WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Speed Up Html5 Website
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Speed Up Html5 Website
While they have a lot of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all differ in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as an entire, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it’s important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated evaluations 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 Html5 Website
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous projects since 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but 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 get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning 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. Speed Up Html5 Website
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more intricate the options to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally extra plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a slow site doesn’t indicate that you require a bigger, better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes 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 optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply 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 aid to remain quickly as you grow. There are a lot of services … but either you or a developer should execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and identify the precise chokepoint to get your website moving. Speed Up Html5 Website
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing 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 theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to start packing the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that way no matter how big or complicated the site 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 because you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, but they also supply worldwide data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Speed Up Html5 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 Html5 Website
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my 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 stated, the tough thing about customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never understand if the story is because they spoke to 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 business deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to try to find access, systems, and understanding, all 3 require an investment of money, time and know-how.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has communicated with actually understood the fine workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Speed Up Html5 Website
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly since their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they appear to understand 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 indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, 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 use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website protected 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 everything off-site & ready to roll back if something happens. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a lot of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have actually been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a typically pricey scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Speed Up Html5 Website
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and just as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However 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 total value & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates each month & 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 month-to-month fee right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or developer time repairing concerns.
Generally, if your time is much better assigned away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Speed Up Html5 Website
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential factor, especially being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a start-up site owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s special backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website at one time.
They do not have any previous practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make pledges and supply support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Speed Up Html5 Website
WP Engine stands out not only on current features however likewise on developing new, innovative hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even basic web development best practices have changed drastically because I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to incorporate best practices into execution & tasks 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of stand because they just aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some consumers. I do not use them for this website due to the fact that I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Speed Up Html5 Website
All that said, here are a few of the larger picture disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be quite made complex– particularly if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they likewise don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the unique backend can lead to some developers making mistakes ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site available to the public or just not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice customers than they currently do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the basic user. Speed Up Html5 Website
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to enjoy that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (once you get past the learning curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site checklists to help troubleshoot all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons why they do all this. And in most cases, support will just look after everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In many 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 Html5 Website
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise 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 rather consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for great factors, but those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, 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 versatile and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured allows for less versatility as well. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a variety of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to aspect extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Company. And this point goes even more if your site needs numerous plugins for full functionality.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t really do automatic email 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 provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for efficiency & not having to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Speed Up Html5 Website
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” site owners how quickly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even include many of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs extra expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to expand the expense of your plan,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is an expensive option, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, however exactly what is best for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a terrific service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to fret about hosting problems.
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 install and see what you think of their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more freedom/ much better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer support.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Speed Up Html5 Website