WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Force Https
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 specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Force Https
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all differ in services provided. 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 really purchasing 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 greater rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as a whole, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is very important to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a different approach. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Force Https
I’ve used WP Engine for different tasks because 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, powerful 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 Force Https
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your website is, the more complex the options to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with an affordable shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally extra plugins, custom-made theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
But a slow website doesn’t indicate that you require a larger, better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine 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 just need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain quick as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … however either you or a designer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common web host. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Force Https
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to begin filling the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it remain that method no matter how big or complicated the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are totally free to focus on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, but they also supply global information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Force Https
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Force Https
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually grown & 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 said, the difficult thing about customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever know if the story is due to the fact that they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three need a financial investment of cash, time and expertise.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting 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 offered everywhere on the website via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with really knew the fine functions of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Force Https
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically due to the fact that their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). However they seem 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 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 an issue with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large neighborhood releasing 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 use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that despite the fact that 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 site secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, 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. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also 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 look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have helped clients who have been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & a generally pricey situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Force Https
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which permit more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k gos to per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time fixing concerns.
Generally, if your time is better allocated 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 a financial investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Force Https
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much 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 & consumer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a key factor, especially 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 distinct backend and intend on releasing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any prior practices or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly 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 Force Https
WP Engine stands out not just on current features but likewise on developing new, advanced hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even general web development finest practices have changed drastically since I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to integrate finest practices into application & projects 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And numerous stand due to the fact that they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not need a number of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Force Https
All that said, here are a few of the bigger image downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be rather complicated– particularly if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. 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 special backend can result in some designers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website available to the general public or merely not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Force Https
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to view that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (once you surpass the learning curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site checklists to help repair all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And in most cases, support will just look after everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Force Https
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for great factors, however those restrictions restrict adaptability and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But 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 permits less versatility also. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to aspect extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your site needs lots of plugins for complete performance.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot actually do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up having to do a painful migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically paying for efficiency & not needing to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually visiting regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Force Https
Many shared hosting servers can handle the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as discussed earlier that does not even consist of a lot of the features you do not 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 limits requires extra expenses & technical execution 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 websites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to expand the expense of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a costly choice, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, but what is best for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a fantastic service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more features 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 do not wish to stress over hosting problems.
If managed 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 install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more flexibility/ better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer support.
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 streamline things. Wp Engine Force Https