WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting WordPress Vps Optimize
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. WordPress Vps Optimize
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: 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 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 set up live. Essentially, 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 rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as an entire, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is very important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a different approach. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. WordPress Vps Optimize
I’ve used WP Engine for numerous jobs given that 2012. I don’t use them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” Here is their promo 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 Vps Optimize
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, however the general rule is that the more complex your website is, the more intricate the options to speed become.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a budget friendly shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically extra plugins, customized theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
But a slow website doesn’t mean that you need a bigger, much better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to remain quick as you grow. There are a lot of options … but either you or a designer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the precise chokepoint to obtain your website moving. WordPress Vps Optimize
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform due to the fact that 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):
Note 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 great to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or complicated the site gets.
*Note 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 may get with other services since you are complimentary 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 only provides an integrated CDN, but they also offer worldwide information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. WordPress Vps Optimize
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support WordPress Vps Optimize
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard aspect of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never understand if the story is since they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require an investment of cash, time and know-how.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep 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 guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually interacted with in fact knew the great operations of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of numerous concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. WordPress Vps Optimize
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly due to the fact that their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). 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 Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe is still eventually 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 everything off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually helped customers who have been. It’s frustrating, tedious & an usually costly situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. WordPress Vps Optimize
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, generally as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates each 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 entire 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 whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time fixing issues.
Basically, if your time is better allocated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. WordPress Vps Optimize
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on development & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a crucial element, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup site owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s special backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any prior practices 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 promises and provide support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, numerous of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. WordPress Vps Optimize
WP Engine excels not just on present features but also on creating new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually altered significantly considering that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know sufficient web advancement to incorporate finest practices into implementation & projects with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And many stand because they just aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some customers. I do not utilize them for this website because I do not need many of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. WordPress Vps Optimize
All that stated, here are some of the larger photo drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be rather made complex– particularly if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they likewise do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the unique backend can result in some developers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev website open to the general public or simply not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice clients than they currently do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the general user. WordPress Vps Optimize
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to see that video multiple 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 customized backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (when you get past the knowing curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site lists to assist 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.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in many cases, support will just look after it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not have to get into 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 Vps Optimize
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for good factors, but those restrictions limit versatility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured allows for less adaptability also. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based upon a number of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to aspect additional 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 site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your site requires numerous plugins for full performance.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are planning to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you can’t really do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up needing to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for efficiency & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you truly don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. WordPress Vps Optimize
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned earlier that does not even include much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires additional expenses & technical implementation 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 websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to expand the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are hitting 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 site files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, however exactly what is best for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a fantastic service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to stress over hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a fit 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 think of their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more liberty/ much better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer service.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. WordPress Vps Optimize