WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Outage
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all vary in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is necessary to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, normally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a various approach. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Outage
I have actually utilized WP Engine for different tasks considering that 2012. I do not use them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business discussed. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” 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 Outage
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more intricate the services to speed become.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a few standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally additional plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site doesn’t suggest that you need a larger, much better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, however sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may just have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay quickly as you grow. There are plenty of options … but either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the precise chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wpengine Outage
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting 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 among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up 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 determines how quickly the server returned enough information to begin packing the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it stay that way no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because you are complimentary to focus on speed factors that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, but they likewise provide worldwide information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Outage
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Outage
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very 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 & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough feature of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never understand if the story is since they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I like to search for access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need a financial investment of money, time and proficiency.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing better hitting all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the site via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually interacted with in fact understood the fine functions of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Outage
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly since their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). But they appear 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 means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security essentials are relatively 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that even though security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & a generally expensive scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Outage
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both which enable more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & 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 whole monthly charge right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is better allocated far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Outage
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have 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 & customer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a key factor, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on launching a near-complete site all at once.
They don’t have any previous routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, so many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wpengine Outage
WP Engine stands out not just on existing functions but likewise on creating brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development best practices have actually changed radically because I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to incorporate 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of stand because 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 since I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Outage
All that said, here are some of the bigger photo downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be quite complicated– particularly if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can cause some developers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or just not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they already do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the basic user. Wpengine Outage
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (when you surpass the learning curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website checklists to help repair all sorts of problems.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And for the most parts, 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 don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Outage
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or very real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior 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 common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured allows for less adaptability also. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise costly to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your site needs lots of plugins for full functionality.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot really do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for performance & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wpengine Outage
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even include a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits needs additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the price. You can’t use them to spread out the expense of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, but exactly what is best for you based on your goals, budget, resources & habits.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to fret about hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go take 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 consider their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more liberty/ better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wpengine Outage