WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Issues
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all vary 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 different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as a whole, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is necessary to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, usually with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a different approach. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Issues
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous projects considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business discussed. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “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 Issues
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complex your site is, the more intricate the solutions to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a few fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally extra plugins, custom style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a slow website doesn’t suggest that you require a larger, better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay fast as you grow. There are plenty of services … but either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Issues
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra 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 data to start packing the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or complicated the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are complimentary to focus on speed elements that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, however they likewise supply international data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Issues
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Issues
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a big focus 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 since then. 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 so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never understand 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 company treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of loan, time and expertise.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website through chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has engaged with really understood the great operations of WordPress and has been able 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 throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after several concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Issues
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially since their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). However 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 Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security essentials are fairly uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally 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 takes place. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have actually been. It’s aggravating, tedious & a typically 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 Issues
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both which permit more storage & more sees (ie, generally as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup 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 entire monthly cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) 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 developer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better allocated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really 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 concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Issues
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit 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 very first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer 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 automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that process happen. The phone support is a crucial factor, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up site owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They do not have any prior routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Issues
WP Engine excels not only on present features but also on creating brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have actually changed drastically given that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to incorporate finest practices into application & 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 very best fit for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And many are valid due to the fact that they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some customers. I don’t utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not require a number of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Issues
All that said, here are a few of the bigger photo disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be rather made complex– especially if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they likewise do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can result in some designers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or just not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they already do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never describe best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Issues
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to see that video multiple 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 going to be a substantial offer (when you get past the knowing curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site checklists 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.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And in most cases, support will just take care of it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Issues
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for good factors, but those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured permits less flexibility as well. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a number of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your site requires many plugins for full performance.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot actually do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for performance & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you really don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Issues
Many shared hosting servers can handle 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) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how quickly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that does not even include much of the functions 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 application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t 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 wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a costly choice, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, however what is best for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use an excellent service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to stress over hosting problems.
If handled 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 of their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more flexibility/ better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. 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 quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Issues