WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Promo Code
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to supply handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wpengine Promo Code
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has become a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all differ in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it’s important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a various approach. This review 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 Promo Code
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various projects since 2012. I do not use them for my main websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a current client on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Promo Code
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, but the guideline is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the options to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with a budget friendly shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally extra plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site doesn’t imply that you need a bigger, much better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to remain fast as you grow. There are lots of services … however either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have actually tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wpengine Promo Code
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform because 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, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to begin filling the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right out of package, and have it remain that method no matter how big or complex the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are complimentary to focus on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an incorporated CDN, but they likewise supply worldwide information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Promo Code
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Promo Code
Client support has 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 an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 said, the difficult feature of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever know if the story is due to the fact that they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or an expense.
I like to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually communicated with really knew the great operations of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Promo Code
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly since their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security basics are fairly simple:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe is still ultimately 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 & all set to roll back if something takes place. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually helped customers who have been. It’s aggravating, tedious & an usually costly situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Promo Code
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which permit more storage & more sees (ie, basically as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k sees each month on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might 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 site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time fixing problems.
Basically, if your time is much better allocated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Promo Code
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine seems 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 first consumer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a crucial element, especially being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s special backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any prior routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wpengine Promo Code
WP Engine stands out not only on existing functions however likewise on creating new, advanced hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new developer features that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have actually changed drastically since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to incorporate finest 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 suitable for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And lots of stand because they just aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some consumers. I do not use them for this site since I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Promo Code
All that said, here are some of the bigger photo downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be quite complicated– specifically if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they likewise do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can lead to some designers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or just not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they currently do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the general user. Wpengine Promo Code
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to see that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a big deal (once you surpass the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad 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 most of the times, support will just look after all of it.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Promo Code
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or extremely genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, however those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad 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 rates is structured enables less adaptability too. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also costly to pay based upon a variety of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your site requires lots of plugins for full performance.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you can’t really do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up having to do an unpleasant migration to another email company mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for efficiency & not needing to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wpengine Promo Code
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic 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 trustworthy VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even consist of many 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 extra costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t use them to spread out the cost of your plan,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, but exactly what is finest for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a terrific service with a strong item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to fret about hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more liberty/ better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve 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 factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wpengine Promo Code