WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Website Migration Hubspot
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first business to supply managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Website Migration Hubspot
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all differ 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 managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly 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 tailored to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is necessary to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine 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 options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Website Migration Hubspot
I’ve used WP Engine for various tasks because 2012. I do not utilize them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves 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 on my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer service.” Here is their promo 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 Hubspot
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the options to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text site with a few basic plugins and a few small 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 set up lean. There’s usually additional plugins, customized theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
However a slow website doesn’t suggest that you need a larger, better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may just need to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay fast as you grow. There are plenty of services … however either you or a developer should execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the specific chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Website Migration Hubspot
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The interesting 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 clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra 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 information to start loading the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right out of package, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or complicated the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are free to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an integrated CDN, but they likewise provide international information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Website Migration Hubspot
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Website Migration Hubspot
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position 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 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 client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never know if the story is because they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I like to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three require an investment of loan, time and knowledge.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website through chat.
Based on their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with in fact understood the great workings of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to expertly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Website Migration Hubspot
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,especially since their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). However 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 whole Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security basics are fairly uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something happens. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a lot of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have helped customers who have actually been. It’s aggravating, tedious & a normally costly situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Website Migration Hubspot
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your 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 strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes every month. 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 visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time fixing problems.
Basically, 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 actually their thing. Hosting services are an 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 Hubspot
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is a crucial element, especially being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete site at one time.
They don’t have any prior habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Website Migration Hubspot
WP Engine stands out not just on current functions however also on producing brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually changed drastically considering that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web development to incorporate finest 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 best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many are valid because they merely aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this website because I do not need a lot of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Website Migration Hubspot
All that said, here are some of the bigger image disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be quite made complex– particularly if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can cause some developers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the public or just not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they already do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never describe finest practice for the basic user. Website Migration Hubspot
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to see that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a huge deal (when you surpass the knowing curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site checklists to assist repair all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons why they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply take care of everything.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Website Migration Hubspot
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, but those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done 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 way their pricing is structured enables less flexibility as well. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based upon a number of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to element additional 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 manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Company. And this point goes even more if your site needs many plugins for complete performance.
The exact same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you cannot actually do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up needing 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 features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not needing to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the functions you’re getting, you actually don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally visiting regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Website Migration Hubspot
Many shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as discussed previously that doesn’t even include much of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the price. You can’t use them to expand the expense of your strategy,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a costly option, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, but what is finest for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a strong item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to stress over hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see what you think of their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more flexibility/ much better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve 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 factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Website Migration Hubspot