WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Agency Partner Program
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first companies to supply managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Agency Partner Program
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name recognition and innovative 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 composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but 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 rate point, so that the website 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, however as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a different technique. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Agency Partner Program
I’ve used WP Engine for different jobs since 2012. I do not use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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. Wp Engine Agency Partner Program
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, however the guideline is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the options to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a few standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with an economical shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually extra plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish site does not suggest that you need a larger, better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might just need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to stay quick as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … however either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Agency Partner Program
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other 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 great to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed factors that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, however they likewise provide international data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Agency Partner Program
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Agency Partner Program
Client 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 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:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has grown & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard feature of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever 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 evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or a cost.
I want to try to find access, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of cash, time and knowledge.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all 3 boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually interacted with really knew the fine 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 associate was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after several problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Agency Partner Program
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,especially due to the fact that their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). But they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security basics 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, 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 occurs. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have helped clients who have been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & a typically pricey situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Agency Partner Program
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, generally as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k sees each month on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices 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 very own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time fixing issues.
Generally, if your time is better designated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Agency Partner Program
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the site directly 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 manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a key factor, particularly 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 discovering WP Engine’s special backend and plan on releasing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any prior habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Agency Partner Program
WP Engine stands out not just on existing features but also on developing new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new developer functions that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even basic web development best practices have actually altered radically since I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web development to integrate finest practices into implementation & tasks with designers.
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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And numerous stand because they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some customers. I do not use them for this website because I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Agency Partner Program
All that said, here are some of the larger photo downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be quite complicated– particularly if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the distinct backend can lead to some designers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site available to the public or just not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice clients than they currently do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Agency Partner Program
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom 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 custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial deal (as soon as you get past the learning curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of website checklists to help repair 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 they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just take care of it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Agency Partner Program
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, however those restrictions limit versatility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured permits less adaptability too. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise costly to pay based on a variety of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect extra hosting bills 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 Business. And this point goes even more if your website requires lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you can’t truly do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up having to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for efficiency & not needing to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically visiting regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Agency Partner Program
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even consist of a number of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits needs extra costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to spread out the cost of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, however what is best for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a great service with a strong item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to stress over hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see exactly what you consider their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more liberty/ much better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Agency Partner Program