WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Server Locations
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to offer managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Server Locations
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and advanced features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has become a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all vary in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however as an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a different technique. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Server Locations
I’ve used WP Engine for different jobs given that 2012. I do not use them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, effective 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 Server Locations
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your website is, the more complicated the services to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. 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 affordable shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
However a sluggish website doesn’t imply that you need a bigger, better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to stay fast as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … but either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the specific chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Server Locations
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform since 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 information to start loading the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that way no matter how big or intricate the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are free to focus on speed factors that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, but they also supply international data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Server Locations
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Server Locations
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 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 said, the hard thing about customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to look for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need an investment of cash, time and competence.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available 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 customer has actually interacted with really knew the great workings of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of numerous problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Server Locations
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,especially because their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). However they seem to know that support is core to their value 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.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security basics are fairly straightforward:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site secure 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 whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a lot of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have helped customers who have actually been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a normally expensive situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Server Locations
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, basically as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty 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 fee right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time repairing problems.
Essentially, if your time is better designated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Server Locations
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on development & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing 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 deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a key element, specifically having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a startup website owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on introducing a near-complete site at one time.
They don’t have any prior habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make pledges and supply support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Server Locations
WP Engine excels not just on current functions however likewise on creating new, innovative hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer features that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even general web advancement best practices have changed radically because I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to integrate finest practices into execution & 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 complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many are valid because they simply aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some clients. I do not use them for this site because I do not require much of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Server Locations
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger photo drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be rather complicated– specifically if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can cause some developers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or simply not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never describe finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Server Locations
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had 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 backend isn’t going to be a huge deal (as soon as you get past the learning curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website lists to assist troubleshoot 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 for the most parts, support will simply look after all of it.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Server Locations
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s unique 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; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for great factors, but those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however 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 open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured permits less adaptability also. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also expensive to pay based on a number of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to element extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Company. And this point goes further if your site needs lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The very 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.
Furthermore, you cannot actually do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up needing to do a painful migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for performance & not needing to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Server Locations
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even consist of many of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot utilize them to spread out the expense of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a pricey option, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best overall, but exactly what is best for you based upon your goals, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a solid item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to worry about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see what you think of their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more liberty/ better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Server Locations