WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Personal Plan
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to provide handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Personal Plan
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting industry 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 variation: They all vary in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that 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 install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it’s important to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a different method. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Personal Plan
I’ve used WP Engine for different jobs considering that 2012. I don’t use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, powerful 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 Personal Plan
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more complicated the services to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a few basic plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally additional plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish website does not mean that you need a bigger, much better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may just have 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 stay fast as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … however either you or a developer must implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually customized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Personal Plan
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform because 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):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to start packing the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right out of package, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or intricate the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because you are free to focus on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an integrated CDN, but they also provide worldwide data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Personal Plan
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Personal Plan
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among 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 since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough aspect of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never understand if the story is since they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I like to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need an investment of loan, time and knowledge.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has engaged with in fact understood the great workings of WordPress and has actually 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 client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Personal Plan
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically because their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). But they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security essentials 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 industrial 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 not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site safe is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top 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 totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a typically pricey situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Personal Plan
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, essentially as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any check outs 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 do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or developer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better assigned away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Personal Plan
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients 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 process, the first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at needing to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential factor, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third consumer type is a startup website owner that has the budget and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on launching a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any previous practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Personal Plan
WP Engine excels not only on present functions however likewise on creating new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out new designer features that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have changed significantly because I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to integrate finest practices into application & tasks with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And many stand since they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some customers. I do not use them for this site because I do not require a lot of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Personal Plan
All that stated, here are some of the bigger image drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be rather complicated– specifically if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the unique backend can result in some designers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open up to the public or just not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they currently do.
Like numerous custom 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 describe best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Personal Plan
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to view that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (when you surpass the knowing curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site checklists to help repair 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 why they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply look after it all.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Personal Plan
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for good factors, however those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured enables less adaptability too. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise pricey to pay based on a number of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to element extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached 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 site requires lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The very 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.
Additionally, you can’t truly do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for performance & not needing to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you really do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Personal Plan
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the exact 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 standard caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even include a lot of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits needs additional expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to spread out the cost of your strategy,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, but what is best for you based upon your goals, budget, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to fret about hosting concerns.
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 guarantee. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more liberty/ much better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine Personal Plan