WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Website Migration Domain Authority
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to supply managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Website Migration Domain Authority
While they have plenty of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all vary in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is very important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a various technique. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Website Migration Domain Authority
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous tasks given that 2012. I don’t use them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business mentioned. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” 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 Domain Authority
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, however the general rule is that the more intricate your website is, the more intricate the options to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text site with a couple of basic plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a slow website does not imply that you need a larger, better server. It does imply 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 specific resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain quickly as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … however either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common web host. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Website Migration Domain Authority
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing 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 among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to start filling the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right out of package, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or intricate the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are totally free to focus on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, however they likewise offer global data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Website Migration Domain Authority
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Website Migration Domain Authority
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge focus 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 business has actually 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 stated, the difficult aspect of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never know if the story is because they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need an investment of loan, time and expertise.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually connected with really understood the fine operations of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to expertly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after several issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Website Migration Domain Authority
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically because their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). But they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security basics are relatively 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 utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially 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 occurs. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a lot of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security firms 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 for free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have assisted customers who have actually been. It’s discouraging, laborious & a typically expensive circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Website Migration Domain Authority
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, essentially as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation 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 sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time repairing issues.
Generally, if your time is better allocated away from technical problems, 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 an investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Website Migration Domain Authority
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first consumer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a key factor, particularly being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd 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 comfy discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any previous habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make pledges and offer support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Website Migration Domain Authority
WP Engine stands out not only on present features however likewise on developing new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually changed radically given that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web development to incorporate best practices into execution & projects with designers.
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 very best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And lots of are valid due to the fact that they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some customers. I don’t utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Website Migration Domain Authority
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger picture 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 difference can be rather made complex– particularly if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the unique backend can lead to some developers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site open to the general public or simply not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they already do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss finest practice for the general user. Website Migration Domain Authority
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to watch that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a big offer (when you surpass the knowing curve). However for most, 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 truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of website lists to assist fix 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.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And most of the times, support will just take care of everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Website Migration Domain Authority
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to 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 need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or very real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin habits for good factors, but those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed 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 way their pricing is structured enables less adaptability too. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s also pricey to pay based on a number of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to factor additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Service. And this point goes further if your site needs many plugins for full functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot truly do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically paying for efficiency & not having to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Website Migration Domain Authority
Many shared hosting servers can manage the 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 fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly deal with 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 rapidly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned previously that does not even consist of many of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits needs extra expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t use them to expand the cost of your plan,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, especially compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, but what is finest for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to worry about hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a suitable 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 what you consider their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more flexibility/ better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer support.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Website Migration Domain Authority