WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Business Plan
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to supply managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Business Plan
While they have plenty of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all differ in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater price 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 different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it’s important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a different approach. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Business Plan
I’ve utilized WP Engine for different projects since 2012. I don’t use them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Business Plan
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the general rule is that the more complex your site is, the more intricate the services to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text site with a couple of standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with an economical shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom-made theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a slow site does not indicate that you need a larger, much better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might simply need to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay quickly as you grow. There are lots of solutions … but either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and determine the precise chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Business Plan
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed 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 information to start loading the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right out of package, and have it stay that method no matter how huge 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 may get with other services since you are free to focus on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, but they also supply worldwide data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Business Plan
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Business Plan
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place 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 actually grown & changed 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 difficult aspect of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never understand if the story is since they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or a cost.
I want to search for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 require a financial investment of cash, time and knowledge.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually connected with actually knew the great functions of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of numerous issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Business Plan
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are relatively simple:
- 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 business arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a great deal of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & an usually pricey circumstance (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 Business Plan
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which enable more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates every 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 fee right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost 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 might be WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better assigned far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an 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 Business Plan
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that process occur. The phone support is a key factor, particularly being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a startup website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s special backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any previous practices or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make pledges and provide support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, so many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Business Plan
WP Engine stands out not only on current features but likewise on producing brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even general web advancement best practices have altered significantly because I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to incorporate best practices into implementation & projects 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous stand due to the fact that they just aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some clients. I do not use them for this site since I do not require a number of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Business Plan
All that stated, here are a few of the larger picture downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be rather complicated– specifically if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can cause some developers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the public or merely not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they already do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Business Plan
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to watch that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a substantial deal (when you surpass the knowing curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website checklists to assist fix 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 why they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply look after all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Business Plan
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise 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 have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin habits for good factors, however those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured permits less adaptability too. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also pricey to pay based upon a number of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes further if your website requires numerous plugins for full performance.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you cannot actually do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up needing to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for efficiency & not needing to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Business Plan
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle 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 fundamental 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 reliable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even consist of many of the features you don’t 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 extra costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly 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 can’t utilize them to expand the cost of your plan,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, however exactly what is finest for you based on your goals, budget, resources & habits.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to worry about hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see what you think of their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more flexibility/ better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer 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 test to simplify things. Wp Engine Business Plan