WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Personal Plan
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to supply handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wpengine Personal Plan
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but 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 cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it’s important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a different technique. This evaluation will take a 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 Personal Plan
I’ve used WP Engine for numerous jobs given that 2012. I don’t use them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present client 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 mentioned. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” Here is their promotion pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Wpengine Personal Plan
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, but the guideline is that the more intricate your site is, the more complex the services to speed become.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text website with a couple of basic plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
However a slow site doesn’t indicate that you require a bigger, better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, however sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup. Envision 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 eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay quickly as you grow. There are plenty of options … but either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wpengine Personal Plan
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough information to begin packing the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right from package, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or complicated the site gets.
*Keep in mind 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 since you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage 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 mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Personal Plan
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Personal Plan
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough thing about consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never understand if the story is due to the fact that they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of loan, time and proficiency.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all 3 boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has connected with really knew the great functions of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Personal Plan
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly since their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they seem to understand 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 suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially 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 problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading 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 free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted customers who have actually been. It’s frustrating, laborious & an usually pricey scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Personal Plan
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both of which permit more storage & more gos to (ie, basically as lots of as you can handle) 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 small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & 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 monthly fee right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee 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 regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or developer time repairing problems.
Basically, if your time is much better assigned away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Personal Plan
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients 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 process, the very first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process take place. The phone support is a key factor, particularly having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd customer type is a startup website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any prior practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, so many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wpengine Personal Plan
WP Engine stands out not only on present functions but likewise on creating brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even general web development best practices have altered significantly given that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web development to incorporate best practices into execution & tasks 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 best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of are valid due to the fact that they merely aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I do not utilize them for this site because I do not require many of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Personal Plan
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger photo downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be rather made complex– particularly if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they likewise don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the special backend can result in some developers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev website open to the general public or just not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they currently do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the basic user. Wpengine Personal Plan
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to view that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (once you surpass the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site 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.
Once again– they have reasons why they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply look after all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Personal Plan
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, however those restrictions limit flexibility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared with 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 out, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based on a number of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element extra hosting bills 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 allow on a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your site requires lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you can’t actually do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another email supplier 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 spending for efficiency & not having to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Personal Plan
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 check outs 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 gos to, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed earlier that does not even include a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the price. You can’t use them to expand the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, especially compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, however what is finest for you based on your goals, budget, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to worry about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see what you consider their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more flexibility/ much better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wpengine Personal Plan