WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Website Migration To Azure
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to offer managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Website Migration To Azure
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all differ in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater price 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 an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is necessary to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, generally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a various method. This evaluation will 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 To Azure
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous projects because 2012. I don’t use them for my main websites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class client 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 To Azure
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the solutions to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text site with a few 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.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically extra plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a slow site doesn’t suggest that you need 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 powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to remain quickly as you grow. There are plenty of options … but either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Website Migration To Azure
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, 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 quickly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it remain 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 even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, but they also provide worldwide data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Website Migration To Azure
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Website Migration To Azure
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my 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 hard aspect of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never understand if the story is since they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I like to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three require a financial investment of cash, time and competence.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting 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 readily available all over on the website via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has interacted 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 customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Website Migration To Azure
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically since their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). 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 Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, 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 business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website protected is still ultimately 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 whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a lot of security concerns 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 for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have helped clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, laborious & a typically costly scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Website Migration To Azure
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup 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, reliable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which enable more storage & more visits (ie, generally as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k sees per month on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices drawback 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 & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly cost 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 might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or developer time fixing problems.
Basically, if your time is better allocated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed 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 To Azure
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing fundamental site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate 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 automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a key factor, specifically having the ability 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-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website at one time.
They do not have any prior practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this review revision. Website Migration To Azure
WP Engine stands out not only on present functions however also on producing new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new developer features that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web advancement best practices have changed drastically since I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to incorporate finest practices into execution & tasks 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 best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And lots of are valid because they simply aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some clients. I do not use them for this site due to the fact that I do not need much of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Website Migration To Azure
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger picture drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be rather made complex– especially if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can lead to some designers making errors varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site available to the public or merely not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they currently do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe finest practice for the basic user. Website Migration To Azure
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to enjoy that video multiple 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 customized backend isn’t going to be a huge deal (once you get past the knowing curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of website lists 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 that they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply take care of everything.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Website Migration To Azure
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise connected 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 rather consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for great factors, but those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good 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 pricing is structured enables less versatility also. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a number of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to aspect extra hosting bills 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 handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Company. And this point goes even more if your site requires lots of plugins for full performance.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t really do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for efficiency & not having to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you really don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Website Migration To Azure
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that does not even include much of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly 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 use them to expand the cost of your plan,especially 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 & dish out your site files, WP Engine is an expensive option, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, however exactly what is best for you based upon your goals, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use an excellent service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to worry about hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think of their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more flexibility/ much better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Website Migration To Azure