WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Hostname
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to offer handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wpengine Hostname
While they have plenty of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name recognition and advanced features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all differ in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate 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 different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is essential to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, normally 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 options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Hostname
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various projects considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Hostname
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, but the guideline is that the more intricate your website is, the more complicated the solutions to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with an economical shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a slow website does not imply that you require a larger, better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may simply need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to remain quick as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … but either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Wpengine Hostname
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, additional 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 quickly the server returned enough information to start loading the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right from the box, 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 obsessed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are complimentary to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an integrated CDN, however they also supply international information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Hostname
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Hostname
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a big focus 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 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 tough feature of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never know if the story is since they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to try to find access, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of money, time and expertise.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually interacted with in fact knew the great operations of WordPress and has actually 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 representative was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Hostname
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,especially since their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). But 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 whole Web. That suggests 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 upside of being open-source with a large community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that even though security on WordPress is simple, the duty 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 protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something takes place. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a lot of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top 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 for free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have assisted customers who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & a typically costly circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Hostname
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same rate from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, essentially as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time fixing problems.
Essentially, if your time is much better allocated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Hostname
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on development & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing basic 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 website owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer 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 take place. The phone support is a key factor, especially being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third client type is a startup website owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s special backend and plan on launching a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any previous habits or customs 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 pledges and supply support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these types of consumers, 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, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this review revision. Wpengine Hostname
WP Engine stands out not only on present functions but also on developing new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new designer features that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web development best practices have actually changed drastically given that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to integrate best practices into execution & jobs with developers.
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 suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous are valid due to the fact that they just aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some clients. I do not utilize them for this site because I do not need a number of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Hostname
All that stated, here are some of the larger image downsides 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. And that distinction can be rather complicated– especially if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they likewise do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can lead to some designers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the public or simply not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they already do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never describe finest practice for the basic user. Wpengine Hostname
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a big offer (once you surpass the knowing curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad 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.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply look after it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Hostname
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, but those restrictions limit flexibility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured allows for less flexibility too. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s also pricey to pay based upon a variety of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect 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 site on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Service. And this point goes even more if your site needs many plugins for complete performance.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot actually do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another email company mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for efficiency & not needing to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the functions you’re getting, you really don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Hostname
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed earlier that does not even consist of a lot of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits requires additional expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the rate. You cannot utilize them to expand the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a costly option, especially compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, however what is best for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a great service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to stress over hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more freedom/ better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer support.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wpengine Hostname