WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Purge Cache
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first business to provide managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Purge Cache
While they have plenty of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all differ in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however as an entire, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is necessary to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a various method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine Purge Cache
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various projects because 2012. I don’t use them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Purge Cache
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, however the guideline is that the more complicated your site is, the more complicated the options to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of basic plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a slow website does not mean that you require a bigger, better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may just need to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to stay fast as you grow. There are lots of options … but either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Wpengine Purge Cache
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough information to start filling the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complicated the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, but they also offer global information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Purge Cache
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Purge Cache
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough thing about consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever know 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 mention in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I like to look for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 require an investment of money, time and know-how.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with actually knew the fine operations of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after a number of concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Purge Cache
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically since their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole 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 a problem with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security basics 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 notice that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website secure 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 occurs. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped clients who have been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a normally expensive scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Purge Cache
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and only up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same rate 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 each month.
Both which permit more storage & more sees (ie, generally as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k sees each month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing downside 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 & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes on a monthly basis. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or designer time repairing problems.
Basically, if your time is better allocated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Purge Cache
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing basic site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that process take place. The phone support is an essential aspect, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up 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 unique backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site all at once.
They don’t have any prior practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Wpengine Purge Cache
WP Engine excels not just on current features but also on developing brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented new developer features that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even general web development best practices have changed drastically since I started observing the market *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to integrate finest practices into execution & 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 fit for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of stand since they merely aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some clients. I don’t use them for this website since I do not need much of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Purge Cache
All that said, here are a few of the bigger photo downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be rather made complex– specifically if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
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 lots of hosting companies, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can cause some designers making mistakes varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev site open up to the public or merely not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they currently do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss finest practice for the basic user. Wpengine Purge Cache
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to watch that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (when you get past the learning curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website lists 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 they do all this. And most of the times, support will just take care of everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Purge Cache
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, but those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured permits less adaptability too. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise costly to pay based on a number of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to element additional 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 manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Service. And this point goes further if your site needs numerous plugins for complete performance.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot truly do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for performance & not needing to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Purge Cache
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that does not even include much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the rate. You cannot 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 planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, especially compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, however what is best for you based on your goals, budget, resources & routines.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a fantastic service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to stress over hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a suitable 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 install and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more flexibility/ better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer support.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wpengine Purge Cache