WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Cpanel Optimize Website WordPress
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to supply handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Cpanel Optimize Website WordPress
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all differ in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as a whole, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is very important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a different method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Cpanel Optimize Website WordPress
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous tasks because 2012. I do not use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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. Cpanel Optimize Website WordPress
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, however the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more complicated the solutions to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a few fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site doesn’t indicate that you require a bigger, much better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might just have to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to stay quickly as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … but either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the specific chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Cpanel Optimize Website WordPress
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin packing the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complicated the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, but they also offer worldwide information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Cpanel Optimize Website WordPress
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Cpanel Optimize Website WordPress
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very 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 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. Everybody has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to look for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 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 (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the website via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually communicated with really knew the great functions of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of several issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Cpanel Optimize Website WordPress
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically since their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they seem 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 Internet. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals 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 use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the assurance 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), however have actually helped customers who have been. It’s aggravating, tedious & an usually expensive situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Cpanel Optimize Website WordPress
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and just up to 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your 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 simply a couple dollars each month.
Both of which permit more storage & more visits (ie, generally as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 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 entire regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time repairing issues.
Generally, if your time is much better assigned away from technical concerns, 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 instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Cpanel Optimize Website WordPress
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the website straight 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 handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need 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 site owner who is irritated at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a crucial element, 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 spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any previous routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make promises and provide support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine knows 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 improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Cpanel Optimize Website WordPress
WP Engine excels not just on current functions but also on developing brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new designer features that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even general web advancement best practices have actually altered radically given that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web development to incorporate best practices into implementation & tasks 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And many are valid because they merely aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some customers. I do not use them for this site since I do not require much of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Cpanel Optimize Website WordPress
All that stated, here are a few of the larger photo disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be rather made complex– especially if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can cause some developers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev site available to the public or merely not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never describe finest practice for the general user. Cpanel Optimize Website WordPress
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to watch that video several 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 custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial deal (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site checklists to assist troubleshoot all sorts of problems.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons why they do all this. And in most cases, support will just look after all of it.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Cpanel Optimize Website WordPress
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is also 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 consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, however those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done 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 way their pricing is structured permits less adaptability too. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based upon a number of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to factor additional hosting expenses 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 handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Company. And this point goes even more if your site needs many plugins for full performance.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot truly do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up having to do an agonizing migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for efficiency & 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 truly don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Cpanel Optimize Website WordPress
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even include a lot of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires additional expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the rate. You cannot use them to spread out the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, especially compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, however what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & practices.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to worry about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more freedom/ much better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Cpanel Optimize Website WordPress