WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Vs Godaddy
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 specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Vs Godaddy
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all vary in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however as a whole, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a various method. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine Vs Godaddy
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous jobs considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
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 begin, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Vs Godaddy
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, but the general rule is that the more intricate your website is, the more complex the solutions to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text site with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally extra plugins, custom style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
However a slow site doesn’t indicate that you require a larger, much better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just have to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to remain quickly as you grow. There are a lot of services … but either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with very aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and identify the specific chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wpengine Vs Godaddy
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform since 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, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to start packing the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right from package, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or complex the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are totally free to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an integrated CDN, but they likewise supply worldwide information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Vs Godaddy
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Vs Godaddy
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard thing about customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but 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 mention in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three need a financial investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the site through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has communicated with really knew the great workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after several problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Vs Godaddy
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly because their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). However they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security basics are relatively 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 business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site protected 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 happens. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have assisted customers who have been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a normally expensive scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Vs Godaddy
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same cost 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 monthly.
Both of which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, basically as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or designer time repairing issues.
Essentially, if your time is much better allocated far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Vs Godaddy
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first consumer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that process take place. The phone support is a key factor, especially being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third consumer type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any previous routines or custom-mades 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 offer support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review modification. Wpengine Vs Godaddy
WP Engine stands out not just on current features but likewise on creating new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented new designer features that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually changed radically because I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to integrate best practices into implementation & tasks with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has 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 everybody. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And many are valid because they just aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some consumers. I do not use them for this website since I do not need many of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Vs Godaddy
All that said, here are a few of the bigger picture disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be quite complicated– particularly if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the unique backend can cause some developers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev site open up to the public or simply not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they already 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 & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the basic user. Wpengine Vs Godaddy
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to enjoy that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a huge deal (when you surpass the learning curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of website checklists to help repair all sorts of problems.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons why they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply look after all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not have to get 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 recognize. Wpengine Vs Godaddy
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise connected 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; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or very real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, but those restrictions limit versatility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method 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 pricey to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; 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 wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Business. And this point goes further if your website needs lots of plugins for full performance.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t actually do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up having to do a painful migration to another email company mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for efficiency & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wpengine Vs Godaddy
Many shared hosting servers can handle the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even include much 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 limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits requires extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the rate. You cannot use them to expand the expense of your plan,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a pricey option, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest overall, however what is best for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a strong product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to fret about hosting issues.
If managed 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 install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more flexibility/ much better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer support.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wpengine Vs Godaddy