WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Optimize Js And Css WordPress Plugin
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to offer managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Optimize Js And Css WordPress Plugin
While they have plenty of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all vary in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + 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 traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is essential to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a different technique. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Optimize Js And Css WordPress Plugin
I’ve used WP Engine for different projects considering that 2012. I do not utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business mentioned. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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. Optimize Js And Css WordPress Plugin
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the general rule is that the more complex your site is, the more complex the services to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a few standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with a budget friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically extra plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
However a slow site does not mean that you need a larger, much better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, however sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay fast as you grow. There are lots of options … however either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Optimize Js And Css WordPress Plugin
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin packing the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complicated the website gets.
*Keep in mind 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 because you are complimentary to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, but they also supply global data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Optimize Js And Css WordPress Plugin
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Optimize Js And Css WordPress Plugin
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a big 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 business 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 hard feature of 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 mention in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I like to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three need an investment of loan, time and knowledge.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually interacted with in fact knew the great functions of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however 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. Optimize Js And Css WordPress Plugin
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically because their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals are relatively 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 use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that although security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something happens. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security firms 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 been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a typically expensive scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Optimize Js And Css WordPress Plugin
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both of which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, basically as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes every month. 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 might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge 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 fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time fixing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better assigned far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Optimize Js And Css WordPress Plugin
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that process occur. The phone support is a key factor, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior practices 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 pledges and provide support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, numerous of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Optimize Js And Css WordPress Plugin
WP Engine excels not just on existing functions but likewise on creating brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented new developer functions that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even general web development finest practices have altered drastically given that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to incorporate finest practices into implementation & projects 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many stand because they simply aren’t a suitable 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 due to the fact that I do not require a lot of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Optimize Js And Css WordPress Plugin
All that stated, here are a few of the larger image disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be quite complicated– specifically if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can lead to some developers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or merely not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they currently do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never describe finest practice for the basic user. Optimize Js And Css WordPress Plugin
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to view that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best 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 (when you get past the learning curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of website checklists to assist repair all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons why they do all this. And most of the times, support will just look after it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Optimize Js And Css WordPress Plugin
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to reducing & 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 need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for good factors, but those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured enables less flexibility also. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also expensive to pay based upon a number of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to element extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes further if your site requires lots of plugins for complete performance.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot truly do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for efficiency & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Optimize Js And Css WordPress Plugin
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t even consist of a lot of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the rate. You cannot use them to spread out the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, but what is best for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to worry about hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more freedom/ much better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Optimize Js And Css WordPress Plugin