WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Austin Glassdoor
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to supply handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Austin Glassdoor
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all vary in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it’s important to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a various method. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Austin Glassdoor
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous jobs given that 2012. I don’t use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies discussed. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, powerful 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 Austin Glassdoor
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 services to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of basic plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with an economical shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally extra plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a slow site does not imply 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, however in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply need to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to remain quick as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … however either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the precise chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Austin Glassdoor
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have such a personalized 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 puffed up 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 quickly the server returned enough information to begin packing the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complicated the website 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 might get with other services since you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an incorporated CDN, however they also provide international information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Austin Glassdoor
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Austin Glassdoor
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a big focus 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 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 feature of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever know if the story is since they spoke with 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 treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to look for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three require a financial investment of money, time and proficiency.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing better hitting all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website via chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has connected with really knew the fine workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Austin Glassdoor
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly due to the fact that their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). But they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top 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 totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually helped clients who have been. It’s discouraging, laborious & a typically pricey circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Austin Glassdoor
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same cost 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 each month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k gos to per month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your installation 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 month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time repairing issues.
Basically, if your time is better allocated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Austin Glassdoor
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first client type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that process take place. The phone support is a crucial element, particularly being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s special backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site all at once.
They do not have any prior routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Austin Glassdoor
WP Engine excels not only on existing functions but also on producing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even basic web development finest practices have altered significantly because I started observing the market *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web development to incorporate finest practices into execution & projects with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of are valid due to the fact that they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some customers. I do not use them for this website due to the fact that I do not need a number of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Austin Glassdoor
All that said, here are a few of the bigger image disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite complicated– specifically if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they likewise don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the special backend can lead to some developers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open to the public or simply not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more novice clients than they already do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Austin Glassdoor
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to view that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (when you get past the knowing curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website checklists to assist 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.
Again– they have reasons why they do all this. And in many cases, support will just look after all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Austin Glassdoor
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for great reasons, but those restrictions limit versatility and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured permits less flexibility also. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a number of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to factor extra hosting costs 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 Company. And this point goes further if your website needs numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are wanting to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t truly do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up having to do a painful migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for performance & not having to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually visiting often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Austin Glassdoor
Many shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) dealt with more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t even include many of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the rate. You cannot use them to expand the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, especially compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, however what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to stress over hosting concerns.
If managed 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 set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more freedom/ better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Austin Glassdoor