WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Uk
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features 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 install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the website 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, but as a whole, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is very important to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a different approach. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Uk
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous jobs since 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning 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 Uk
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, however the general rule is that the more intricate your site is, the more complex the solutions to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of basic plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with an inexpensive shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally additional plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish site doesn’t imply that you need a bigger, 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 certain order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may simply need to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain quickly as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … but either you or a developer should execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the specific chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Uk
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to start loading the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how big or intricate the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services since you are free to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, but they also provide worldwide information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Uk
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Uk
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my first contacts with support back in 2012:
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 stated, the hard aspect of customer 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 talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or an expense.
I like to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of loan, time and expertise.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with actually understood the fine functions of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just 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 taking care of numerous problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Uk
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically since their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security basics are relatively uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site secure is still eventually 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 whatever 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 tackle a lot of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually helped clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tedious & a normally expensive scenario (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 Uk
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both which enable more storage & more check outs (ie, basically as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k gos to per month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates each month & 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 regular monthly charge right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time repairing concerns.
Basically, if your time is much better allocated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Uk
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first customer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on development & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous fundamental website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a crucial element, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up site owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website at one time.
They do not have any previous routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Uk
WP Engine stands out not only on existing functions however also on developing new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new designer features that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have altered drastically given that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And numerous stand since they just aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some customers. I don’t use them for this site due to the fact that I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Uk
All that said, here are a few of the larger image disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be quite made complex– specifically if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they also don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can cause some developers making errors ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or simply not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they currently do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never explain finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Uk
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to view that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a big deal (as soon as you get past the learning curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website checklists to assist troubleshoot 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 they do all this. And most of the times, support will just look after all of it.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Uk
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or very genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, but those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured permits less versatility also. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also expensive to pay based upon a variety of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to element additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Business. And this point goes even more if your website needs lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you cannot truly do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for performance & not needing to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the functions you’re getting, you actually don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Uk
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the exact 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 fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour period 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 relatively transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even consist of a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t use them to spread out the expense of your plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, but what is finest for you based on your goals, budget, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to fret about hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see what you consider their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more freedom/ much better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Uk