WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine WordPress Plugin
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to provide managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine WordPress Plugin
While they have a lot of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all differ in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is essential to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, normally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a different approach. 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 “best fit” for. Wp Engine WordPress Plugin
I’ve utilized WP Engine for different tasks given that 2012. I do not utilize them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business mentioned. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 WordPress Plugin
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your website is, the more intricate the solutions to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually extra plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish website doesn’t imply that you need a bigger, much better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just have to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay quick as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … but either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine WordPress Plugin
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s great to have that kind of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complicated the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, however they also supply worldwide information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine WordPress Plugin
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine WordPress Plugin
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the difficult thing about client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never understand 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 important part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I want to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of loan, time and proficiency.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with in fact knew the great workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine WordPress Plugin
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically because their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security essentials 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 use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a typically pricey circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine WordPress Plugin
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the 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 of which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, basically as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time fixing problems.
Basically, if your time is better assigned far from technical problems, 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 an investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine WordPress Plugin
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on development & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also established 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 occur. The phone support is a key factor, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third consumer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website at one time.
They do not have any previous routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make pledges and offer support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, so many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine WordPress Plugin
WP Engine stands out not only on present features however likewise on producing new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented new designer functions that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even general web development finest practices have changed drastically since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to incorporate finest practices into application & tasks with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has 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 a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many are valid because they merely aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some consumers. I do not use them for this site because I do not require a number of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine WordPress Plugin
All that said, here are a few of the bigger photo 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 distinction can be quite made complex– particularly if you have just adequate 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 standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the distinct backend can lead to some developers making errors varying from annoying redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site available to the general public or merely not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they already do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine WordPress Plugin
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to see that video multiple 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 customized backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (when you surpass the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site lists to help troubleshoot all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just take care of all of it.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine WordPress Plugin
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely real 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 discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, but those restrictions restrict adaptability and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured permits less adaptability too. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also pricey to pay based upon a number of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element 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 deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Business. And this point goes even more if your site needs numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot really do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up having to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically paying for efficiency & not having to believe too much about upkeep, 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 lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine WordPress Plugin
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the exact 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 basic caching) managed more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed previously that doesn’t even consist of many of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits requires additional costs & technical execution 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 price. You cannot utilize them to expand the expense of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a pricey option, especially compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, but exactly what is best for you based upon your goals, budget, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a terrific service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to worry about hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see what you consider their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more flexibility/ better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer support.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine WordPress Plugin