WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Push To Staging
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to supply handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Push To Staging
While they have a lot of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all vary in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is necessary to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a various technique. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Push To Staging
I’ve utilized WP Engine for different projects since 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current client 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 mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular 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 Push To Staging
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your website is, the more complicated the solutions to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with an inexpensive shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically additional plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish site does not imply that you require a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, however sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay fast as you grow. There are lots of solutions … but either you or a developer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Push To Staging
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to start filling the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right from package, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or intricate the site 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 may get with other services given that you are free to concentrate on speed factors that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, however they likewise supply international information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Push To Staging
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Push To Staging
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has grown & changed 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 thing about consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never understand if the story is since they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I want to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all three need an investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website through chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with really understood the great functions of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of numerous concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Push To Staging
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly due to the fact that their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But they seem to know 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 means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security fundamentals 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, 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. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a lot of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually helped customers who have actually been. It’s discouraging, laborious & a typically costly circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Push To Staging
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable 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 monthly.
Both which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, basically as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but 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 developer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time fixing concerns.
Generally, if your time is better allocated away from technical concerns, 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 rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Push To Staging
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that process happen. The phone support is an essential aspect, especially being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a start-up website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any previous practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Push To Staging
WP Engine excels not just on present features however likewise on creating new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web advancement best practices have actually changed drastically considering that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to integrate best practices into application & 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many are valid because they simply aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some consumers. I don’t use them for this website because I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Push To Staging
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger photo drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be rather made complex– particularly if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can lead to some designers making errors varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev website open to the public or simply not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner clients 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 really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Push To Staging
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a huge deal (as soon as you get past the learning curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of website lists to help fix all sorts of concerns.
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 they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply look after it all.
But, you still do not 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 handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Push To Staging
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, but those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, 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 flexible and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured permits less adaptability also. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based upon a number of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to factor additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your website needs numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t really do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail 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 normally paying for performance & not needing to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the functions you’re getting, you actually don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally logging in often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Push To Staging
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the 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 basic caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable 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 rather a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed earlier that does not even consist of many of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra expenses & technical implementation 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 sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot utilize them to spread out the cost of your plan,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, but what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a terrific service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to worry about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable 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 exactly what you think of their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more liberty/ better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer support.
And lastly, 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 Push To Staging