WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting WordPress Wp-Optimize
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first companies to offer managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. WordPress Wp-Optimize
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name recognition and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all vary in services supplied. 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 buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as an entire, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, usually with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a different approach. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. WordPress Wp-Optimize
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous projects considering that 2012. I do not utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present client on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Wp-Optimize
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complex your website is, the more complicated the solutions to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text site with a few standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom-made theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a slow website does not imply that you require a bigger, much better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to remain quickly as you grow. There are a lot of services … however either you or a designer should execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually customized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. WordPress Wp-Optimize
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated 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 information to start packing the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right out of package, and have it stay that way no matter how big or complicated the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services since you are totally free to focus on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an integrated CDN, but they also supply global data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. WordPress Wp-Optimize
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support WordPress Wp-Optimize
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that 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 position a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has grown & altered 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 difficult thing about consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never understand if the story is since they spoke 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 business treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to look for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three need an investment of cash, time and proficiency.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually communicated with actually understood the great operations of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to obtain on (and stay 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 repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. WordPress Wp-Optimize
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly because their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials are fairly 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 use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site protected 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 whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something happens. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security concerns 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 likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have helped customers who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & an usually costly circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. WordPress Wp-Optimize
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which permit more storage & more visits (ie, generally as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or developer time repairing problems.
Basically, if your time is much better assigned away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. WordPress Wp-Optimize
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is an essential factor, particularly being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third client type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s special backend and plan on releasing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any prior routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. 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 type of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, so many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. WordPress Wp-Optimize
WP Engine stands out not only on current functions however also on creating brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even general web development best practices have actually altered significantly considering that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand enough web advancement to integrate best practices into implementation & tasks 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 suitable for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many are valid due to the fact that they simply aren’t a fit for everyone. 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 since I do not need a number of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. WordPress Wp-Optimize
All that stated, here are a few of the larger picture drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be quite made complex– particularly if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they likewise don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can cause some developers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website available to the public or simply not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more novice customers than they already do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain best practice for the general user. WordPress Wp-Optimize
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to view that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (when you surpass the learning curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website checklists to help troubleshoot all sorts of concerns.
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 that they do all this. And most of the times, support will just take care of everything.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. WordPress Wp-Optimize
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or very genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit more to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior for great reasons, but those restrictions limit flexibility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured enables less versatility as well. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also costly to pay based upon a variety of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to factor additional hosting costs 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 deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes further if your website needs lots of plugins for full functionality.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t truly do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail service provider 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 typically spending for performance & not having to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you really do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. WordPress Wp-Optimize
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even include a number of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t use them to expand the expense of your strategy,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, especially compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, but exactly what is finest for you based on your goals, budget, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more features 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 want to fret about hosting issues.
If handled 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 exactly what you think about their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more liberty/ better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually appreciated 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 quiz. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. WordPress Wp-Optimize