WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Website Speed Up Service
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first business to offer handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Website Speed Up Service
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a different technique. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Website Speed Up Service
I have actually used WP Engine for different jobs considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, powerful 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 Speed Up Service
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, however the guideline is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the services to speed become.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually extra plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site does not imply that you require a larger, much better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just need to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain fast as you grow. There are lots of options … however either you or a designer should execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and identify the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Website Speed Up Service
They don’t even allow 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 because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to start loading the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or intricate the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because you are totally free to focus on speed aspects that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, but they likewise provide international information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Website Speed Up Service
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Website Speed Up Service
Client support has actually 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 good sense for them to place a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult feature of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never understand if the story is since they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to look for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three require an investment of money, time and expertise.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the website through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually interacted with in fact understood the fine functions of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of numerous concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Website Speed Up Service
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security essentials are relatively uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something takes place. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a lot of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a normally expensive circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Website Speed Up Service
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 monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, generally as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k sees each month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices 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 entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or developer time repairing problems.
Essentially, if your time is much better assigned 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 an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Website Speed Up Service
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that process happen. The phone support is a key aspect, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on launching a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any prior practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Website Speed Up Service
WP Engine stands out not only on present functions however also on producing new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new designer functions that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even general web advancement best practices have altered significantly because I began observing the market *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to incorporate finest practices into application & 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 best fit for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many are valid because they simply aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some clients. I don’t use them for this site due to the fact that I do not require many of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Website Speed Up Service
All that said, here are some of the bigger picture drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be rather complicated– specifically 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-made. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can cause some developers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev site open to the public or simply not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never explain finest practice for the basic user. Website Speed Up Service
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed 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 custom backend isn’t going to be a substantial deal (once you get past the knowing curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site lists to help repair 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.
Once 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 do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Website Speed Up Service
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for great reasons, but those restrictions restrict adaptability and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured allows for less flexibility also. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a variety of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to factor 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 website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your site needs numerous plugins for full performance.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t truly do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up needing to do a painful migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
Either way, 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 normally paying for efficiency & not needing to believe excessive 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 consider your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Website Speed Up Service
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) dealt with more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even consist of much of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the price. You can’t utilize them to spread out the cost of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a pricey option, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, but exactly what is best for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to stress over hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see what you consider their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more flexibility/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer support.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Website Speed Up Service