WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Migration
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to supply managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wpengine Migration
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all vary in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing 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 higher price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as a whole, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it’s important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a various technique. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Migration
I’ve used WP Engine for numerous tasks since 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies discussed. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer 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 Migration
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your website is, the more intricate the options to speed become.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text site with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually extra plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
However a slow website does not suggest that you require a larger, much better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may simply have to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to remain fast as you grow. There are lots of solutions … however either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Wpengine Migration
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough information to start loading the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or complicated the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services since you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, but they likewise offer worldwide information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Migration
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Migration
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled 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 first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has 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 hard feature of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to look for access, systems, and knowledge, all three require a financial investment of loan, time and expertise.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the website via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has engaged with actually understood the fine workings of WordPress and has had the ability 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 representative was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of numerous issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Migration
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). However they appear to understand 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 implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security essentials 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 commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, 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 website safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something happens. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have helped clients who have been. It’s aggravating, tedious & a normally pricey situation (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 Migration
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install 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 same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which enable more storage & more sees (ie, basically as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates downside 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 very own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or designer time fixing issues.
Essentially, if your time is much better designated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial 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 Migration
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing basic site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client 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 budget 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 aspect, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third client type is a startup site owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any prior habits or custom-mades 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 promises and provide support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review revision. Wpengine Migration
WP Engine excels not only on present functions however also on producing brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web development finest practices have actually changed significantly given that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to incorporate best practices into application & 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And numerous are valid because they merely aren’t a fit for everyone. 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 utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Migration
All that stated, here are some of the bigger image downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite made complex– specifically if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the unique backend can cause some developers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or merely not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they currently do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the basic user. Wpengine Migration
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to see that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a big deal (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website lists 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 for the most parts, support will just look after it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Migration
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of minimizing & 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 rather uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for good reasons, but those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured allows for less adaptability also. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise costly to pay based on a variety of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have 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 site on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Service. And this point goes further if your site requires numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t really do automatic e-mail 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 supplier mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for efficiency & not having to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you actually do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wpengine Migration
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that does not even include a number of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits requires additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the rate. You cannot use them to expand the cost of your strategy,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a costly choice, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, however what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a solid item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to stress over hosting issues.
If handled 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 install and see what you think of their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more flexibility/ better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wpengine Migration