WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Quora
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to offer managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Quora
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 innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all vary in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying 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 price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a various 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 “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Quora
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous tasks since 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business mentioned. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” Here is their promo pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Wp Engine Quora
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your site is, the more complicated the services to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text site with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with a budget friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically extra plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site does not suggest that you require a larger, much better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, but sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might 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 stay quickly as you grow. There are plenty of options … but either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and determine the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Quora
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional 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 information to begin packing the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that way no matter how big or intricate the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are totally free to concentrate on speed factors that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an integrated CDN, but they likewise supply worldwide information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Quora
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Quora
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a big focus 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 company has actually 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 difficult feature of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never know if the story is since they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I like to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of money, time and competence.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing better hitting all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website through chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually communicated with actually understood the fine functions of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of a number of issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Quora
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly due to the fact that their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). But they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But 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 large neighborhood releasing 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 observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe and secure 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. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a lot of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & an usually pricey circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Quora
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, 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 plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, generally as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
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 visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or developer time fixing problems.
Essentially, if your time is better designated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an 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 Quora
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on development & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that process take place. The phone support is a crucial aspect, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s special backend and plan on launching a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any previous routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make pledges and provide support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, so many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Quora
WP Engine stands out not just on existing functions but likewise on producing new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even general web development best practices have actually altered significantly given that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to integrate finest practices into application & jobs with developers.
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 suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous stand 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 fit for some customers. I don’t utilize them for this site since I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Quora
All that said, here are a few of the larger picture disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be rather made complex– particularly if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the unique backend can cause some developers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or merely not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they currently do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never describe finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Quora
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to see that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (when you get past the knowing curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of website checklists to assist fix 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.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply look after it all.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Quora
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or very genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for great reasons, however those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured allows for less versatility also. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s also expensive to pay based on a variety of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to factor additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Company. And this point goes even more if your site needs many plugins for complete functionality.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot actually do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
In either 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 spending for efficiency & not having to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about 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 Quora
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as discussed earlier that does not even consist of 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 limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires additional expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot use them to spread out the cost of your plan,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, but exactly what is finest for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to fret about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see what you consider their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more flexibility/ better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer care.
And lastly, 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 Quora