WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Website Migration Project Tony’S Chips
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first business to provide handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Website Migration Project Tony’S Chips
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name recognition and advanced features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all differ in services supplied. 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 separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater cost 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 different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is essential to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a different method. 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 Project Tony’S Chips
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous tasks because 2012. I don’t use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, powerful 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 Project Tony’S Chips
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your site is, the more intricate the options to speed become.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally extra plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
However a sluggish website does not imply that you require a bigger, much better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, but sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might just have to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to remain quick as you grow. There are lots of solutions … however either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Website Migration Project Tony’S Chips
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have such a customized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up 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 bloated theme, additional scripts, too many 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 information to start loading the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right from package, and have it stay that method no matter how big or complicated the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed 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 concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an integrated CDN, but they likewise supply international information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Website Migration Project Tony’S Chips
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Website Migration Project Tony’S Chips
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a big focus 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 & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard feature of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never understand if the story is due to the fact that they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to search for access, systems, and understanding, all three require an investment of loan, time and expertise.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the site via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has engaged with in fact understood the great operations of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Website Migration Project Tony’S Chips
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically since their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security basics are relatively 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that even though security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top 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 free of charge.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, laborious & a normally expensive situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Website Migration Project Tony’S Chips
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both of which enable more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or developer time repairing concerns.
Generally, if your time is better allocated away 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 a financial 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 Project Tony’S Chips
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears 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 process, the very first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on development & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that process take place. The phone support is a key aspect, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on introducing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make promises and provide support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Website Migration Project Tony’S Chips
WP Engine stands out not just on current functions however also on producing brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented new designer features that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have actually altered drastically because I began observing the market *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to incorporate finest practices into application & jobs 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And numerous stand because they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some consumers. I do not use them for this website due to the fact that I do not need a number of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Website Migration Project Tony’S Chips
All that stated, here are some of the bigger image disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be rather complicated– particularly if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the distinct backend can result in some designers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open to the public or simply not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they currently do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the general user. Website Migration Project Tony’S Chips
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to enjoy that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (once you surpass the knowing curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of website checklists to help fix all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Website Migration Project Tony’S Chips
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also 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 have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or extremely real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, but those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized websites, 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 versatile and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured enables less adaptability too. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise costly to pay based on a variety of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to aspect extra 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 site on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Company. And this point goes even more if your site requires lots of plugins for full functionality.
The very same chooses 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 utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot truly do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for performance & not having to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you truly don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally visiting frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Website Migration Project Tony’S Chips
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” site owners how quickly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned earlier that does not even include a number of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs additional expenses & technical execution 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 have to factor those into the rate. You cannot utilize them to expand the cost of your plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, but exactly what is best for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to fret about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more flexibility/ much better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Website Migration Project Tony’S Chips