WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Website To Speed Up Songs
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first business to provide managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Website To Speed Up Songs
While they have plenty of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all differ in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer 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 actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is essential to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, usually with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a different approach. 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 “best fit” for. Website To Speed Up Songs
I have actually utilized WP Engine for different tasks since 2012. I don’t use them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” Here is their promotion 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 To Speed Up Songs
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complex your site is, the more complex the solutions to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text site with a few basic plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a budget friendly shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually additional plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
However a slow site doesn’t indicate that you need a bigger, much better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, but sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may just have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay fast as you grow. There are plenty of services … however either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have actually tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the precise chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Website To Speed Up Songs
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have such a customized 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 one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that method no matter how big or complex the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services since you are totally free to focus on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an integrated CDN, however they also provide international data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Website To Speed Up Songs
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Website To Speed Up Songs
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has grown & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult thing about consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never know if the story is due to the fact that they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I want to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require an investment of cash, time and knowledge.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the website via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has engaged with in fact knew the great workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of several issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Website To Speed Up Songs
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially because their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). However they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security basics are relatively straightforward:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still ultimately 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 & prepared to roll back if something takes place. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a typically pricey circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Website To Speed Up Songs
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and only up to 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trusted VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, essentially as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes on a monthly basis. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use 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 concerns or downtime expenses lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or designer time fixing problems.
Essentially, if your time is much better designated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Website To Speed Up Songs
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on development & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process take place. The phone support is a crucial aspect, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third 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 comfortable finding out WP Engine’s special backend and plan on introducing a near-complete site all at once.
They don’t have any prior practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, numerous of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Website To Speed Up Songs
WP Engine excels not just on current features but likewise on creating brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer features that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web development best practices have changed drastically considering that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web development to incorporate finest practices into implementation & 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous are valid because they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this site since I do not need a number of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Website To Speed Up Songs
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger photo drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be rather complicated– particularly if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can result in some designers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website available to the general public or merely not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they currently do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the basic user. Website To Speed Up Songs
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (once you get past the knowing curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site checklists to assist fix 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.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Website To Speed Up Songs
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or very real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin habits for good factors, but those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. 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 permits less flexibility as well. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also pricey to pay based upon a variety of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish 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 Organisation. And this point goes further if your site requires numerous plugins for full functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you can’t actually do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up needing to do a painful migration to another email company mid-campaign.
In either 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 generally spending for performance & not having to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the functions you’re getting, you actually do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically visiting regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Website To Speed Up Songs
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 sees 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 gos to, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed earlier that does not even consist of much of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t use them to expand the cost of your plan,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, however exactly what is finest for you based upon your objectives, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a fantastic service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to fret about hosting issues.
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 guarantee. So do a test install and see what you think about their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more liberty/ better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer support.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Website To Speed Up Songs