WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting WordPress Optimize Seo
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to supply managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. WordPress Optimize Seo
While they have lots of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name recognition and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all differ in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, 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 is necessary to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a different technique. This review 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 “finest fit” for. WordPress Optimize Seo
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous projects considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main websites today (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer 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 Seo
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, however the guideline is that the more intricate your site is, the more complex the solutions to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a few standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically extra plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow site doesn’t mean that you need a larger, much better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply need to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to remain quickly as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … however either you or a designer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with very aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and identify the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. WordPress Optimize Seo
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients 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 measures how quickly the server returned enough information to begin loading the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right from package, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or complicated the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are totally free to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, but they also supply global data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. WordPress Optimize Seo
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support WordPress Optimize Seo
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge 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 business has actually grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard aspect of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever 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 point out in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need an investment of loan, time and expertise.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing far better hitting all three boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has communicated with actually understood the great functions of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (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 rep was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. WordPress Optimize Seo
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically since their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security basics are relatively uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something happens. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & an usually pricey scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. WordPress Optimize Seo
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trusted VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which enable more storage & more sees (ie, generally as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k sees per month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes every month. 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 might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or developer time repairing problems.
Basically, if your time is better assigned away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. WordPress Optimize Seo
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first customer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing basic site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that process take place. The phone support is an essential factor, especially being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s special backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any previous routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make pledges and offer support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, so many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. WordPress Optimize Seo
WP Engine excels not just on current functions but also on producing new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even general web advancement best practices have actually altered significantly considering that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web development to incorporate best practices into application & 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of stand due to the fact that they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some consumers. I do not use them for this site because I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. WordPress Optimize Seo
All that said, here are some of the bigger photo downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite complicated– particularly if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can result in some developers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open to the public or simply not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they currently do.
Like many custom 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 discuss finest practice for the general user. WordPress Optimize Seo
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to view that video multiple 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 customized backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (as soon as you get past the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site lists to assist repair all sorts of problems.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply look after it all.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. WordPress Optimize Seo
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin behavior for good factors, however those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured allows for less versatility too. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise costly to pay based on a number 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 factor extra hosting bills 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 manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes further if your site needs numerous plugins for complete performance.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you can’t actually do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for efficiency & not needing to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices 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 site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. WordPress Optimize Seo
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic 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 trusted VPS, you can definitely 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” site owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even consist of a number of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly 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 price. You cannot utilize them to expand the cost of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, but exactly what is finest for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a terrific service with a strong item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to worry about hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go check out 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 sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more freedom/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. WordPress Optimize Seo