WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Vs Flywheel
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first companies to offer handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wpengine Vs Flywheel
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all vary in services provided. Some simply 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, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as a whole, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is necessary to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, generally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a various technique. 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 “finest fit” for. Wpengine Vs Flywheel
I have actually utilized WP Engine for different projects because 2012. I do not use them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class client service.” Here is their promo 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 Vs Flywheel
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your site is, the more complicated the solutions to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly 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 inexpensive shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a slow site doesn’t suggest that you require a larger, much better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to stay fast as you grow. There are plenty of options … however either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have customized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wpengine Vs Flywheel
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up 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 measures how quickly the server returned enough data to start filling the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how big or intricate the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an integrated CDN, however they also offer international data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Vs Flywheel
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Vs Flywheel
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a big 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 actually grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough thing about customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never 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 discuss in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to look for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three require an investment of loan, time and know-how.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all 3 boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the site through chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has interacted with actually understood the great functions of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (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 associate was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Vs Flywheel
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially because their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security basics are fairly straightforward:
- 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that even though security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Just 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 generally 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 takes place. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have helped clients who have been. It’s frustrating, tedious & a typically pricey scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Vs Flywheel
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, basically as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k sees per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes every month. 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 gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time repairing issues.
Essentially, if your time is much better assigned away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Vs Flywheel
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable 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 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 spending plan. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential element, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any previous habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, so many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wpengine Vs Flywheel
WP Engine stands out not just on present functions but also on creating new, advanced hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new developer features that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development finest practices have changed radically since I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to incorporate best practices into execution & 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 very best fit for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And many are valid because they simply aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some customers. I don’t utilize them for this website since I do not require a lot of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Vs Flywheel
All that said, here are a few of the larger image disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be quite complicated– especially if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the unique backend can lead to some designers making mistakes ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site available to the general public or merely not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they currently do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the basic user. Wpengine Vs Flywheel
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to enjoy that video numerous 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 customized backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (as soon as 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 team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website checklists to help 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 most of the times, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Vs Flywheel
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for good reasons, however those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good 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 rates is structured enables less flexibility also. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a variety of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to aspect 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 Business. And this point goes further if your website needs many plugins for complete functionality.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t really do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for efficiency & not needing to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based on the features you’re getting, you actually do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally logging in often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wpengine Vs Flywheel
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even include many of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits requires extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You cannot utilize them to spread out the cost of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best overall, but what is finest for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a strong item. Their rates 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 unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to fret about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see what you consider their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more freedom/ much better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wpengine Vs Flywheel