WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Speed Up Website Php
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to supply handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Speed Up Website Php
While they have plenty 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 recognition and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has become a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: 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 managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as a whole, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is essential to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a various technique. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Speed Up Website Php
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various tasks because 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business pointed out. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, effective 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 Website Php
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the options to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text site with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually extra plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site does not suggest that you need a larger, better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might just need 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 quick as you grow. There are plenty of services … but either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have actually tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the precise chokepoint to get your website moving. Speed Up Website Php
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well 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 puffed up theme, additional scripts, too many 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 great to have that type of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complicated the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are free to focus on speed elements that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, but they also supply worldwide information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Speed Up Website Php
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 Php
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a big 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 business has actually grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult thing about consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never know if the story is due to the fact that they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three need a financial investment of money, time and proficiency.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has engaged with really knew the fine workings of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Speed Up Website Php
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially because their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However 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 whole Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, 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 discover that even though security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a lot of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually helped customers who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a generally expensive scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Speed Up Website Php
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same rate from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both which enable more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & 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 entire regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time repairing problems.
Essentially, if your time is better designated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Speed Up Website Php
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on advancement & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can assure their customer 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, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is an essential aspect, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on launching a near-complete site all at once.
They do not have any prior habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these types of clients, 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 enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this review revision. Speed Up Website Php
WP Engine stands out not just on current functions however likewise on producing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out new designer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development best practices have altered significantly given that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to integrate finest practices into implementation & jobs with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of are valid due to the fact that they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this site since I do not require much of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Speed Up Website Php
All that said, here are some of the larger picture downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be quite complicated– specifically if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can result in some developers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site open to the general public or simply not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they already do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the basic user. Speed Up Website Php
Here is their video on pressing 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 ideal IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a substantial deal (when you get past the knowing curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
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 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.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply take care of everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Speed Up Website Php
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for great factors, but those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured permits less adaptability also. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also costly to pay based upon a variety of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need 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 handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Business. And this point goes even more if your website needs numerous plugins for complete performance.
The very 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 utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot really do automated e-mail 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 company mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for efficiency & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based on the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Speed Up Website Php
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 (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even include many of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to spread out the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest overall, however exactly what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & routines.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to worry about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see what you think of their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more flexibility/ much better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Speed Up Website Php