WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting WordPress Plugin Optimize Css Delivery
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to supply managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. WordPress Plugin Optimize Css Delivery
While they have plenty of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all differ in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher cost 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 options, but as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is necessary to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a different method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. WordPress Plugin Optimize Css Delivery
I’ve used WP Engine for different tasks given that 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a current client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business mentioned. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client 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 assure “stunning speed, powerful 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 Plugin Optimize Css Delivery
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your site is, the more intricate the services to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a couple of basic plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site doesn’t imply that you require a bigger, better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, but sometimes it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may just need to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to stay fast as you grow. There are plenty of options … however either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually customized servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. WordPress Plugin Optimize Css Delivery
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to start packing the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that way no matter how big or complicated 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 because you are complimentary to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an integrated CDN, but they also supply global data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. WordPress Plugin Optimize Css Delivery
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support WordPress Plugin Optimize Css Delivery
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among 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 & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough aspect of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never understand 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 discuss in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I want to look for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 require a financial investment of cash, time and expertise.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually engaged with really knew the great functions of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after a number of concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. WordPress Plugin Optimize Css Delivery
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,especially since their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). But they seem 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 distributors.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security basics 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 industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty 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 ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something happens. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a great deal of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tedious & a typically pricey circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. WordPress Plugin Optimize Css Delivery
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, basically as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k sees per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
If you lose any check outs 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 use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time fixing problems.
Basically, 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 instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. WordPress Plugin Optimize Css Delivery
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing standard site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise developed 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 happen. The phone support is a crucial aspect, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s special backend and plan on launching a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating 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, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation revision. WordPress Plugin Optimize Css Delivery
WP Engine stands out not only on present functions however likewise on developing brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new designer functions that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even basic web development best practices have altered radically because I started observing the market *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand adequate web development to integrate best practices into application & jobs with designers.
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 best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And numerous stand due to the fact that they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this site because I do not need many of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. WordPress Plugin Optimize Css Delivery
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger photo downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be rather complicated– especially if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they likewise don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the distinct backend can lead to some developers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the public or just not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more novice clients than they already do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the general user. WordPress Plugin Optimize Css Delivery
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial deal (once you get past the knowing curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site lists to assist repair all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons why they do all this. And most of the times, support will just look after everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. WordPress Plugin Optimize Css Delivery
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or very genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for good reasons, however those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured permits less versatility too. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s also expensive to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Service. And this point goes further if your website requires many plugins for complete functionality.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t really do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for efficiency & not having to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. WordPress Plugin Optimize Css Delivery
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the very 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) managed more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even include many of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the price. You can’t utilize them to spread out the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, especially compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, however exactly what is best for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to fret about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more freedom/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer support.
And lastly, 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 simplify things. WordPress Plugin Optimize Css Delivery