WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Hhvm
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all vary in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however as a whole, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a various method. This evaluation 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 Hhvm
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous jobs because 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer care.” Here is their promotion 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 Hhvm
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, but the guideline is that the more complicated your website is, the more complex the options to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively 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 a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow website doesn’t indicate that you require a bigger, much better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may just have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay fast as you grow. There are plenty of services … but either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the specific chokepoint to get your site moving. Wpengine Hhvm
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a customized caching setup.
The fascinating 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 customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to start packing the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right out of package, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are complimentary to focus on speed aspects that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, however they also supply international information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Hhvm
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Hhvm
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very 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 actually grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough aspect of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever know if the story is because they spoke to 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 business deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to look for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three require an investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better striking all 3 boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually communicated with actually knew the great workings of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however 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 just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of numerous problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Hhvm
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically since their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That indicates 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. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are relatively straightforward:
- 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 discover that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site 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 whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a great deal of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & a typically costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Hhvm
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k sees per month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices 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 worth & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee 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 might be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time repairing issues.
Essentially, if your time is better designated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Hhvm
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 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first customer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process take place. The phone support is an essential aspect, specifically having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third client type is a start-up website owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s special backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any previous routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make pledges and supply support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, so many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wpengine Hhvm
WP Engine stands out not only on present functions but also on developing new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented new developer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even general web development finest practices have actually changed radically considering that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to incorporate finest practices into implementation & 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And numerous stand because they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some customers. I don’t use them for this website since I do not require much of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Hhvm
All that said, here are a few of the bigger image disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be quite complicated– particularly if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can result in some designers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website available to the public or merely not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they currently do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the general user. Wpengine Hhvm
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however 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 are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a substantial deal (once you get past the learning curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site lists to help repair 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.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply take care of everything.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Hhvm
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install 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, however those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured permits less versatility as well. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also pricey to pay based on a number of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to factor extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes further if your website requires numerous plugins for full functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you can’t really do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for efficiency & not needing to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally visiting often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wpengine Hhvm
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned previously that does not even consist of a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits requires additional costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the rate. You cannot utilize them to spread out the cost of your plan,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is an expensive option, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, however what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a great service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to fret about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more flexibility/ much better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer care.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wpengine Hhvm