WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting WordPress Optimize Etme
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first companies to supply handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. WordPress Optimize Etme
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all differ in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really 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 higher rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as an entire, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is very important to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but 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 alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. WordPress Optimize Etme
I have actually used WP Engine for different projects considering that 2012. I don’t use them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business mentioned. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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. WordPress Optimize Etme
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, but the guideline is that the more complex your website is, the more complex the solutions to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text site with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with a budget friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally additional plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish site doesn’t imply that you require a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might simply need to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to remain quick as you grow. There are a lot of options … but either you or a designer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually customized servers with very aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the precise chokepoint to get your website moving. WordPress Optimize Etme
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating 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 customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough information to start packing the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right from the box, and have it stay that way no matter how big or complex the website gets.
*Note 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 may get with other services considering that you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, however they likewise supply worldwide information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. WordPress Optimize Etme
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support WordPress Optimize Etme
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put 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 actually grown & changed a lot since then. 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 a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never understand if the story is due to the fact that they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I prefer to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three require a financial investment of loan, time and know-how.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with in fact understood the great operations of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after a number of problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. WordPress Optimize Etme
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially since their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed 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 absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security essentials 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 commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, 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 takes place. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a lot of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have helped customers who have been. It’s discouraging, tedious & an usually costly scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. WordPress Optimize Etme
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, basically as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however 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 prices is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes monthly. 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 gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time fixing issues.
Generally, if your time is better allocated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. WordPress Optimize Etme
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process take place. The phone support is a key factor, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a startup website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on launching a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any previous practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of consumers, 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 improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation modification. WordPress Optimize Etme
WP Engine excels not just on existing features however also on developing new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented new developer features that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development best practices have actually changed drastically since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to incorporate best practices into execution & tasks with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of are valid because they simply aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some clients. I do not use them for this website since I do not require a lot of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. WordPress Optimize Etme
All that stated, here are some of the larger photo disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be quite complicated– especially if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they likewise don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can cause some designers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site available to the public or simply not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they currently do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never describe finest practice for the general user. WordPress Optimize Etme
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to view 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 surpass the learning curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website lists to help repair all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. WordPress Optimize Etme
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for great reasons, but those restrictions restrict adaptability and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized websites, 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 flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured enables less adaptability too. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to aspect 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 website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Company. And this point goes even more if your site requires many plugins for full functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you cannot actually do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up having to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail 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 generally spending for efficiency & not needing to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you truly don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider 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 Optimize Etme
Many shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental 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 dependable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even consist of a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits requires additional expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to expand the expense of your strategy,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a costly choice, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, however exactly what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & routines.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to fret about hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. 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 liberty/ better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer care.
And last but not least, 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 simplify things. WordPress Optimize Etme