WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Plugin
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all vary in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, 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 + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is necessary to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a various approach. 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 “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Plugin
I have actually used WP Engine for various projects considering that 2012. I don’t use them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies discussed. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Plugin
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, but the guideline is that the more complicated your website is, the more complex the services to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a few basic plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with a budget friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a slow website does not suggest that you require a larger, much better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but sometimes it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may just need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to stay fast as you grow. There are a lot of services … however either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Plugin
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing 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 one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra 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 start loading the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or intricate the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are totally free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, but they likewise provide worldwide data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Plugin
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Plugin
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 a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough feature of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is since they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention 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 look for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three require a financial investment of money, time and know-how.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has interacted with in fact understood the fine functions 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 between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Plugin
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly due to the fact that their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). 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 whole Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security essentials are relatively 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Much 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 & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & ready to roll back if something happens. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have assisted customers who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tedious & an usually costly circumstance (even if you are using 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 Plugin
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your installation 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 whole monthly cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge 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 whole monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time fixing problems.
Basically, if your time is much better assigned far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. 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 concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Plugin
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on advancement & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing site 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 also developed enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that process happen. The phone support is an essential element, especially being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any previous routines 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 provide support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, numerous of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Plugin
WP Engine stands out not just on current functions however also on creating new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have changed drastically given that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to integrate finest practices into implementation & jobs with developers.
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 best suitable for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of stand since they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some clients. I don’t use them for this website due to the fact that I do not need many of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Plugin
All that said, here are a few of the bigger picture drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be rather complicated– particularly if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can cause some designers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or simply not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more novice customers than they already do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Plugin
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to customized 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 right IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (when you get past the knowing curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of website checklists to assist troubleshoot 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 just look after it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Plugin
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related 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 predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for great reasons, but those bans restrict adaptability and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up 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 manage all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a variety of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to aspect additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want 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 enable on an Individual or Business. And this point goes further if your site requires lots of plugins for full functionality.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you can’t truly do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up having to do an unpleasant migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically paying for performance & not needing to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features 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 anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Plugin
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can definitely handle 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 monthly tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t even consist of much 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 requires additional costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the price. You can’t utilize them to expand the cost of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, especially compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, but what is best for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a strong item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to worry about hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies 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 talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more flexibility/ better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine Plugin