WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Speed Up Bootstrap Website
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to provide managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Speed Up Bootstrap Website
While they have a lot of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, generally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a various method. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Speed Up Bootstrap Website
I have actually used WP Engine for different projects given that 2012. I do not utilize them for my main websites today (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning 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. Speed Up Bootstrap Website
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more complicated the options to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with an inexpensive shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish website does not suggest that you require a bigger, much better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might just have to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay quick as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … but 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 concerns. They have actually customized servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Speed Up Bootstrap Website
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to start filling the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right from package, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or complex the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services since you are complimentary to focus on speed aspects that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an integrated CDN, however they likewise supply global data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Speed Up Bootstrap Website
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Speed Up Bootstrap Website
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough thing about customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never know if the story is since they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to look for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of loan, time and knowledge.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the website via chat.
Based on their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually communicated with actually knew the fine workings of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Speed Up Bootstrap Website
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,especially due to the fact that their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals are fairly simple:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a normally pricey scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Speed Up Bootstrap Website
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, generally as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have 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 rates 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 own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Simply 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 monthly charge right there.
If you lose any visits 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 location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time repairing concerns.
Generally, if your time is better assigned away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly 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. Speed Up Bootstrap Website
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. 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 procedure, the very first client type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on advancement & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing website 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 managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential element, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s special backend and intend on releasing a near-complete site 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, clients, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Speed Up Bootstrap Website
WP Engine excels not just on present functions however also on producing new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web development finest practices have altered drastically because I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to incorporate best practices into implementation & 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of are valid due to the fact that they merely aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, 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 need a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Speed Up Bootstrap Website
All that stated, here are some of the bigger photo downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be quite complicated– especially if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the unique backend can result in some designers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev website open to the public or merely not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they currently do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never explain finest practice for the general user. Speed Up Bootstrap Website
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a huge deal (as soon as you get past the knowing curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website lists to help fix 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 they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Speed Up Bootstrap Website
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for great reasons, however those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured enables less versatility too. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, but it’s also expensive to pay based upon a variety of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect 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 handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Company. And this point goes further if your website needs numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot really do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up having to do an agonizing migration to another email company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for efficiency & not needing to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the features you’re getting, you actually do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally visiting frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Speed Up Bootstrap Website
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how quickly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even include many of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to expand the expense of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are aiming to spend 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 overall, but what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a great service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to fret about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see what you think of their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more freedom/ better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Speed Up Bootstrap Website