WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting WordPress Database Repair Optimize
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to supply handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. WordPress Database Repair Optimize
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all differ in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however as an entire, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a various technique. This review will take a 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. WordPress Database Repair Optimize
I’ve used WP Engine for numerous projects given that 2012. I don’t use them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business mentioned. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational 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. WordPress Database Repair Optimize
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the solutions to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a few standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically extra plugins, customized theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
However a sluggish website does not imply that you require a larger, better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might just need to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to remain fast as you grow. There are lots of solutions … however either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually customized servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and identify the specific chokepoint to get your site moving. WordPress Database Repair Optimize
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to start loading the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right out of package, 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 consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are free to focus on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, but they likewise offer international data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. WordPress Database Repair Optimize
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support WordPress Database Repair Optimize
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has actually grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult thing about consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is because they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I want to look for access, systems, and knowledge, all three require an investment of cash, time and proficiency.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with really understood the great operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. WordPress Database Repair Optimize
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). But they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your 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 industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a lot of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a generally expensive situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. WordPress Database Repair Optimize
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reliable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which enable more storage & more gos to (ie, basically as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty 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 whole regular monthly charge right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire 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 website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time repairing problems.
Essentially, if your time is better allocated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. WordPress Database Repair Optimize
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer 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 3rd customer type is a start-up site owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior routines 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 pledges and provide support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review modification. WordPress Database Repair Optimize
WP Engine excels not just on current functions but also on developing new, advanced hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out new designer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have actually changed drastically given that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to integrate finest practices into implementation & projects with developers.
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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of are valid since they merely aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some customers. I do not utilize them for this site because I do not require a number of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. WordPress Database Repair Optimize
All that stated, here are a few of the larger picture downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be rather made complex– specifically if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can result in some developers making mistakes ranging from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev site available to the general public or merely not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they already do.
Like many custom platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss finest practice for the general user. WordPress Database Repair Optimize
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to enjoy that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (when you get past the learning curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of website lists to assist repair all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And most of the times, support will just look after it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. WordPress Database Repair Optimize
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or very real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin habits for great reasons, however those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But 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 enables less versatility too. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, but it’s also expensive to pay based upon a number of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to element additional 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 manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Service. And this point goes further if your website needs many plugins for complete functionality.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot really do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up needing to do an agonizing migration to another email company mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for performance & not needing to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you really do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. WordPress Database Repair Optimize
Many shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even include a number of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits needs additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited 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 expand the cost of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, especially compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, however exactly what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a solid item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to stress over hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more flexibility/ better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated 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 factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. WordPress Database Repair Optimize