WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting WordPress Cleanup And Optimize Plugin
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to offer managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. WordPress Cleanup And Optimize Plugin
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge 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 an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all vary in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses 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 competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is necessary to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a various method. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. WordPress Cleanup And Optimize Plugin
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous projects considering that 2012. I do not use them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” Here is their discount pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. WordPress Cleanup And Optimize Plugin
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your site is, the more complicated the options to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a few basic plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom-made theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site doesn’t mean that you need a larger, much better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to remain quickly as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … however either you or a developer should execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. WordPress Cleanup And Optimize Plugin
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers 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 data to start filling the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right from 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 even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are totally free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, however they also offer global data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. WordPress Cleanup And Optimize Plugin
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support WordPress Cleanup And Optimize Plugin
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are really selling 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 first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has actually grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough thing about consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never understand if the story is since they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need an investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually connected with actually understood the fine operations 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 during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. WordPress Cleanup And Optimize Plugin
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically because their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). But 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 indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security basics are fairly 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that even though security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site safe is still eventually 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 & ready to roll back if something happens. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a lot of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have helped customers who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & a normally expensive circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. WordPress Cleanup And Optimize Plugin
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both of which enable more storage & more gos to (ie, basically as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & 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 monthly charge right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time fixing issues.
Essentially, if your time is much better assigned far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really 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 focus on their core markets. WordPress Cleanup And Optimize Plugin
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing basic website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process happen. The phone support is an essential factor, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on launching a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any prior practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make pledges and supply support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine understands 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, user-friendly backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation modification. WordPress Cleanup And Optimize Plugin
WP Engine stands out not just on existing features however likewise on developing brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even general web development best practices have altered significantly considering that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web development to incorporate finest practices into implementation & projects with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of stand because they just aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I do not utilize them for this site since I do not require much of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. WordPress Cleanup And Optimize Plugin
All that stated, here are some of the larger photo downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be rather complicated– specifically if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they likewise do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can cause some designers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev website available to the public or just not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever describe finest practice for the general user. WordPress Cleanup And Optimize Plugin
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, but I needed to enjoy that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a big deal (when you get past the learning curve). However for most, 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 wide variety of website checklists 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 why they do all this. And in many cases, support will just look after it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. WordPress Cleanup And Optimize Plugin
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for good reasons, however those restrictions limit versatility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured allows for less adaptability too. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s also pricey to pay based upon a number of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to element extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish 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 enable on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your site requires numerous plugins for full functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you can’t really do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
Either way, 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 think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you actually do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually logging in often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. WordPress Cleanup And Optimize Plugin
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even include many 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 limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires 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 need to factor those into the price. You can’t 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 aiming to spend 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 exactly what is best overall, but exactly what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & habits.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to fret about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see what you consider their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more flexibility/ much better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer support.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. WordPress Cleanup And Optimize Plugin