WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Login
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to offer handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Login
While they have plenty of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
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, typically with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a different method. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Login
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous jobs considering that 2012. I do not utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Login
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your website is, the more complex the solutions to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly 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 cost effective shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically additional plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a slow website does not mean that you need a bigger, better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may just have to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to remain fast as you grow. There are a lot of options … but either you or a developer should execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have actually customized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and identify the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Login
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s great to have that sort 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 even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are complimentary to focus on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an integrated CDN, however they likewise offer international data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Login
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Login
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a huge 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 company has actually grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard aspect of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is since they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I want to try to find access, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site via chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually connected with in fact knew the fine workings of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of numerous concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Login
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,especially because their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That indicates 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 benefit of being open-source with a huge neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals are relatively 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 use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website 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. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually helped customers who have been. It’s frustrating, tedious & an usually pricey circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Login
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and just up to 25,000 visits each 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 starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both of which permit more storage & more visits (ie, basically as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes on a monthly basis. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
If you lose any gos to 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 utilize a staging area) 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 issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time fixing issues.
Generally, if your time is much better designated far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Login
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a key element, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer 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 discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on launching a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior routines or customizeds 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 provide support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating 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, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Login
WP Engine excels not just on present features however also on developing new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out new developer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even general web development finest practices have altered radically since I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to integrate best 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many are valid since they merely aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some consumers. I do not use them for this site because I do not require much of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Login
All that said, here are a few of the bigger picture disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be rather complicated– especially if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. 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 functions are there, the unique backend can result in some developers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open to the public or merely not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they currently do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never explain finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Login
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to enjoy that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (once you surpass the learning curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site checklists 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 why they do all this. And most of the times, support will just take care of everything.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Login
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, however those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, 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 available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates 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 also costly to pay based on a variety of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor additional hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Company. And this point goes further if your website needs numerous plugins for full functionality.
The same chooses 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 utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot truly do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for performance & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Login
Many shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even include many of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t utilize them to spread out the cost of your plan,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, however what is finest for you based upon your goals, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a solid item. Their pricing 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 smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to fret about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit 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 set up and see what you consider their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more freedom/ much better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Login