WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Website Migration Fee
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to supply handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Website Migration Fee
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many methods -and they have broad name recognition and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all vary in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is very important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a different technique. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Website Migration Fee
I’ve used WP Engine for numerous projects since 2012. I do not use them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Fee
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your website is, the more complex the services to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a few standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally extra plugins, customized style files, great deals 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 slow website does not imply that you need a larger, much better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to stay quick as you grow. There are plenty of options … however either you or a designer need to 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 and even advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and determine the specific chokepoint to get your site moving. Website Migration Fee
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs 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 theme, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to start packing the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it stay that method no matter how big or complex 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 considering that you are free to concentrate on speed factors 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 integrated CDN, but they also provide global data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Website Migration Fee
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Website Migration Fee
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a huge 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 actually grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough thing about customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never understand if the story is since they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to look for access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require an investment of cash, time and proficiency.
Based on my current 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 plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the site through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has interacted with really understood the great operations of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Website Migration Fee
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly because their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). However they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals are fairly simple:
- 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 see that even though security on WordPress is simple, 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 site safe is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a lot of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee 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 assisted customers who have been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a generally pricey circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Website Migration Fee
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reliable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same cost 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 per month.
Both of which permit more storage & more sees (ie, generally as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & 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 whole monthly fee right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly cost 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 developer time fixing concerns.
Basically, if your time is much better designated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Website Migration Fee
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate 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 automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a crucial factor, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on releasing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any previous practices 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 pledges and offer support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, so many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Website Migration Fee
WP Engine excels not just on current functions but likewise on developing brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented new developer features that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have actually changed significantly considering that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web development to integrate 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 best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of are valid due to the fact that they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some consumers. I do not use them for this site due to the fact that I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Website Migration Fee
All that said, here are a few of the larger picture disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be quite complicated– specifically if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can result in some developers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website open to the general public or merely not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they currently do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never describe finest practice for the general user. Website Migration Fee
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to see 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 really going to be a huge offer (once you surpass the knowing curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site 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.
Once again– they have reasons why they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Website Migration Fee
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for great reasons, but those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured allows for less flexibility as well. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s also pricey to pay based on a number of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect additional hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish 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 an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your site needs many plugins for complete performance.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t truly do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for performance & not needing to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the functions you’re getting, you actually don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Website Migration Fee
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard 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 sees, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even include a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to expand the expense of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, especially compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best overall, but what is best for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to worry about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more freedom/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Website Migration Fee