WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Optimizepress WordPress Theme
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. Optimizepress WordPress Theme
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all vary in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal 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 actually 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 price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as a whole, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either 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 comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a different approach. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Optimizepress WordPress Theme
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous jobs considering that 2012. I don’t use them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, effective 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. Optimizepress WordPress Theme
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the solutions to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a slow website does not mean that you need a larger, much better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain fast as you grow. There are a lot of services … however either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with very aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common web host. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the specific chokepoint to get your site moving. Optimizepress WordPress Theme
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few 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 good to have that type of speed right from package, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or complicated the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are free to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an integrated CDN, however they also supply international information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Optimizepress WordPress Theme
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Optimizepress WordPress Theme
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a big focus 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 & 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 feature of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that they spoke 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 a financial investment or an expense.
I like to try to find access, systems, and understanding, all three require a financial investment of loan, time and expertise.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has connected with really understood the fine operations of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after numerous problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Optimizepress WordPress Theme
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly due to the fact that their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). But they appear to know 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 suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially 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 takes place. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a great deal of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security firms 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 actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have helped customers who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & an usually pricey circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Optimizepress WordPress Theme
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k gos to per month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time fixing issues.
Basically, if your time is better allocated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Optimizepress WordPress Theme
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first customer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on development & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing basic site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at having to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that process happen. The phone support is a crucial aspect, specifically having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s special backend and plan on launching a near-complete site all at once.
They do not have any prior practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Optimizepress WordPress Theme
WP Engine excels not only on present features but also on developing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web development best practices have actually altered significantly given that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web development to incorporate best practices into execution & projects with designers.
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 best suitable for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of stand due to the fact that they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some customers. I don’t use them for this website because I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Optimizepress WordPress Theme
All that stated, here are some of the larger photo downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be rather made complex– especially if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can lead to some designers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev site available to the public or just not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the general user. Optimizepress WordPress Theme
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to view that video numerous 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 backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (when you get past the knowing curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to discover 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 plethora of site 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.
Once again– they have reasons why they do all this. And in most cases, support will just look after all of it.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not have 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, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Optimizepress WordPress Theme
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of decreasing & 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 predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin habits for great factors, however those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured enables less adaptability as well. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a number of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to element additional 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 manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Business. And this point goes further if your site needs lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The same chooses 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 utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t actually do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In either case, 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 generally spending for efficiency & not having to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you truly don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally visiting frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Optimizepress WordPress Theme
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even include a number of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the rate. You cannot use them to expand the expense of your plan,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, however what is finest for you based upon your objectives, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to stress over hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see what you think about their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more liberty/ better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Optimizepress WordPress Theme