WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Buy Domain Name
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to provide managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Buy Domain Name
While they have plenty of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services offered. 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 handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it’s important to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a different method. This review 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 Buy Domain Name
I have actually used WP Engine for various projects since 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer service.” 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 Buy Domain Name
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your site is, the more complicated the services to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically extra plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish site does not mean that you need a bigger, better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, however often it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might simply need to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay quick as you grow. There are lots of solutions … but either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Buy Domain Name
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs because 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 among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to start packing the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right out of package, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or intricate the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are free to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an integrated CDN, however they also provide international data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Buy Domain Name
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Buy Domain Name
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has actually grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough thing about consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never know if the story is due to the fact that they spoke 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 treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three need a financial investment of cash, time and expertise.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually interacted with really understood the great workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Buy Domain Name
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically due to the fact that their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). However they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large community launching updates & screening 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 industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility 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 and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something happens. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped clients who have been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & an usually pricey scenario (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 Buy Domain Name
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens 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 important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes each 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 gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost 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 discuss any personal or developer time repairing issues.
Essentially, if your time is better assigned far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly 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 concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Buy Domain Name
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first client type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on advancement & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a key element, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s special backend and plan on launching a near-complete website at one time.
They do not have any previous routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make pledges and provide support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming 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 advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Buy Domain Name
WP Engine stands out not just on existing functions however likewise on developing new, innovative hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new developer features that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even general web development finest practices have changed radically because I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to integrate finest practices into implementation & jobs 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 very best fit for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of are valid due to the fact that they merely aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some clients. I don’t use them for this site since I do not require a number of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Buy Domain Name
All that said, here are some of the bigger picture downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be quite 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 custom. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they likewise don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can cause some designers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site open to the general public or simply not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice clients than they currently do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Buy Domain Name
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to view 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 huge deal (as soon as you get past the knowing curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website lists to assist fix all sorts of issues.
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 just take care of it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Buy Domain Name
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is also related to 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 foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or very genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, however those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured permits less adaptability also. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a number of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Company. And this point goes further if your site needs many plugins for complete performance.
The exact same chooses 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 use case is out.
In addition, you cannot actually do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up needing to do a painful migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for efficiency & not having to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the features you’re getting, you really do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Buy Domain Name
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even include a lot of the functions 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 costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot use them to expand the cost of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, especially compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, but what is finest for you based upon your objectives, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use an excellent service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to stress over hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see what you consider their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more liberty/ much better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Buy Domain Name