WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Api
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to offer handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Api
While they have a lot of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all differ in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses 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 material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as a whole, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is very important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a various technique. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Api
I have actually used WP Engine for different tasks because 2012. I don’t use them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” Here is their discount 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 Api
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, but the guideline is that the more complicated your website is, the more complex the options to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a few basic plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally extra plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow website doesn’t suggest that you need a larger, better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply need to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain quick as you grow. There are lots of services … however either you or a developer should execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with very aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the precise chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Api
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to begin packing the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how huge 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 complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, however they likewise offer international data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Api
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Api
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 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 said, the difficult thing about client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never understand if the story is because they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I like to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require an investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually engaged with actually knew the great workings of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Api
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically due to the fact that their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely 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 launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website protected 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. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted customers who have actually been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a normally costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Api
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reliable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, basically as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup 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 monthly fee right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge 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 problems or downtime expenses lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or designer time repairing concerns.
Basically, if your time is much better assigned far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. 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 pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Api
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit 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 first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing standard site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process take place. The phone support is a key element, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup site owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s special backend and plan on launching a near-complete site all at once.
They don’t have any prior habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, numerous of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Api
WP Engine stands out not just on existing functions however likewise on creating brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new designer features that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even general web development best practices have actually changed radically because I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to integrate finest practices into execution & projects 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of stand because they just aren’t a suitable 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 website due to the fact that I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Api
All that said, here are a few of the larger picture downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be quite made complex– specifically if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can result in some developers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open to the public or merely not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they currently do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes 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 discuss finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Api
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to see that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site lists to assist 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.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And in most cases, support will just look after all of it.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Api
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is also related 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 uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really genuine physical limits), but 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 rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for great reasons, however those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, 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 available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured allows for less adaptability also. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also costly to pay based upon a variety of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect additional hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your site requires lots of plugins for full performance.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you cannot really do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up having 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 rates based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for performance & not having to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the functions you’re getting, you actually do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Api
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the very 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 standard caching) dealt with more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour period 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 check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even consist of a lot of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to spread out the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest overall, but what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to stress over hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see what you consider their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more liberty/ better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine Api