WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Install Plugin
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to offer managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Install Plugin
While they have a lot of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However 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 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 install 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 website material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as a whole, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a various method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Install Plugin
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various jobs since 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business pointed out. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer service.” Here is their promotion pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Wp Engine Install Plugin
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, however the general rule is that the more complex your website is, the more complex the solutions to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text site with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with an affordable shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site does not indicate that you need a larger, better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may simply need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to stay quick as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … however either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Install Plugin
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients 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 determines how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s great to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or complex the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are complimentary to focus on speed factors that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an integrated CDN, but they also supply international information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Install Plugin
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Install Plugin
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among 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 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 stated, the hard aspect of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever know if the story is since they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three require a financial investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing far better hitting all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually engaged with in fact understood the great workings of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Install Plugin
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly because their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required 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 nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security basics are relatively 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 even though security on WordPress is uncomplicated, 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 website safe is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something occurs. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a lot of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have assisted customers who have actually been. It’s aggravating, tedious & a generally costly 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 Install Plugin
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning 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 sees (ie, essentially as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or designer time fixing problems.
Basically, if your time is better assigned away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot 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.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Install Plugin
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on development & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some spending 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 aspect, particularly having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup site owner that has the budget and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on launching a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any previous practices or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Install Plugin
WP Engine excels not only on current functions but likewise on developing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have changed significantly given that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to integrate finest practices into implementation & jobs with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of are valid since they merely aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some consumers. I don’t use them for this site since I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Install Plugin
All that said, here are some of the bigger picture drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be quite made complex– particularly if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they likewise do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can cause some developers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open to the general public or just not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice clients than they already do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never explain finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Install Plugin
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to see 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 backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (once you surpass the knowing curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site lists to assist fix all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just take care of it all.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Install Plugin
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to minimizing & 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 have to be rather uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, but those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured allows for less flexibility also. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a variety of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to aspect 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 allow on an Individual or Company. And this point goes even more if your website requires numerous plugins for full performance.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are planning to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t really do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically paying for performance & not having to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Install Plugin
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even include 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 limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the cost. You cannot utilize them to expand the expense of your plan,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a costly option, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, but what is finest for you based upon your objectives, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a great service with a solid product. Their rates 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 unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to stress over hosting issues.
If handled 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 install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more liberty/ better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine Install Plugin