WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all vary in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however as an entire, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a different method. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine
I have actually used WP Engine for different tasks considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main websites today (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business discussed. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, but the general rule is that the more complex your website is, the more complicated the options to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text site with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally extra plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site doesn’t suggest that you require a larger, much better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to transport a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might just 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 fast as you grow. There are lots of services … but either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with very aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the precise chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up 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 information to begin filling the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that way no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are totally free to focus on speed factors that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an integrated CDN, however they likewise offer worldwide data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 stated, the difficult feature of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever 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 treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three require an investment of money, time and know-how.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually interacted with actually knew the fine workings of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to expertly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after a number of concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically due to the fact that their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). However they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. 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 generally 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 takes place. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have actually been. It’s aggravating, tedious & an usually pricey situation (even if you are utilizing 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
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both which permit more storage & more sees (ie, basically as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k sees each month on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time fixing concerns.
Basically, if your time is better assigned away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing fundamental site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process happen. The phone support is a crucial factor, particularly having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a start-up site owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on launching a near-complete website at one time.
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, clients, and support that they can make pledges and offer support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, numerous of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine
WP Engine stands out not just on present features but also on developing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented new designer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web advancement best practices have changed radically because I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to incorporate finest practices into implementation & jobs 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of are valid since they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this site because I do not need a lot of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine
All that said, here are some of the larger photo disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be quite made complex– specifically if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can cause some developers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the public or merely not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they currently do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to watch that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a big offer (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website checklists 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.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply look after all of it.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for good reasons, but those restrictions restrict adaptability and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured allows for less flexibility also. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise pricey to pay based on a variety of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or just want to drive a rise 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 website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Company. And this point goes further if your website needs numerous plugins for full functionality.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot actually do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up needing to do a painful migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for efficiency & not having to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you truly don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even include 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 regional storage. Anything above the limits requires additional expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You cannot use them to spread out the cost of your plan,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, however what is best for you based upon your objectives, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to fret 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 install and see what you think of their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more liberty/ much better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer care.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine