WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting WordPress Optimize Post_Meta
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to offer managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. WordPress Optimize Post_Meta
While they have plenty of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being 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 provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however as a whole, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it’s important to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a various technique. 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 Optimize Post_Meta
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous tasks given that 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer 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 data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer 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 assure “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” Here is their promotion pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. WordPress Optimize Post_Meta
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complex your website is, the more complex the services to speed become.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of basic plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish website does not imply that you require a bigger, better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to carry 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 may 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 stay quickly as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … but either you or a developer should execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the specific chokepoint to obtain your site moving. WordPress Optimize Post_Meta
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed 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 theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to begin filling the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right from package, and have it stay that way no matter how big or intricate the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are totally free to focus on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, however they likewise provide worldwide information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. WordPress Optimize Post_Meta
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support WordPress Optimize Post_Meta
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 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 stated, the difficult aspect of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever know if the story is due to the fact that they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need a financial investment of money, time and expertise.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has engaged with in fact knew the fine functions of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after several problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. WordPress Optimize Post_Meta
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially because their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). But they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security basics 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 use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that even though 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 do not lock it, keeping your site secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & a normally expensive circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. WordPress Optimize Post_Meta
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both which permit more storage & more visits (ie, basically as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or designer time fixing issues.
Generally, if your time is much better designated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. WordPress Optimize Post_Meta
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is a crucial element, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They do not have any prior practices or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make pledges and supply support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. WordPress Optimize Post_Meta
WP Engine excels not just on present features but likewise on creating brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new designer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development best practices have changed radically considering that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web development to incorporate finest practices into implementation & jobs 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 very best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of stand due to the fact that 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 good fit for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this website because I do not need a lot of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. WordPress Optimize Post_Meta
All that stated, here are some of the bigger picture disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite made complex– especially if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can lead to some developers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open to the public or just not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice clients than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the basic user. WordPress Optimize Post_Meta
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to enjoy that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a big offer (when you get past the learning curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of website lists to help troubleshoot 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.
Once again– they have reasons why they do all this. And in most cases, support will just take care of all of it.
But, 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 lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. WordPress Optimize Post_Meta
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for great factors, but those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured permits less flexibility also. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s also pricey to pay based upon a number of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to aspect extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish 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 enable on a Personal or Business. And this point goes further if your website needs lots of plugins for complete performance.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t truly do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for efficiency & not having to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. WordPress Optimize Post_Meta
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 per month 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 cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits needs additional expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the rate. You cannot utilize them to expand the expense of your strategy,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 & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a costly choice, especially compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, however what is best for you based upon your goals, budget, resources & habits.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use an excellent service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to stress over hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see what you consider their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more liberty/ better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. WordPress Optimize Post_Meta