WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Speed Up Website Dns
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to offer managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Speed Up Website Dns
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers 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 website content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as a whole, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is very important to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a different technique. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Speed Up Website Dns
I have actually utilized WP Engine for different jobs because 2012. I do not use them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present client on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All information & opinion is based upon 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 assure “stunning 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 Website Dns
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, however the general rule is that the more intricate your website is, the more complicated the options to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with a budget friendly shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish site does not indicate that you need a bigger, better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, however sometimes it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may just need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay fast as you grow. There are lots of solutions … however either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Speed Up Website Dns
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, additional scripts, too many 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 data to start packing the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right out of the box, 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 back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because you are free to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an integrated CDN, however they also provide worldwide information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Speed Up Website Dns
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Speed Up Website Dns
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among 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 business has 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 said, the hard feature of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever know 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 business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I prefer to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require an investment of money, time and proficiency.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually connected with in fact understood the great operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Speed Up Website Dns
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,especially because their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). However they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that even though security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those finest 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 (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s aggravating, tedious & an usually costly circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Speed Up Website Dns
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only up to 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both which permit more storage & more sees (ie, basically as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates 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 own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes on a monthly basis. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or designer time fixing concerns.
Generally, if your time is much better allocated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Speed Up Website Dns
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is an essential aspect, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup website owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s special backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any previous practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Speed Up Website Dns
WP Engine stands out not just on current features however likewise on producing brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have altered drastically because I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web development to integrate finest 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of are valid because they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some customers. I do not utilize them for this site since I do not require much of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Speed Up Website Dns
All that said, here are a few of the bigger photo disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be quite complicated– especially if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the unique backend can result in some designers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open to the general public or merely not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they currently do.
Like many custom 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 describe best practice for the basic user. Speed Up Website Dns
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a substantial deal (once you surpass the knowing curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site lists to assist repair 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 why they do all this. And in many cases, support will just take care of it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Speed Up Website Dns
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit more to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, but those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured enables less flexibility too. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a number of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to element extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Service. And this point goes even more if your website requires many plugins for complete functionality.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you cannot truly do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up needing to do a painful migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically paying for efficiency & not having to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you truly don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Speed Up Website Dns
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour duration 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 fairly transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even include much of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional expenses & technical application 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 have to factor those into the rate. You cannot utilize them to expand the cost of your plan,specifically if you are striking 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 a pricey option, especially compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest overall, but exactly what is finest for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a great service with a strong item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to stress over hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see what you think of their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more liberty/ better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer care.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Speed Up Website Dns