WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Mysql Version
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to supply handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Mysql Version
While they have a lot of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: 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 separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized 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 rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it’s important to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a various method. This review will 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 Mysql Version
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various jobs given that 2012. I don’t use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” Here is their discount 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 Mysql Version
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, but the guideline is that the more complicated your website is, the more complex the services to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text site with a few standard 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.
However few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically extra plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish website does not imply that you require a larger, much better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may just need 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 quick as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … but either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually customized servers with very aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wpengine Mysql Version
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional 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 rapidly the server returned enough information to start loading the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that method 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 better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are complimentary to focus on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, but they likewise offer global information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Mysql Version
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Mysql Version
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position 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 actually grown & changed 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 hard thing about customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is since they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or an expense.
I want to look for access, systems, and knowledge, all three require a financial investment of money, time and competence.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site through chat.
Based on their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has communicated with actually understood the fine workings of WordPress and has been able 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 during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after several problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Mysql Version
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,especially because their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). However they seem to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are fairly 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 simple, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, 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 occurs. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped customers who have been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a normally pricey circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Mysql Version
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, essentially as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or designer time repairing issues.
Basically, if your time is much better allocated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an 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 Mysql Version
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a 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 procedure take place. The phone support is an essential factor, particularly having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup site owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s special backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any previous routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make pledges and supply support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wpengine Mysql Version
WP Engine excels not just on existing features but likewise on creating new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually changed drastically because I started observing the market *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand adequate web development to integrate best practices into application & projects with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of are valid because they merely aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some clients. I do not utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not need many of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Mysql Version
All that said, here are some of the bigger image disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be rather made complex– particularly if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they likewise don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the unique backend can result in some developers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open to the general public or just not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice customers than they currently do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the general user. Wpengine Mysql Version
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to enjoy that video multiple 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 custom backend isn’t going to be a huge deal (once you get past the knowing curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website lists to help fix 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.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just take care of it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Mysql Version
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, however those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured enables less versatility too. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s also costly to pay based upon a variety of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to element extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile 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 a Personal or Service. And this point goes further if your website requires lots of plugins for complete performance.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you can’t truly do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
Either way, 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 typically spending for efficiency & not needing to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Mysql Version
Many shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even include a number of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the price. You cannot 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 aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is an expensive option, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, but exactly what is best for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a strong item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to worry about hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see what you think about their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more liberty/ better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wpengine Mysql Version