WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Website Migration Cost
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first business to supply handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Website Migration Cost
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all differ in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + 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 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 confusing, yes, but it is very important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal 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 alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Website Migration Cost
I’ve used WP Engine for various tasks given that 2012. I do not use them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client or expert 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 “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer care.” Here is their promotion pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Website Migration Cost
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the solutions to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site does not suggest that you require a bigger, better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, however sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may just need to remove the emergency brake, set up 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 plenty of solutions … but either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common web host. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Website Migration Cost
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform due to the fact that 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, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right out of package, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or intricate the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are complimentary to focus on speed elements that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, but they also offer international data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Website Migration Cost
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Website Migration Cost
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are actually offering 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:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult thing about customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that they talked with 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 business deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need an investment of cash, time and know-how.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site through chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has connected with in fact knew the great functions 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 customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of a number of concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Website Migration Cost
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly because their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very 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 use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & ready to roll back if something happens. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & a typically 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 Migration Cost
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and just as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same price from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both which enable more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates each month & 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 regular monthly charge right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better assigned away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Website Migration Cost
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first customer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on development & 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 website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a crucial element, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third consumer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s special backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any prior habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Website Migration Cost
WP Engine stands out not just on existing functions however likewise on creating brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented new designer features that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web development finest practices have altered radically since I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to incorporate best practices into application & 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many are valid due to the fact that they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some consumers. I do not use them for this website since I do not require many of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Website Migration Cost
All that stated, here are some of the larger photo drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be rather made complex– especially if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the distinct backend can lead to some developers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or simply not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner consumers than they already do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe best practice for the general user. Website Migration Cost
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to view that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a big offer (once you get past the knowing curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of website lists to assist 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 in many cases, support will just take care of it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Website Migration Cost
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin behavior for great factors, but those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured enables less flexibility as well. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also pricey to pay based on a variety of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to element extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile 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 allow on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your site requires lots of plugins for full performance.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot truly do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up needing to do an agonizing migration to another email provider 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 typically spending for efficiency & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you truly don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Website Migration Cost
Many shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr 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 relatively transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even consist of much of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs extra costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to expand the expense of your plan,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, but what is finest for you based upon your goals, budget, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a fantastic service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to worry about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think of their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more flexibility/ better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
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. Website Migration Cost