WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting WordPress Optimize Slow
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to offer handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. WordPress Optimize Slow
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all differ in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is necessary to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, typically 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 webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. WordPress Optimize Slow
I have actually utilized WP Engine for different jobs given that 2012. I do not use them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a current client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, powerful 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 Slow
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, but the general rule is that the more intricate your website is, the more complicated the options to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a few standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with an economical shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish site doesn’t mean that you need a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might simply need to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay fast as you grow. There are a lot of services … but either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the specific chokepoint to obtain your site moving. WordPress Optimize Slow
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have such a customized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to start loading the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or complex the website gets.
*Keep in mind 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 might get with other services considering that you are complimentary to focus on speed elements that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, but they likewise provide global data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. WordPress Optimize Slow
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support WordPress Optimize Slow
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very 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 great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough aspect of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is because they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or an expense.
I prefer to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all three require an investment of money, time and know-how.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site via chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has interacted with really understood the fine operations of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after numerous issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. WordPress Optimize Slow
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially since their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). But 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 whole Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals 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 utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to 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 & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a lot of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have assisted customers who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & an usually costly circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. WordPress Optimize Slow
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only approximately 25,000 visits each 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 simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both which permit more storage & more sees (ie, generally as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of small 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 site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes on a monthly basis. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole 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 website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time fixing problems.
Essentially, if your time is much better allocated far 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 an investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. WordPress Optimize Slow
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on development & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget 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 crucial element, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third consumer type is a startup website owner that has the spending plan and wants 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 at one time.
They do not have any previous routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. WordPress Optimize Slow
WP Engine excels not only on existing functions however also on developing new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even general web development finest practices have actually altered radically since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to incorporate finest practices into execution & 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of are valid since they simply aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some clients. I do not utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not need many of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. WordPress Optimize Slow
All that said, here are some of the larger photo drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be quite made complex– particularly if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can lead to some designers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site available to the general public or simply not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they currently do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the general user. WordPress Optimize Slow
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to view that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (as soon as you get past the learning curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of website lists to assist troubleshoot 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 why they do all this. And in most cases, support will just take care of it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. WordPress Optimize Slow
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, but those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured enables less adaptability as well. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a number of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to factor 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 permit on an Individual or Company. And this point goes even more if your website needs lots of plugins for full performance.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t really do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up needing to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the functions you’re getting, you truly don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. WordPress Optimize Slow
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (operating on a shared hosting plan 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 definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even consist of a lot of the features you don’t 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 execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You can’t utilize them to expand the cost of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, however exactly what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a terrific service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to fret about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see what you think of their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more freedom/ better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. WordPress Optimize Slow