WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Webinars
While they have plenty of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all differ in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers 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 + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as an entire, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however 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 on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a various technique. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Webinars
I’ve used WP Engine for various projects considering that 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current client 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 companies pointed out. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” Here is their promo 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 Webinars
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your site is, the more complex the services to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a few standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
However a slow website doesn’t imply that you require a bigger, much better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply need to get rid of the emergency brake, set up 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 lots of solutions … but either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and identify the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Webinars
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well 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 puffed up style, 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 quickly the server returned enough information 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 big or complicated the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are totally free to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an integrated CDN, but they also provide global data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Webinars
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Webinars
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among 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 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 thing about customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is since they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I want to search for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 require an investment of loan, time and knowledge.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually interacted with actually knew the great functions of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however 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 remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Webinars
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly because their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). However they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are fairly 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is simple, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to 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 finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a typically costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Webinars
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both which permit more storage & more visits (ie, generally as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Simply 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 regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or designer time repairing issues.
Essentially, if your time is much better designated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal 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 concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Webinars
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on development & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some spending plan for handled 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, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third consumer type is a startup website owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They do not have any prior practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Webinars
WP Engine stands out not only on present features however likewise on developing brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even general web advancement best practices have actually changed significantly given that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web development to integrate best practices into application & jobs 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And many are valid due to the fact that they just aren’t a fit for everybody. 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 site since I do not need many of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Webinars
All that stated, here are some of the larger picture drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be quite complicated– especially if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the special backend can cause some designers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev website available to the public or just not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner consumers than they already do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever explain best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Webinars
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to watch that video multiple 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 huge deal (once you surpass the knowing curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site checklists 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.
Again– they have reasons why they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply look after it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Webinars
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, however those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured allows for less flexibility as well. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also costly to pay based on a number of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes further if your site needs numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t really do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for performance & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the functions you’re getting, you really don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Webinars
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even include many of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You can’t use them to spread out the expense of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are planning to spend 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 choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, however what is best for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & practices.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a great service with a solid item. Their prices 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 website designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to fret about hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more freedom/ better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive client service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Webinars