WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Speed Up Ssl Website
While they have lots of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all vary in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as an entire, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is essential to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but 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 Ssl Website
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various tasks since 2012. I do not utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a current client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Ssl Website
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your website is, the more complex the services to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of basic plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with an economical shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish site does not suggest that you need a bigger, much better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more powerful 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 aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain fast as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … however either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and identify the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Speed Up Ssl Website
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have such a customized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional 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 rapidly the server returned enough information to start filling the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right out of package, and have it stay that method no matter how big or complicated the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are complimentary to focus on speed aspects that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an incorporated CDN, however they also supply worldwide information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Speed Up Ssl 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 Ssl Website
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. 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 position a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough feature of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never know if the story is because they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to search for access, systems, and understanding, all three require an investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the site by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has connected with in fact understood the great operations of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of a number of problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Speed Up Ssl Website
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically because their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). But they seem to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security essentials are fairly 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, 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 & efficiency, WP Engine essentially 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 happens. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have actually been. It’s aggravating, tedious & a normally expensive situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Speed Up Ssl Website
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which permit more storage & more gos to (ie, generally as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time fixing issues.
Essentially, if your time is better assigned far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Speed Up Ssl Website
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first consumer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential element, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a startup site owner that has the budget and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s special backend and plan on launching a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any previous 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 promises and offer support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Speed Up Ssl Website
WP Engine stands out not only on present features but likewise on creating new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development finest practices have actually altered radically since I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web development to integrate finest practices into application & tasks with designers.
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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And many are valid due to the fact that they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some customers. I don’t utilize them for this site because I do not require many of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Speed Up Ssl Website
All that stated, here are a few of the larger picture drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be rather complicated– especially if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can lead to some developers making errors ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev website open up to the public or just not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more novice customers than they already do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never explain finest practice for the general user. Speed Up Ssl Website
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of sites 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 best IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (when you get past the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site lists to help troubleshoot all sorts of issues.
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 for the most parts, support will just take care of everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Speed Up Ssl Website
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related 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 have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, but those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured permits less versatility as well. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, but it’s also costly to pay based on a variety of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to factor extra 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 website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes further if your website needs many plugins for complete performance.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot truly do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for efficiency & not having to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Speed Up Ssl Website
Many shared hosting servers can handle the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as discussed earlier that does not even include many of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly 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 cost. You can’t 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 & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a costly option, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, however what is best for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a solid product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to worry about hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more freedom/ better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Speed Up Ssl Website