WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Speed Up Magento 2 Website
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first business to offer handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Speed Up Magento 2 Website
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is very important to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a different method. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Speed Up Magento 2 Website
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various projects given that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying client or specialist 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 “sensational speed, effective 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 Magento 2 Website
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, but the guideline is that the more complex your site is, the more complex the options to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a few basic plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with a budget friendly shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally extra plugins, custom style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish website doesn’t suggest that you need a bigger, better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may just need to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay quickly as you grow. There are lots of options … however either you or a developer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Speed Up Magento 2 Website
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional scripts, too many 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 great to have that kind of speed right from the box, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or complicated the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are complimentary to focus on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, however they likewise supply international information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Speed Up Magento 2 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 Magento 2 Website
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 grown & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough thing about customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never understand if the story is due to the fact that they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three require an investment of cash, time and competence.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including 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 guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually engaged with actually understood the fine workings of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Speed Up Magento 2 Website
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically since their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). However they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are relatively straightforward:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial 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 do not 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 occurs. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a generally costly scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Speed Up Magento 2 Website
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and just up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both of which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup 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 entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost 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 might be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time fixing concerns.
Generally, if your time is much better allocated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. 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 prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Speed Up Magento 2 Website
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site straight 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 deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating 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 development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that process take place. The phone support is a key factor, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup site owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on launching a near-complete site all at once.
They don’t have any prior habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make pledges and provide support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, numerous of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review modification. Speed Up Magento 2 Website
WP Engine stands out not just on present features however also on developing brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even general web development finest practices have altered drastically since I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to incorporate finest practices into application & projects 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of are valid since they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I do not utilize them for this website because I do not need a number of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Speed Up Magento 2 Website
All that said, here are some of the bigger photo disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be rather complicated– particularly if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can cause some designers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or just not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never describe best practice for the basic user. Speed Up Magento 2 Website
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, 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 custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (when you get past the knowing curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site lists to help troubleshoot 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.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply take care of it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Speed Up Magento 2 Website
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of decreasing & 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 need to be rather uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or very genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, however those restrictions restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled 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 method their rates is structured enables less versatility as well. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise costly to pay based on a number of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to factor additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Business. And this point goes further if your site needs lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying 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 e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for performance & not needing to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you truly don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Speed Up Magento 2 Website
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) dealt with more than 15,000 check outs 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 relatively transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t even include much of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t use them to expand the cost of your plan,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a costly option, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, however what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a fantastic service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to worry about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think of their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more liberty/ better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Speed Up Magento 2 Website