WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Gst
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all differ in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is very important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a different technique. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Gst
I’ve used WP Engine for different projects because 2012. I do not use them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” Here is their promo 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 Gst
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complex your site is, the more intricate the services to speed become.
From package, 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 an affordable shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom-made theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow site does not suggest that you need a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might just need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to stay fast as you grow. There are lots of solutions … but either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and identify the precise chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Gst
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to start filling the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right out of package, and have it remain that way no matter how big or intricate the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are totally free to focus on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, however they also provide international data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Gst
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Gst
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has grown & changed 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 hard thing about client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never 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 discuss in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of loan, time and proficiency.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all 3 boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually communicated with really knew the great operations of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Gst
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically due to the fact that their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However 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 huge 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website 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 whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have assisted customers who have been. It’s frustrating, tedious & a generally costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Gst
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both which permit more storage & more visits (ie, basically 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 also run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 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 entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or designer time fixing issues.
Generally, if your time is better allocated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Gst
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of consumers, 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 developers and designers who want to focus on advancement & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a key element, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer 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 discovering WP Engine’s special backend and plan on launching a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any previous routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Gst
WP Engine stands out not just on current features however also on developing new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new developer features that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web development finest practices have actually changed significantly because I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to incorporate best practices into implementation & tasks with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And numerous are valid due to the fact that they just aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this site since I do not require a number of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Gst
All that stated, here are some of the bigger picture drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be quite made complex– specifically if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they likewise do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can lead to some designers making errors ranging from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site open to the public or just not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they already do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Gst
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 had to view that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (when you get past the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website lists 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.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in most cases, support will just look after it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Gst
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, but those restrictions restrict flexibility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured permits less versatility also. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also expensive to pay based upon a variety of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor extra hosting costs 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 manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Company. And this point goes further if your site requires many plugins for complete performance.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t really do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not having to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you really do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally visiting regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Gst
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even consist of much of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t utilize them to expand the expense of your plan,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, but exactly what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to stress over hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see what you think of their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more liberty/ much better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Gst