WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Woocommerce
While they have a lot of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, 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 vary in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing 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 greater rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it’s important to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a various method. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Woocommerce
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous jobs considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular 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 Woocommerce
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the services to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a few fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with an affordable shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally extra plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site does not suggest that you require a bigger, better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might just have to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay quick as you grow. There are lots of services … but either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Wpengine Woocommerce
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional 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 packing the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right out of package, 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 better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services since you are totally free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, however they also offer international information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Woocommerce
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Woocommerce
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult thing about customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever know if the story is since they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of cash, time and know-how.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all three boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with in fact knew the great operations of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Woocommerce
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically since their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the downsides). However they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security basics are relatively 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 commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, laborious & a normally pricey situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Woocommerce
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trusted VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k sees each month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & 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 whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month 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 might be WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time fixing issues.
Essentially, if your time is much better allocated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Woocommerce
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on development & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing fundamental website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is an essential factor, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third client type is a startup website owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s special backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They do not have any prior routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), 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 review modification. Wpengine Woocommerce
WP Engine excels not only on present functions however likewise on producing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new developer features that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web development finest practices have altered radically given that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to integrate best practices into implementation & jobs with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And lots of stand due to the fact that they just aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some clients. I don’t utilize them for this website since I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Woocommerce
All that stated, here are some of the larger photo downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be rather made complex– particularly if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can cause some developers making mistakes varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate 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 amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they currently do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never describe best practice for the basic user. Wpengine Woocommerce
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to see that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a big offer (once you get past the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of website checklists to assist fix 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.
Again– they have reasons why they do all this. And in most cases, support will just look after all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Woocommerce
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or very genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit more to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for great factors, but those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured permits 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 upon a variety of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to element additional hosting costs 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 handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes further if your website needs many plugins for full functionality.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you cannot truly do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for performance & not having to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the functions you’re getting, you actually do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wpengine Woocommerce
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that does not even include a lot of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited 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 can’t use them to spread out the expense of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, but what is finest for you based upon your goals, budget, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to fret about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more liberty/ better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wpengine Woocommerce