WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Vps
While they have lots of competitors in both the general 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 market has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all differ in services supplied. Some merely 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 actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is necessary to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a various approach. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine Vps
I’ve used WP Engine for various tasks because 2012. I do not use them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies discussed. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, effective 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 Vps
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, however the guideline is that the more intricate your website is, the more complicated the services to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish website does not indicate that you require a bigger, better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay quickly as you grow. There are lots of options … however either you or a designer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as more 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 obtain your site moving. Wpengine Vps
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, 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 rapidly the server returned enough data to begin packing the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right from the box, and have it remain that method no matter how big 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 might get with other services because you are totally free to focus on speed elements that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, however they likewise provide global information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Vps
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Vps
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a huge focus 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 business has grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the difficult thing about client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never understand if the story is due to the fact that they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I want to look for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 need an investment of loan, time and expertise.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually engaged with actually knew the great functions of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Vps
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly since their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). However they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, 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 industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that even though security on WordPress is simple, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually helped clients who have actually been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a typically expensive scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Vps
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, basically as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation 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 whole monthly fee right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time repairing issues.
Generally, if your time is much better designated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Vps
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is a key element, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on launching a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any prior habits 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 pledges and supply support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review modification. Wpengine Vps
WP Engine stands out not only on present functions however also on developing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web development best practices have actually changed significantly considering that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web development to integrate best practices into application & jobs 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 best suitable for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many stand since they just aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some consumers. I don’t use them for this website due to the fact that I do not require a lot of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Vps
All that stated, here are some of the bigger image downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be rather complicated– specifically if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a standard 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 result in some developers making mistakes varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or simply not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they already do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe best practice for the basic user. Wpengine Vps
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to watch that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (once you get past the knowing curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website checklists to help troubleshoot 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.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And in many cases, support will just take care of all of it.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Vps
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for great reasons, however those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured allows for less adaptability as well. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, but it’s also costly to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to factor extra hosting bills 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 enable on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your website needs numerous plugins for full functionality.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you cannot really do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for performance & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the functions you’re getting, you really do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Vps
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned previously that does not even consist of many of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the rate. You cannot utilize them to expand the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a costly choice, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best overall, however exactly what is best for you based upon your objectives, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to stress over hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see what you think of their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more freedom/ better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wpengine Vps