WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Ssh
While they have plenty of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all differ in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as a whole, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is necessary to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal 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 webhosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Ssh
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various jobs since 2012. I do not utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” 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 Ssh
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 intricate the options to speed become.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text site with a couple of basic plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a slow website does not imply that you require a bigger, much better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might just have to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to stay quick as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … however either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have actually tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Ssh
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to start filling the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that method no matter how big or intricate the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an integrated CDN, but they likewise supply global information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Ssh
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Ssh
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the difficult feature of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is since they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I prefer to look for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 require an investment of money, time and competence.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing far 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 offered all over on the website through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has connected with really understood the great operations of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Ssh
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically due to the fact that their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security essentials are fairly simple:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something happens. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a lot of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped customers who have been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a normally pricey scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Ssh
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same rate from InMotion. And if you are just 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 enable more storage & more sees (ie, basically as lots of 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 likewise run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time repairing issues.
Generally, if your time is much better allocated 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 an investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Ssh
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears 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 first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is a crucial aspect, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site all at once.
They don’t have any previous practices or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, numerous of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Ssh
WP Engine stands out not only on present functions however also on creating new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new developer features that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have changed drastically since I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to incorporate best practices into execution & tasks with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many are valid since they just aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some customers. I do not utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not require a lot of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Ssh
All that said, here are some of the larger photo disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be quite made complex– specifically if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard 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 developers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open to the general public or simply not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they already do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Ssh
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to see that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a substantial deal (once you get past the knowing curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website checklists to assist repair 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.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And most of the times, support will just take care of it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Ssh
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or extremely genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional 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 ban specific plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, however those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured allows for less versatility also. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based upon a variety of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor extra hosting bills 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 manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Business. And this point goes even more if your website requires numerous plugins for full performance.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t actually do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up needing to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for efficiency & not needing to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you truly don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Ssh
Many shared hosting servers can handle 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 fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as discussed previously that doesn’t even include much of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits requires extra expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to spread out the cost of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is an expensive option, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, but exactly what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & habits.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to worry 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 guarantee. So do a test install and see what you consider their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more freedom/ better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Ssh