WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Update Dns Wpengine
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to offer handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Update Dns Wpengine
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then 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 set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, 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 great deal of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a different approach. 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. Update Dns Wpengine
I have actually utilized WP Engine for different projects since 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” Here is their promo 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. Update Dns Wpengine
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your website is, the more intricate the solutions to speed become.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish website does not imply that you need a bigger, much better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might just have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to stay quick as you grow. There are a lot of options … but either you or a developer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have customized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the specific chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Update Dns Wpengine
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, 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 data to begin loading the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complex the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are free to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, but they also offer global data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Update Dns Wpengine
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Update Dns Wpengine
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a huge emphasis 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 & changed 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 consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never know if the story is because they spoke with 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 business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I want to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need an investment of loan, time and expertise.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the website by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually connected with really knew the fine functions of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Update Dns Wpengine
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly due to the fact that their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That indicates 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. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something takes place. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a normally pricey circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Update Dns Wpengine
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which enable more storage & more sees (ie, basically as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & 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 charge right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge 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 whole month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or developer time fixing concerns.
Generally, if your time is much better designated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Update Dns Wpengine
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on advancement & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing fundamental site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a crucial factor, particularly having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on launching a near-complete site all at once.
They don’t have any prior routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, numerous of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Update Dns Wpengine
WP Engine stands out not only on existing features however likewise on producing new, advanced hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even general web advancement best practices have actually changed radically because I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to integrate finest practices into application & tasks with developers.
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 fit for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of stand because they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not need many of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Update Dns Wpengine
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger photo disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be quite made complex– particularly if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they likewise don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can cause some designers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site available 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 beginner customers than they currently do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the basic user. Update Dns Wpengine
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to watch that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial deal (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site lists to help troubleshoot all sorts of problems.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply look after everything.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Update Dns Wpengine
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for great reasons, but those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured allows for less adaptability too. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also costly to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to factor extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Business. And this point goes further if your site needs numerous plugins for full functionality.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot really do automatic email 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 company mid-campaign.
In either 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 usually spending for performance & not needing to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Update Dns Wpengine
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can definitely 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 “little” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed previously that doesn’t even consist of much of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits needs extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t utilize them to expand the cost of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, but what is finest for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to stress over hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see exactly what you think of their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more freedom/ much better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Update Dns Wpengine