WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Cpanel
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to supply managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Cpanel
While they have a lot of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is necessary to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a different method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Cpanel
I have actually used WP Engine for different jobs considering that 2012. I don’t use them for my main websites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular speed, effective 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. Wpengine Cpanel
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the solutions to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text site with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with an affordable shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually extra plugins, custom style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
However a slow site does not suggest that you require a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, 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 grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to stay quick as you grow. There are lots of services … however either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the specific chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wpengine Cpanel
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra scripts, a lot of 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 good to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it remain that method no matter how big or intricate the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are complimentary to focus on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, but they likewise supply international data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Cpanel
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Cpanel
Client support has actually 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, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has actually 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 said, the difficult thing about client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never know if the story is because they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to look for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need an investment of cash, time and expertise.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the website via chat.
Based on their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has communicated with in fact understood the fine functions of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Cpanel
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically because their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals are fairly simple:
- 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 commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those best 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 “install” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a lot of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top 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 free of charge.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & a typically pricey circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Cpanel
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which enable more storage & more visits (ie, basically as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k sees per month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates each 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 monthly cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or designer time repairing issues.
Basically, if your time is better designated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Cpanel
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of customers 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 customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous fundamental site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a crucial element, particularly being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third consumer type is a startup site owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on launching a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any prior habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wpengine Cpanel
WP Engine excels not only on current functions but likewise on creating brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented new developer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web development best practices have actually changed drastically since I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to integrate finest practices into application & projects 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And many are valid due to the fact that they simply aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not need a number of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Cpanel
All that stated, here are some of the bigger picture drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be rather complicated– specifically if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can cause some designers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website open to the public or just not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they already do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never describe finest practice for the general user. Wpengine Cpanel
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to view that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site 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 that they do all this. And in many cases, support will just take care of everything.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Cpanel
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or very genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, but those restrictions restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured permits less adaptability too. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also expensive to pay based upon a number of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Service. And this point goes further if your site needs many plugins for full performance.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you cannot really do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up having to do a painful 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 functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for performance & not needing to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based on the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Cpanel
Many shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even consist of a number of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the rate. You cannot utilize them to expand the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best overall, but exactly what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to fret about hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see what you consider their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more liberty/ better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wpengine Cpanel