WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting WordPress Optimize Database After Deleting Revisions
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to provide managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. WordPress Optimize Database After Deleting Revisions
While they have plenty of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all differ in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + performance.
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 take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a various approach. This review will 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 Optimize Database After Deleting Revisions
I’ve used WP Engine for various jobs because 2012. I don’t use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational 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 Optimize Database After Deleting Revisions
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 complicated the options to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text site with a few basic plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with an economical shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually extra plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish site doesn’t imply that you need a bigger, much better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big 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 requires help to remain quick as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … but either you or a developer need to 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 as well as advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. WordPress Optimize Database After Deleting Revisions
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right from package, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or complicated the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are free to concentrate on speed factors that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an incorporated CDN, however they likewise supply global data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. WordPress Optimize Database After Deleting Revisions
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support WordPress Optimize Database After Deleting Revisions
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business 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 feature of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never know if the story is due to the fact that they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I want to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three require an investment of cash, time and know-how.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website via chat.
Based on their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually interacted with in fact understood the fine workings of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. WordPress Optimize Database After Deleting Revisions
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly since their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem 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 essentials are relatively simple:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially 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 occurs. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
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 frustrating, tiresome & an usually expensive scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. WordPress Optimize Database After Deleting Revisions
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trusted VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, basically as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or designer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is better designated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. WordPress Optimize Database After Deleting Revisions
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first customer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on development & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website 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 likewise established enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that process take place. The phone support is a key aspect, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a startup website owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s special backend and plan on releasing a near-complete site at one time.
They don’t have any prior routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, so many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. WordPress Optimize Database After Deleting Revisions
WP Engine excels not only on current features but likewise on creating new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new developer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even general web advancement best practices have actually altered significantly because I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to integrate best practices into implementation & tasks 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And numerous stand due to the fact that they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some customers. I don’t utilize them for this site since I do not need much of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. WordPress Optimize Database After Deleting Revisions
All that said, here are a few of the bigger photo downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be rather complicated– particularly if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can lead to some designers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site available to the general public or simply not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice customers than they currently do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever explain best practice for the basic user. WordPress Optimize Database After Deleting Revisions
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to watch that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (once you get past the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of website checklists to help 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 all of it.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have 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. WordPress Optimize Database After Deleting Revisions
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin behavior for great reasons, however those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured permits less adaptability also. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also costly to pay based upon a variety of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to factor additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want 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 Service. And this point goes even more if your website needs numerous plugins for full functionality.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize 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 required & ended up having to do a painful migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically paying for efficiency & not needing to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based on the functions you’re getting, you really do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. WordPress Optimize Database After Deleting Revisions
Many shared hosting servers can handle the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) dealt with more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely deal with 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 monthly tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even include much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot utilize them to spread out the cost of your plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than 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 costly choice, especially compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, but exactly what is finest for you based upon your goals, budget, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to stress over hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see what you think about their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more freedom/ better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer service.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. WordPress Optimize Database After Deleting Revisions