WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Website Migration And Seo
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to supply handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Website Migration And Seo
While they have a lot of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all vary in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, 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 website content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as an entire, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a different technique. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Website Migration And Seo
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous tasks since 2012. I do not use them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a current client on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational 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. Website Migration And Seo
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, but the guideline is that the more intricate your site is, the more intricate the options to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text site with a few standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually extra plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish website doesn’t mean that you need a bigger, better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless 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 consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain fast as you grow. There are plenty of services … but either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Website Migration And Seo
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to start packing the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or complicated the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are complimentary 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 offers an incorporated CDN, however they likewise provide international information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Website Migration And Seo
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Website Migration And Seo
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a huge 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 company has grown & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the difficult feature of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never know if the story is because they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all three require a financial investment of loan, time and competence.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with in fact understood the fine operations of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after a number of concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Website Migration And Seo
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially due to the fact that their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals 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 even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe 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 & all set to roll back if something occurs. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after 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 discouraging, tedious & an usually costly situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Website Migration And Seo
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both of which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, basically as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup 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 cost right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time fixing problems.
Generally, if your time is better allocated far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Website Migration And Seo
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on development & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed 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 take place. The phone support is an essential factor, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd customer type is a startup website owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete site all at once.
They don’t have any prior habits or customizeds 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 supply support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, so many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Website Migration And Seo
WP Engine stands out not just on existing features however also on producing new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented new designer functions that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even basic web development best practices have changed radically considering that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web development to incorporate best 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit 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 numerous are valid because they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this site because I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Website Migration And Seo
All that said, here are some of the larger picture disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be rather complicated– especially if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the distinct backend can cause some designers making errors ranging from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev website open to the general public or simply not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they already do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever describe best practice for the basic user. Website Migration And Seo
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to view that video numerous 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 really going to be a huge offer (as soon as you get past the learning curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website lists to assist fix 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 look after it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Website Migration And Seo
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of reducing & 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 uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, however those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sites, 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 flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured allows for less versatility also. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send, however it’s also expensive to pay based upon a number of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element 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 site on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your website requires numerous plugins for full functionality.
The exact 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 actually do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up having to do a painful migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based on the functions you’re getting, you really do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Website Migration And Seo
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even consist of many of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires 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 jobs or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to spread out the expense of your plan,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, however exactly what is best for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a solid 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 smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to worry about hosting issues.
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 guarantee. So do a test install and see what you think of their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more flexibility/ better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer support.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Website Migration And Seo