WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Vs
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name recognition and advanced features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all differ in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer 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 truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
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 personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is necessary to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a different method. 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 Vs
I have actually used WP Engine for different projects because 2012. I do not utilize them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies pointed out. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer service.” 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
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, but the general rule is that the more intricate your site is, the more intricate the services 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 small images, you’ll be great with an inexpensive shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow site doesn’t indicate that you require a larger, better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might just have to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay fast as you grow. There are lots of options … however either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually customized servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the precise chokepoint to get your website moving. Wpengine Vs
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to start loading the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right out of package, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complicated the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services since you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, however they also offer international information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Vs
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Vs
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult thing about customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never know 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 review, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I want to search for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 require a financial investment of money, time and know-how.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site via chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually interacted with in fact understood the fine functions of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of numerous concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Vs
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially because their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, 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 utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that although security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically 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. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted customers who have actually been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a generally costly circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Vs
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, basically as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes on a monthly basis. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost 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 could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or designer time repairing problems.
Basically, if your time is better assigned away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Vs
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a crucial element, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s special backend and plan on launching a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any previous routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, so many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wpengine Vs
WP Engine excels not only on current functions but also on producing brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even general web development best practices have actually changed radically because I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to incorporate best practices into execution & jobs with developers.
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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And many are valid since they just aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this site since I do not need much of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Vs
All that said, here are a few of the bigger image drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be quite complicated– specifically if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they likewise do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can cause some designers making errors ranging from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open to the public or merely not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they currently do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss finest practice for the basic user. Wpengine Vs
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to view that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website lists 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 they do all this. And in most cases, support will just take care of everything.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Vs
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, however those restrictions limit flexibility and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured allows for less flexibility as well. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s also pricey to pay based upon a variety of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to element additional hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Company. And this point goes further if your website needs numerous plugins for full functionality.
The exact same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you can’t actually do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for performance & not needing to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based on 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 usually logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wpengine Vs
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted 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 “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even consist of many of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional expenses & technical execution 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 websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You cannot utilize them to spread out the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, however exactly what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & habits.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a fantastic service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to worry about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see what you consider their backend. Make sure 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 option. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer service.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wpengine Vs