WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Jobs
While they have plenty of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting market has actually 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 vary in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a different method. This evaluation will 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 Jobs
I’ve used WP Engine for numerous tasks because 2012. I do not use them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” Here is their promotion pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Wp Engine Jobs
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more complex the services to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text site with a couple of basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically additional plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow site does not mean that you need a bigger, better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to remain quick as you grow. There are plenty of services … but either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Jobs
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few 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 type of speed right from the box, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, however they likewise provide worldwide data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Jobs
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Jobs
Consumer 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 sense for them to place a huge emphasis 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 company has 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 tough feature of client 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 discuss in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need a financial investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the site by means of chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has engaged with really knew 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 throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Jobs
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically because their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals are fairly simple:
- 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe 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 does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped customers who have actually been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a normally expensive situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Jobs
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your 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 per month.
Both which enable more storage & more gos to (ie, basically as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k sees each month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee 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 could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time repairing concerns.
Basically, if your time is much better assigned far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Jobs
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website owner who is irritated at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a crucial element, particularly being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s special backend and plan on launching a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any previous practices or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make promises and provide support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Jobs
WP Engine excels not only on current features but also on producing new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented new developer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web development finest practices have changed significantly because I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web development to integrate finest practices into application & projects with developers.
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 fit for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous are valid due to the fact that they merely aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some clients. I don’t utilize them for this site because I do not require many of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Jobs
All that said, here are some of the larger photo drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be quite complicated– specifically if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can lead to some designers making errors varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open to the public or just not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they currently do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Jobs
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but 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 backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (when you get past the learning curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site checklists to help fix all sorts of problems.
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 many cases, support will just take care of all of it.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Jobs
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, but those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured allows for less adaptability also. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a number of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect extra hosting bills 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 Business. And this point goes further if your website requires many plugins for full functionality.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you cannot actually do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up needing to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for performance & not having to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the functions you’re getting, you really don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Jobs
Many shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” site owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as discussed earlier that doesn’t even consist of a lot of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the price. You cannot use them to expand the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, but what is best for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to fret about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see what you think about their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more flexibility/ better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Jobs