WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Speed Up Joomla 3 Website
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Speed Up Joomla 3 Website
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all differ in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is very important to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a various method. This review will take a 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 Joomla 3 Website
I’ve used WP Engine for numerous jobs since 2012. I do not use them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer 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 Joomla 3 Website
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complex your site is, the more complex the services to speed become.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text site with a few basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically extra plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a slow site doesn’t imply that you need a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might just have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to stay fast as you grow. There are plenty of options … however either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with very aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Speed Up Joomla 3 Website
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up 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 rapidly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right from the box, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or intricate the website gets.
*Note 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 given that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, but they likewise offer worldwide information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Speed Up Joomla 3 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 Joomla 3 Website
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. 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 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 business has grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough thing about customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is because they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all three need an investment of money, time and proficiency.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has communicated with really understood the fine operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Speed Up Joomla 3 Website
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,especially since their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). But they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security essentials are fairly 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 commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those finest 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 “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually helped clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, laborious & a normally pricey circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Speed Up Joomla 3 Website
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just 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 same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much 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 actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Speed Up Joomla 3 Website
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a key aspect, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any prior practices or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make promises and provide support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, so many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Speed Up Joomla 3 Website
WP Engine excels not just on present functions however likewise on developing new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented new developer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have actually changed significantly given that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to incorporate finest practices into execution & 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And numerous are valid due to the fact that they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some clients. I don’t use them for this website since I do not require many of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Speed Up Joomla 3 Website
All that said, here are some of the larger picture downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be rather made complex– especially if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can lead to some designers making errors varying from annoying redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or merely not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner consumers than they currently do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never describe best practice for the general user. Speed Up Joomla 3 Website
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to watch that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (when you get past the learning curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site lists to assist fix 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 that they do all this. And in most cases, support will just look after everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Speed Up Joomla 3 Website
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to 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 business has guidelines (or very genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, but those restrictions restrict flexibility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sites, 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 versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured enables less flexibility also. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s also costly to pay based upon a number of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to factor extra 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 site on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Company. And this point goes even more if your website needs lots of plugins for full functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot really do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up having to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for performance & not needing to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the functions you’re getting, you really don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Speed Up Joomla 3 Website
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) 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 handle 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 “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even include a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires extra costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You cannot utilize them to expand the expense of your plan,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, however exactly what is best for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to worry about hosting problems.
If managed 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. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more flexibility/ better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Speed Up Joomla 3 Website