WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Speed Up Dns Lookup Website
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to supply managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Speed Up Dns Lookup Website
While they have lots of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous 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 location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services supplied. Some merely 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 truly purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
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 standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it’s important to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however 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 “finest fit” for. Speed Up Dns Lookup Website
I’ve utilized WP Engine for different projects considering that 2012. I do not use them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies pointed out. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” 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 Dns Lookup Website
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, but the guideline is that the more complex your website is, the more complicated the services to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text site with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
But a slow site does not indicate that you need a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic 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. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to transport a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay quick as you grow. There are a lot of options … but either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually customized servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and identify the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Speed Up Dns Lookup Website
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right out of package, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complicated the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are totally free 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 supplies an integrated CDN, however they also supply global information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Speed Up Dns Lookup 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 Dns Lookup Website
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has actually grown & changed 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 a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never know 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 evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or an expense.
I want to look for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 need an investment of cash, time and expertise.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site via chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has connected with really knew the fine functions of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to expertly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of numerous concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Speed Up Dns Lookup Website
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly because their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are relatively 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 use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely 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 free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have helped clients who have been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a generally costly situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Speed Up Dns Lookup Website
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense 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 total worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & 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 could be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time fixing concerns.
Basically, if your time is much better allocated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Speed Up Dns Lookup Website
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on development & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that process occur. The phone support is a key element, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a startup site owner that has the budget and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They do not have any prior routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make pledges and provide support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, so many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Speed Up Dns Lookup Website
WP Engine stands out not just on present features however also on developing new, advanced hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web development finest practices have actually changed significantly since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web advancement to incorporate best practices into application & jobs with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous stand because they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some clients. I do not use them for this website due to the fact that I do not require a lot of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Speed Up Dns Lookup Website
All that said, here are some of the bigger picture downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be rather complicated– particularly if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can result in some designers making mistakes ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or simply not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner consumers than they already do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the general user. Speed Up Dns Lookup Website
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to see that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of website checklists to help troubleshoot all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply look after all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Speed Up Dns Lookup Website
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, however those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. 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 allows for less adaptability too. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a number of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to factor additional hosting bills 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 allow on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes further if your website needs lots of plugins for full functionality.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are wanting to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t really do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up needing to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically paying for efficiency & not needing to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you 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 anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Speed Up Dns Lookup Website
Many shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as discussed earlier that doesn’t even consist of many of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra costs & 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 websites, you have to factor those into the price. You can’t utilize them to expand the expense of your plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is an expensive option, especially compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, however exactly what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & habits.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a fantastic service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions 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 don’t wish to fret about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see what you consider their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more flexibility/ better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer care.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Speed Up Dns Lookup Website