WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Fca
While they have a lot of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then 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. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher rate 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 various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as a whole, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is necessary to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, usually with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a different method. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Fca
I’ve used WP Engine for different projects given that 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, effective 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 Fca
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complex your website is, the more complicated the solutions to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. 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 budget friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
But a sluggish website does not indicate that you need a bigger, much better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain fast as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … but either you or a designer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the precise chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Fca
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a customized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s great to have that kind of speed right out of package, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or complicated the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an incorporated CDN, however they also provide worldwide information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Fca
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Fca
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very 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 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 difficult thing about consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never know if the story is since they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I want to look for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of cash, time and expertise.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the site via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually interacted with actually understood the fine operations of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after numerous problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Fca
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly since their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). However they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That suggests 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 application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very 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 commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that even though security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically 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. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped customers who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a typically pricey circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Fca
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both of which enable more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes on a monthly basis. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time repairing problems.
Essentially, if your time is better designated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Fca
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a fit 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 customer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that process happen. The phone support is a crucial factor, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete site all at once.
They don’t have any prior practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Fca
WP Engine excels not only on existing features however also on producing brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new designer features that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web development finest practices have actually altered drastically since I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many are valid because they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some clients. I don’t utilize them for this site because I do not need much of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Fca
All that stated, here are some of the larger photo drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be rather made complex– specifically if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can lead to some developers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the public or merely not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they already do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never explain finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Fca
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to view that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (when you get past the learning curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website lists to assist troubleshoot 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 look after all of it.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Fca
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, however those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured enables less adaptability also. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s also pricey to pay based upon a variety of sees.
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 need to factor additional hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile 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 permit on an Individual or Company. And this point goes even more if your website needs numerous plugins for complete performance.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you cannot really do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up needing to do a painful migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
In either case, 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 efficiency & not having to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing 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 anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally visiting often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Fca
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) dealt with more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable 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” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed earlier that does not even consist of many of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to expand the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a costly option, especially compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, however what is finest for you based on your goals, budget, resources & practices.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a terrific service with a strong product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to stress over hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see what you think about their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more flexibility/ better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Fca