WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Two Factor
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first business to supply handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wpengine Two Factor
While they have plenty of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses 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 site material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a various approach. This evaluation will 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 Two Factor
I have actually utilized WP Engine for different projects because 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies discussed. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular 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 Two Factor
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, however the general rule is that the more complicated your website is, the more intricate the options to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of basic plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally additional plugins, customized theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish site doesn’t imply that you need a larger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, however sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply need 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 remain fast as you grow. There are lots of services … but either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and identify the specific chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wpengine Two Factor
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have actually 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 clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or complicated 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 because you are free to focus on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an integrated CDN, but they likewise offer international information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Two Factor
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Two Factor
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 huge emphasis 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 company has actually grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the hard feature of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever understand 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 point out in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I want to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all three require a financial investment of loan, time and competence.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually interacted with actually understood the great functions 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 in between my client, myself and WP Engine during 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 adeptly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of a number of problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Two Factor
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically because their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But 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 large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security essentials 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 see that although 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 site safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially 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 happens. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a great deal of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have been. It’s frustrating, tedious & a generally costly circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Two Factor
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, basically as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates every 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 charge right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or developer time fixing issues.
Generally, if your time is much better allocated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Two Factor
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types 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 development & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential element, specifically having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget 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 simultaneously.
They do not have any previous practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make pledges and supply support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, numerous of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wpengine Two Factor
WP Engine stands out not just on current features however also on developing new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented new developer features that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even general web development finest practices have changed radically considering that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to integrate best practices into application & projects 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many are valid because they just 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 don’t use them for this site due to the fact that I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Two Factor
All that stated, here are a few of the larger picture downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be rather complicated– specifically if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can cause some developers making mistakes ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or just not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they currently do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe best practice for the basic user. Wpengine Two Factor
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to view that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site checklists to assist troubleshoot 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 take care of all of it.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Two Factor
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely real physical limits), 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 prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, however those restrictions restrict adaptability and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured permits less flexibility also. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a number of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your website requires lots of plugins for full functionality.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t truly do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In either 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 usually spending for efficiency & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the functions you’re getting, you really don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Two Factor
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour duration 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 “little” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned earlier that does not even include a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t use them to expand the cost of your plan,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a costly choice, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, but exactly what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to fret about hosting issues.
If handled 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 think of their backend. Be 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 have actually appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wpengine Two Factor