WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Email Server
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first companies to supply managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Email Server
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short 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.
And then there’s a separate level of handled 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 customized to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is necessary to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a different approach. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Email Server
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various jobs considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer service.” 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 Email Server
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complex your site is, the more intricate the services to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
However a sluggish website does not imply that you require a bigger, much better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but sometimes it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay quickly as you grow. There are lots of services … but either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually tailored servers with very aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common web host. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Email Server
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin packing the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it remain that method no matter how big or complicated the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services since you are totally free to focus on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an integrated CDN, however they also offer global information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Email Server
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Email Server
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put 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 company has actually grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult feature of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never understand if the story is since they spoke with 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 deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to look for access, systems, and knowledge, all three need a financial investment of cash, time and expertise.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the site by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually connected with actually understood the fine functions of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Email Server
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). However they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that even though security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site protected is still eventually 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 & prepared to roll back if something happens. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a lot of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually helped customers who have been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & an usually pricey circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Email Server
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reliable VPS (ie, your very 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 strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, basically as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your installation 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 whole monthly charge right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or designer time repairing problems.
Generally, if your time is better allocated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Email Server
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing standard site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that process happen. The phone support is a crucial aspect, particularly being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a startup site owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They do not have any previous habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make pledges and supply support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands 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 enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Email Server
WP Engine stands out not just on present features however likewise on producing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented new designer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web development finest practices have changed radically considering that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web advancement to incorporate finest practices into implementation & tasks 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 suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many stand since they simply 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 consumers. I don’t use them for this site since I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Email Server
All that said, here are some of the bigger image disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be rather made complex– especially if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can cause some developers making mistakes ranging from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the public or simply not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more novice customers than they currently do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Email Server
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a huge deal (when you surpass the learning curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site checklists to assist repair 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.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply take care of it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Email Server
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, but those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your site might 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 permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured enables less adaptability too. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send, however it’s also costly to pay based upon a number of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your site needs many plugins for complete performance.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you cannot really do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up needing to do a painful migration to another email company mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for efficiency & not needing to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based on the functions you’re getting, you actually do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Email Server
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even include much of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t utilize them to expand the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, but exactly what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a fantastic service with a strong product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to fret about hosting concerns.
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 set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more freedom/ much better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer support.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine Email Server