WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of managed 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 uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as a whole, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is necessary to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, generally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a different method. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
I have actually utilized WP Engine for different jobs given that 2012. I do not use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer service.” 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 Lets Encrypt
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the services to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of basic plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
However a slow site doesn’t mean that you require a larger, better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to remain quick as you grow. There are a lot of services … but either you or a developer must implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have actually customized servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin packing the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it stay that way no matter how big or complex the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are free to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an integrated CDN, but they also supply global information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, handled 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:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually grown & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult feature of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is because they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of loan, time and knowledge.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing far better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually communicated with actually knew the great workings of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly due to the fact that their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the downsides). However they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, 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 use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something takes place. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually helped clients who have been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & a normally expensive situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning 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 gos to (ie, basically as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & 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 regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time repairing problems.
Generally, if your time is better allocated far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. 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 plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that process occur. The phone support is a key factor, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on launching a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any prior habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this kind 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), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
WP Engine stands out not just on current features but likewise on producing new, advanced hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new developer features that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even basic web development best practices have actually changed significantly considering that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to incorporate finest practices into execution & jobs with designers.
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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). 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 because I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
All that stated, here are a few of the larger photo drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be rather made complex– especially if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they also don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can lead to some designers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the public or simply not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice clients than they currently do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to watch that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a substantial deal (when you surpass the knowing curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website 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.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in many cases, support will just look after it all.
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 lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected 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 rather uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, but those bans restrict adaptability and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured allows for less adaptability also. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise costly to pay based on a variety of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to element additional hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your website requires numerous plugins for full functionality.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, 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 e-mail company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for performance & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you really do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even include a lot of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra expenses & technical implementation 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 have to factor those into the cost. You cannot utilize them to expand the cost of your plan,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a costly option, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, however exactly what is finest for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to stress over hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a suitable 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. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more liberty/ much better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer care.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Lets Encrypt