WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Speed Up Opencart 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 specifically for WordPress. Speed Up Opencart Website
While they have plenty of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all vary in services offered. Some merely 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 truly purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, typically with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a various method. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Speed Up Opencart Website
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various jobs because 2012. I do not use them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business mentioned. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” 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 Opencart Website
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, however the general rule is that the more intricate your site is, the more intricate the solutions to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text site with a few basic plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally additional plugins, custom-made theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish website doesn’t imply that you require a larger, better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay quickly as you grow. There are plenty of options … but either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with very aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Speed Up Opencart Website
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating 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 customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to start packing the page.
It’s great to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or complicated the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are complimentary to focus on speed aspects that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, however they likewise supply global data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Speed Up Opencart 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 Opencart Website
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a big emphasis 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 company has actually grown & changed 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 feature of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never know if the story is since they spoke to 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 search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three need an investment of cash, time and competence.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing much better striking 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 available everywhere on the site through chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has interacted with really knew the great operations 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 in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of several problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Speed Up Opencart Website
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically since their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). But they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security essentials 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 industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually helped customers who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & an usually costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Speed Up Opencart Website
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your 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 per month.
Both which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better designated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Speed Up Opencart Website
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential element, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on launching a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly 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 Opencart Website
WP Engine stands out not only on current functions but also on developing new, advanced hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented new developer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even general web advancement best practices have altered drastically given that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web development to integrate best practices into execution & jobs 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 everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And numerous are valid since they simply aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Speed Up Opencart Website
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger image disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be quite made complex– particularly if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the special backend can result in some developers making errors ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website open up to the public or simply not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the general user. Speed Up Opencart Website
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to see that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (as soon as you get past the learning curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site checklists to help repair 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 why they do all this. And in many cases, support will just look after everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Speed Up Opencart Website
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods 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 predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior for good factors, but those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured allows for less versatility also. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also pricey to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to aspect additional hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes further if your website needs lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The same chooses 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 can’t really do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up needing to do an agonizing migration to another email company mid-campaign.
Either way, 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 spending for performance & not having to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the features you’re getting, you really do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally visiting often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Speed Up Opencart Website
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even include a number of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email 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 significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to spread out the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, however exactly what is best for you based upon your goals, budget, resources & routines.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to stress over hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a fit 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 set up and see what you think of their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more flexibility/ better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer support.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Speed Up Opencart Website