WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Cloudflare
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all differ in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as an entire, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is necessary to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a different approach. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine Cloudflare
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous tasks since 2012. I do not use them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business discussed. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” 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. Wpengine Cloudflare
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, however the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the solutions to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text site with a few standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally extra plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
But a slow website does not imply that you require a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to stay quickly as you grow. There are a lot of services … but either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have actually tailored servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wpengine Cloudflare
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra 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 determines how rapidly the server returned enough information to start filling the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or complicated the site gets.
*Keep in mind 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 might get with other services because you are totally free to focus on speed elements that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an integrated CDN, however they likewise supply international data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Cloudflare
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Cloudflare
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position 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 actually grown & changed 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 aspect of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never know if the story is since they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or a cost.
I like to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of money, time and proficiency.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually interacted with really understood the fine operations of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Cloudflare
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly due to the fact that their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). But they appear to know that support is core to their value 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 distributors.
But there is absolutely 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 neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, 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 use 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 duty is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still ultimately 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 everything off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance 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 sites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a generally pricey circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Cloudflare
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, essentially as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes on a monthly basis. 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 visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or designer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is better designated far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Cloudflare
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears 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 seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on development & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is a key element, specifically having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd customer type is a startup site owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on launching a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any previous habits or customizeds 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 guarantees and provide support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wpengine Cloudflare
WP Engine stands out not just on present features however also on producing new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have altered radically since I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand enough web development 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 best fit for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many stand since they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this site because I do not require much of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Cloudflare
All that said, here are a few of the bigger picture drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be rather complicated– particularly if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the unique backend can result in some developers making errors varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or just not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they currently do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never explain best practice for the general user. Wpengine Cloudflare
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to watch that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (once you get past the knowing curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site checklists to assist fix all sorts of problems.
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 for the most parts, support will just take care of it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Cloudflare
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or very real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin habits for good factors, but those restrictions limit versatility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated 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 bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing 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 also pricey to pay based upon a number of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want 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 allow on a Personal or Business. And this point goes further if your site requires lots of plugins for full performance.
The very same goes for 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 use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot truly do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up having to do a painful migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for performance & not needing to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wpengine Cloudflare
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) dealt with more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively 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 each month tier.
And as discussed previously that doesn’t even consist of much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits requires extra costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You cannot utilize them to expand the expense of your plan,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, however exactly what is best for you based upon your objectives, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to stress over hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more flexibility/ much better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive client service.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wpengine Cloudflare