WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Website Migration WordPress
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Website Migration WordPress
While they have lots of competitors 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 cutting-edge functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
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 traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is essential to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, usually with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a different technique. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Website Migration WordPress
I’ve used WP Engine for various projects given that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies pointed out. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, powerful 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 WordPress
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your site is, the more complex the services to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text site with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally additional plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow website does not suggest that you need a larger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may just have to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to remain quick as you grow. There are plenty of services … however either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even more 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 website moving. Website Migration WordPress
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to start loading the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or complicated the site gets.
*Note 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 might get with other services considering that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, however they also provide worldwide information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Website Migration WordPress
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Website Migration WordPress
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a big 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 & changed 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 difficult thing about client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never know if the story is because they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need an investment of loan, time and competence.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the website via chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has engaged with really understood the great operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, 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 was able to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Website Migration WordPress
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly because their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). But they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are relatively simple:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice 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 does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something takes place. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a great deal of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually helped clients who have been. It’s discouraging, laborious & a typically costly scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Website Migration WordPress
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, essentially as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k sees each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or designer time fixing issues.
Basically, if your time is much better assigned far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Website Migration WordPress
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on development & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is an essential aspect, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client 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 learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on introducing a near-complete site all at once.
They do not have any previous habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, numerous of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review revision. Website Migration WordPress
WP Engine excels not only on present features but also on developing brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even general web advancement best practices have actually altered significantly because 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 integrate best practices into execution & jobs with designers.
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 very best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many stand due to the fact that they simply aren’t a suitable 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 don’t utilize them for this website since I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Website Migration WordPress
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger picture drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be quite made complex– particularly if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the distinct backend can result in some designers making mistakes ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site available to the general public or simply not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the basic user. Website Migration WordPress
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a big deal (once you get past the learning curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site lists to help troubleshoot all sorts of problems.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And for the most parts, 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 enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Website Migration WordPress
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for great factors, however those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured permits less versatility also. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based on a variety of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to element extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Company. And this point goes further if your site needs many plugins for complete functionality.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t actually do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up needing to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for performance & not needing to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you truly 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 generally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Website Migration WordPress
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly 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 each month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even include much of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the price. You can’t use them to spread out the expense of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, however exactly what is best for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use an excellent service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to worry about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more flexibility/ better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Website Migration WordPress