WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Optimize WordPress Site For Mobile Plugin
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first business to provide managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Optimize WordPress Site For Mobile Plugin
While they have lots of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all differ in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is very important to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a different technique. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Optimize WordPress Site For Mobile Plugin
I have actually used WP Engine for various jobs because 2012. I don’t use them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 WordPress Site For Mobile Plugin
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the options to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with a budget friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a slow site does not mean that you require a larger, better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might just need to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to stay quickly as you grow. There are lots of services … but either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with very aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the precise chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Optimize WordPress Site For Mobile Plugin
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed 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 bloated theme, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right from the box, 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 may get with other services because you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an incorporated CDN, however they also supply global data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Optimize WordPress Site For Mobile Plugin
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Optimize WordPress Site For Mobile 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 sense for them to place a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the hard thing about consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is because they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to search for access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of loan, time and know-how.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually communicated with really understood the great operations of WordPress and has 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 customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of numerous problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Optimize WordPress Site For Mobile Plugin
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically because their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). But they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have assisted clients who have been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a generally costly situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Optimize WordPress Site For Mobile Plugin
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes on a monthly basis. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or designer time repairing problems.
Essentially, if your time is better designated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Optimize WordPress Site For Mobile Plugin
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first consumer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on development & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a crucial factor, particularly being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on releasing a near-complete site all at once.
They don’t have any previous routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, numerous 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, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Optimize WordPress Site For Mobile Plugin
WP Engine excels not just on current functions but likewise on producing new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out new designer features that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even general web development best practices have altered drastically since I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to incorporate best practices into execution & jobs with developers.
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 very best suitable for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many stand because they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some customers. I do not use them for this site since I do not need much of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Optimize WordPress Site For Mobile Plugin
All that said, here are some of the bigger photo drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be rather complicated– particularly if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the unique backend can cause some developers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev website available to the public or merely not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain best practice for the basic user. Optimize WordPress Site For Mobile Plugin
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to see that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (when you get past the knowing curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website lists to help repair all sorts of problems.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply look after everything.
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 many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Optimize WordPress Site For Mobile Plugin
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, but those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sites, 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 to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured enables less adaptability as well. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also pricey to pay based upon a variety of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to factor additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible 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 Service. And this point goes even more if your site requires many plugins for complete performance.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you cannot really do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for performance & not having to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally visiting often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Optimize WordPress Site For Mobile Plugin
Many shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” site owners how quickly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t even consist of a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits needs additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You can’t utilize them to spread out the cost of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide 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 general, but exactly what is finest for you based on 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 strong item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to stress over hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a suitable 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 exactly what you consider their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more liberty/ much better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Optimize WordPress Site For Mobile Plugin