WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Performance
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to offer handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Performance
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name recognition and advanced features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all differ in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as an entire, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it’s important to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a various method. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Performance
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous tasks since 2012. I don’t use them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing 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 companies mentioned. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” Here is their promotion pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Wp Engine Performance
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, but the general rule is that the more complex your website is, the more complicated the services to speed become.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally additional plugins, customized theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site does not mean that you need a bigger, much better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, but sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may simply need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain quickly as you grow. There are lots of options … but either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Performance
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to begin filling the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that method no matter how big or complex the website gets.
*Keep in mind 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 since you are totally free to concentrate on speed factors that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an integrated CDN, however they likewise offer global data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Performance
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Performance
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 company has actually grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult aspect of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never know if the story is because they talked to 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 business treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three require an investment of money, time and know-how.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the site via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has communicated with actually understood the great workings of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of numerous issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Performance
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially due to the fact that their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security basics are fairly straightforward:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something happens. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a lot of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have assisted customers who have been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a normally pricey circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Performance
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which permit more storage & more sees (ie, basically as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k sees per month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could 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 monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time fixing problems.
Basically, if your time is better assigned far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Performance
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on advancement & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed 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 take place. The phone support is a key element, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third consumer type is a startup website owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any prior routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, numerous of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Performance
WP Engine stands out not only on existing features however likewise on creating new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented new designer features that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have changed radically because I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to integrate finest practices into application & projects 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 very best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of are valid because they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not require a number of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Performance
All that stated, here are a few of the larger picture drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite made complex– particularly if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can result in some developers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev site available to the general public or just not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Performance
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to see that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a huge deal (when you get past the learning curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site checklists to assist repair all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply look after all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Performance
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also related 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 have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin behavior for great factors, however those restrictions restrict adaptability and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured permits less versatility too. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, but it’s also pricey to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Business. And this point goes further if your website requires many plugins for complete performance.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t actually do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for performance & not having to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Performance
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour period 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 check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even include many of the functions you don’t 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 additional costs & technical execution 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 sites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot use them to expand the cost of your plan,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a costly option, especially compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, however exactly what is best for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to stress over hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more freedom/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer support.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine Performance