently do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Tx
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to view that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a huge deal (once you surpass the knowing curve). But for many, 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 myriad of website 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.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply look after it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Tx
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for good factors, but those restrictions limit versatility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured allows for less versatility as well. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also costly to pay based on a number of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect additional 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 handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your website requires lots of plugins for complete performance.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you cannot truly do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up having to do a painful migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically paying for performance & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally logging in often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Tx
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned earlier that does not even consist of many of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires extra costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t utilize them to spread out the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, but exactly what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers 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 guarantee. So do a test install and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more flexibility/ better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer support.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Tx