WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Optimize Jpeg WordPress
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to supply handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Optimize Jpeg WordPress
While they have lots of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name recognition and advanced functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all vary in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as a whole, they all compete with 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, but it is essential to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a various technique. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Optimize Jpeg WordPress
I have actually used WP Engine for various tasks since 2012. I don’t use them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & 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 practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer service.” Here is their promotion 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. Optimize Jpeg WordPress
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, however the general rule is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the services to speed become.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with an affordable shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow site does not mean that you need a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just have to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to stay quickly as you grow. There are lots of solutions … however either you or a developer should execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually customized servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Optimize Jpeg WordPress
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s good to have that type 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 even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are totally free to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily manage like image compression, use 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. Optimize Jpeg WordPress
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Optimize Jpeg WordPress
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a huge 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 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 stated, the tough aspect of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever 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 review, the vital part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or an expense.
I like to search for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of cash, time and proficiency.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with in fact knew the fine workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after a number of concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Optimize Jpeg WordPress
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly because their custom-made 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 needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security basics are fairly straightforward:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something takes place. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have actually been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a typically costly scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Optimize Jpeg WordPress
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which permit more storage & more sees (ie, generally as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Just 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 regular monthly charge right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or designer time fixing problems.
Basically, if your time is much better designated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Optimize Jpeg WordPress
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. 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 procedure, the very first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having 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 spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential aspect, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client 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 distinct backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any previous habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make pledges and offer support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, numerous of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Optimize Jpeg WordPress
WP Engine stands out not only on existing features however also on creating new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even general web development best practices have actually changed significantly given that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to integrate best practices into application & tasks 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 very best fit for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous are valid because they just aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I do not use them for this website because I do not need much of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Optimize Jpeg WordPress
All that said, here are a few of the bigger picture drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be quite complicated– especially if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can cause some designers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website available to the general public or merely not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they currently do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the general user. Optimize Jpeg WordPress
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (when you surpass the learning curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to learn 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 plethora of site checklists to assist troubleshoot all sorts of issues.
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 everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Optimize Jpeg WordPress
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin habits for great factors, but those restrictions limit flexibility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured permits less flexibility also. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to factor 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 site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Service. And this point goes further if your site needs lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t actually do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for efficiency & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the functions you’re getting, you truly don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Optimize Jpeg WordPress
Many shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” site owners how quickly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even consist of much of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the rate. You cannot utilize them to expand the cost of your strategy,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, but exactly what is finest for you based upon your goals, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to stress over hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see what you consider their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more liberty/ better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Optimize Jpeg WordPress