WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Website Migration Sample Ms Project Plan
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to supply handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Website Migration Sample Ms Project Plan
While they have plenty of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all vary in services provided. 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 truly 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 rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however as a whole, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it’s important to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a different approach. 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 “finest fit” for. Website Migration Sample Ms Project Plan
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous jobs because 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class client service.” 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 Sample Ms Project Plan
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, but the guideline is that the more complex your site 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 couple of standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically additional plugins, customized 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 site doesn’t imply that you require a larger, much better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may just have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay quick as you grow. There are a lot of services … however either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where handled 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 more advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the precise chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Website Migration Sample Ms Project Plan
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating 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, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin filling the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that method no matter how big or intricate the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because you are complimentary to concentrate on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, however they also offer international information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Website Migration Sample Ms Project Plan
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Website Migration Sample Ms Project Plan
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that 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 put a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among 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 company has actually grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard feature of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever know if the story is due to the fact that they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of loan, time and knowledge.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has connected with in fact knew the fine functions of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Website Migration Sample Ms Project Plan
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,especially since their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). However they seem to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security basics are fairly straightforward:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Given 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 closely with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a generally expensive situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Website Migration Sample Ms Project Plan
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both which enable more storage & more check outs (ie, basically as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of little 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 important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge 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 entire month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time repairing problems.
Generally, if your time is much better assigned far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Website Migration Sample Ms Project Plan
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable 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 appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on development & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a key aspect, especially being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd customer type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on launching a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these types 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 functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Website Migration Sample Ms Project Plan
WP Engine excels not just on existing functions but likewise on creating brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented new designer functions that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even general web development best practices have actually altered significantly because I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to incorporate best practices into application & projects 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And many stand due to the fact that they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some clients. I don’t use them for this site because I do not require a lot of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Website Migration Sample Ms Project Plan
All that said, here are some of the larger image downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be rather made complex– especially if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they likewise do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the special backend can lead to some designers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open to the public or merely not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they currently do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never explain best practice for the general user. Website Migration Sample Ms Project Plan
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to enjoy that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a substantial deal (when you surpass the knowing curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of website checklists to help repair all sorts of problems.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply take care of it all.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Website Migration Sample Ms Project Plan
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin habits for great reasons, however those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured enables less flexibility as well. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also pricey to pay based upon a number of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to factor extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible 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 permit on an Individual or Business. And this point goes further if your website needs many 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 use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot really do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for efficiency & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the features you’re getting, you truly don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Website Migration Sample Ms Project Plan
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even include a number of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t utilize them to expand the expense of your strategy,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, however what is finest for you based upon your goals, budget, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to worry about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see exactly what you consider their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more freedom/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Website Migration Sample Ms Project Plan