WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Testimonial
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first business to supply managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wpengine Testimonial
While they have lots of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal 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 set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however as a whole, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is necessary to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a various technique. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine Testimonial
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous projects considering that 2012. I don’t use them for my main websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” Here is their discount pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Wpengine Testimonial
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, however the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more complex the services to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
However a slow website doesn’t mean that you require a bigger, much better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay quickly as you grow. There are plenty of options … however either you or a designer should execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Wpengine Testimonial
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up 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 bloated style, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s great to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or complex the website gets.
*Note 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 may get with other services considering that you are complimentary to focus 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 only offers an incorporated CDN, however they likewise provide international information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Testimonial
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Testimonial
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough aspect of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever 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 discuss in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three require a financial investment of loan, time and expertise.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site via chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with in fact knew the great workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Testimonial
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically because their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). However they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & screening 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 utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a great deal of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have assisted customers who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & an usually pricey situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Testimonial
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both of which enable more storage & more gos to (ie, basically as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is fantastic.
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 regular monthly cost 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 charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time fixing issues.
Essentially, if your time is much better assigned away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really 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 concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Testimonial
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that process occur. The phone support is a crucial element, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd client 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 unique backend and intend on releasing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any previous practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, so many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Wpengine Testimonial
WP Engine excels not only on existing functions but also on producing new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even general web development finest practices have actually changed radically given that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to incorporate best practices into execution & tasks with designers.
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 problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many are valid since they just aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some consumers. I do not use them for this website since I do not require many of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Testimonial
All that said, here are some of the larger picture drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be quite complicated– specifically if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they likewise don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the distinct backend can cause some developers making errors ranging from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site open to the public or merely not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they currently do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss finest practice for the general user. Wpengine Testimonial
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to watch that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (when you get past the learning curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of website lists to assist troubleshoot all sorts of concerns.
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 in most cases, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Testimonial
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or very genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, however those restrictions limit flexibility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured enables less flexibility too. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise costly to pay based on a variety of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes further if your site requires lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The exact same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t truly do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up needing to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for efficiency & not needing to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the functions you’re getting, you actually do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wpengine Testimonial
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even include much of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs additional costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to spread out the cost of your plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, however what is best for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a strong product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to worry about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more liberty/ much better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer care.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wpengine Testimonial