WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Speed Up Music 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 Music 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 ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all vary in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers 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 material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as a whole, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is necessary to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a different method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Speed Up Music Website
I’ve used WP Engine for numerous tasks considering that 2012. I do not utilize them for my main websites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, powerful 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 Music Website
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, however the guideline is that the more complex your website is, the more complicated the options to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
However a sluggish website doesn’t mean that you require a larger, much better server. It does mean 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 particular order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might simply need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to stay quickly as you grow. There are a lot of options … but either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Speed Up Music Website
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra scripts, too many 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 packing the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that way no matter how big 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 concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an integrated CDN, but they also provide international data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Speed Up Music 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 Music Website
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
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 lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard feature of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never understand if the story is because they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I want to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of loan, time and proficiency.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all 3 boxes. They preserve 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 through chat.
Based on their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has communicated with in fact understood the fine operations of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to expertly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Speed Up Music Website
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially because their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they seem to know 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 suppliers.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security basics are relatively uncomplicated:
- 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 business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a great deal of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have helped clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & a generally costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Speed Up Music Website
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only up to 25,000 visits monthly.
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 with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which enable more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k gos to per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time fixing problems.
Essentially, if your time is better assigned away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Speed Up Music 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 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at needing to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that process happen. The phone support is an essential element, particularly being able to “just 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-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on releasing a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any previous routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements 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 revision. Speed Up Music Website
WP Engine excels not only on existing functions but likewise on producing new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented new designer features that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even basic web development best practices have actually altered drastically considering that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to incorporate finest practices into application & tasks 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many stand due to the fact that they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this website because I do not need a number of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Speed Up Music Website
All that said, here are some of the larger picture drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be rather complicated– especially if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can lead to some designers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website open to the public or just not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner consumers than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never describe best practice for the general user. Speed Up Music Website
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to view 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 (once you surpass the knowing curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site lists to help fix all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply look after it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t 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, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Speed Up Music Website
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or extremely genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, but those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured enables less flexibility also. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also expensive to pay based upon a number of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, 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 site on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Company. And this point goes further if your site needs lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t actually do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up needing to do a painful migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for performance & not needing to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally logging in often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Speed Up Music Website
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) managed 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 deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even include much of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the price. You can’t utilize them to spread out the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, but what is best for you based upon your goals, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a fantastic service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to stress over hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see what you think about their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more liberty/ better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Speed Up Music Website