WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Speed Up Timer On Website
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to offer handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Speed Up Timer On Website
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all differ in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, 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 + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is necessary to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a different approach. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Speed Up Timer On Website
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various projects because 2012. I do not use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer service.” Here is their discount 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 Timer On Website
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, however the guideline is that the more complicated your site is, the more complicated the solutions to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text site with a few fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a budget friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically additional plugins, customized theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow site does not imply that you need a bigger, better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to stay quickly as you grow. There are lots of options … but either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the specific chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Speed Up Timer On Website
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated 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 measures how quickly the server returned enough information to start filling the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right from package, and have it stay that method no matter how big or intricate the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services since you are free 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 supplies an integrated CDN, however they also provide global data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Speed Up Timer On 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 Timer On Website
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has actually grown & altered 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 customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never understand if the story is since they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or a cost.
I like to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three need a financial investment of loan, time and know-how.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has connected with in fact understood the fine operations of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after numerous issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Speed Up Timer On Website
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically due to the fact that their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available 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 investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security basics are fairly straightforward:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website protected 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 & ready to roll back if something occurs. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a lot of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a normally pricey scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Speed Up Timer On Website
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both of which enable more storage & more sees (ie, basically as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing drawback 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 very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 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 whole month-to-month 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 whole month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time repairing concerns.
Basically, if your time is better designated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Speed Up Timer On Website
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears to be a suitable 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 customer 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. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous fundamental website upkeep. 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 annoyed at needing to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that process happen. The phone support is a crucial aspect, specifically having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third client type is a start-up website owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on releasing a near-complete site all at once.
They do not have any prior routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Speed Up Timer On Website
WP Engine excels not only on current features however also on creating new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even general web advancement best practices have actually altered significantly since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to incorporate best practices into execution & jobs 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And many are valid due to the fact that they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some customers. I do not use them for this site because I do not require a lot of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Speed Up Timer On Website
All that said, here are a few of the larger picture drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be quite made complex– especially if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can result in some designers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev website open to the general public or simply not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they already do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never describe best practice for the basic user. Speed Up Timer On Website
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to see that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (when you surpass the knowing curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site checklists to assist 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.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply take care of everything.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Speed Up Timer On Website
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is also related 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 consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for good reasons, however those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured enables less versatility as well. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to factor extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible 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 an Individual or Company. And this point goes even more if your site requires numerous plugins for full performance.
The exact same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming 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 customer got required & wound up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for efficiency & not having to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you truly don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally visiting regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Speed Up Timer On Website
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable 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 rather a surprise for “little” site owners how quickly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even include a number of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to spread out the expense of your strategy,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, however exactly what is finest for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a solid item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to stress over hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see what you consider their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more freedom/ much better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer support.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Speed Up Timer On Website