WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Website For Gst Migration
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 managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Website For Gst Migration
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all vary in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, however 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 cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however as a whole, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it’s important to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a various technique. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Website For Gst Migration
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various projects considering that 2012. I don’t use them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, effective 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. Website For Gst Migration
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, however the guideline is that the more complicated your website is, the more intricate the services to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally additional plugins, custom style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish website doesn’t suggest that you require a bigger, much better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain quickly as you grow. There are lots of services … however either you or a designer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually customized servers with very aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Website For Gst Migration
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra 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 the box, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or intricate the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are totally free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, however they also offer global information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Website For Gst Migration
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Website For Gst Migration
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place 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 & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult feature of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever understand 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 discuss in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I want to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need an investment of money, time and proficiency.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the site through chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and comprehensive 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 actually had the ability 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 throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Website For Gst Migration
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically because their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are fairly uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is simple, 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 site safe and secure 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 whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a lot of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading 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 totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have assisted customers who have been. It’s aggravating, tedious & a generally pricey circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Website For Gst Migration
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting 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 check outs (ie, basically as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or developer time repairing problems.
Generally, if your time is better allocated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial 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. Website For Gst Migration
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit 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 consumer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on development & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard 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 frustrated at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a key element, specifically 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 plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on launching a near-complete site at one time.
They don’t have any previous practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. 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 kind of consumer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review modification. Website For Gst Migration
WP Engine excels not just on current functions however likewise on creating brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new designer features that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even basic web development best practices have actually altered significantly given that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand adequate web development to incorporate finest practices into application & projects 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling 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 an excellent fit for some customers. I do not utilize them for this site because I do not need a number of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Website For Gst Migration
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger image downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be quite complicated– particularly if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the distinct backend can lead to some developers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev website available to the general public or simply not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice clients than they already do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never explain best practice for the general user. Website For Gst Migration
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to see that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a substantial deal (as soon as you get past the knowing curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of website checklists to help troubleshoot all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And in many cases, support will just look after all of it.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Website For Gst Migration
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of lowering & 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 consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for good reasons, but those restrictions limit flexibility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured enables less versatility also. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based on a number of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to element additional hosting costs 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 deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your website requires many plugins for full functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot really do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up needing to do a painful migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for performance & not having to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the features you’re getting, you really do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically logging in often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Website For Gst Migration
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t even include a number 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 limits requires additional expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot use them to expand the cost of your plan,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, especially compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, but exactly what is finest for you based upon your objectives, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a solid item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to worry about hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see what you consider their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more freedom/ better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer support.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Website For Gst Migration