WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Multisite Staging
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first business to offer handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wpengine Multisite Staging
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all differ in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal 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 really buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher rate 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 different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a various approach. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine Multisite Staging
I’ve used WP Engine for different projects considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular 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 Multisite Staging
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, but the guideline is that the more complex your website is, the more complex the options to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a few fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually extra plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish website does not indicate that you require a bigger, much better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but sometimes it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply need to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain quick as you grow. There are plenty of services … but either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wpengine Multisite Staging
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs since 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 extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind 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 great to have that kind of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that method no matter how big or complicated the website 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 might get with other services given that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, however they also provide international data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Multisite Staging
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Multisite Staging
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the hard aspect of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever understand 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 treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to look for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of cash, time and expertise.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the site by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually connected with in fact understood the fine operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Multisite Staging
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically since their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However 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 huge community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials are relatively uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover 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 website safe and 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 & all set to roll back if something happens. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have assisted clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, laborious & an usually pricey scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Multisite Staging
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time fixing issues.
Basically, if your time is better allocated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Multisite Staging
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a crucial factor, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third client type is a startup site owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any previous habits or custom-mades 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 promises and supply support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Wpengine Multisite Staging
WP Engine stands out not only on current functions however also on creating brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually changed drastically since I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web development to incorporate finest practices into implementation & jobs 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of stand since they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I don’t utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not require much of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Multisite Staging
All that said, here are some of the bigger image downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be rather made complex– particularly if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the unique backend can lead to some designers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev site open to the general public or just not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they currently do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe finest practice for the general user. Wpengine Multisite Staging
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to watch that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a huge deal (when you get past the learning curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site lists to assist 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.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And most of the times, support will just take care of all of it.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Multisite Staging
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also associated with 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 have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit more to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin habits for good reasons, however those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and available 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 manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise pricey to pay based on a variety of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to element additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Service. And this point goes further if your site requires many plugins for complete performance.
The very same chooses 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 truly do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up needing to do a painful migration to another email company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for performance & not having to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you actually 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 regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wpengine Multisite Staging
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” site owners how quickly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t even consist of a number of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires additional expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to spread out the expense of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is an expensive option, especially compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, but what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a terrific service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to stress over hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see what you think of their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more flexibility/ much better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wpengine Multisite Staging