WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Ssl Certificate
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to supply managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Ssl Certificate
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored 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 competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is necessary to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a different approach. 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 “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Ssl Certificate
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various tasks since 2012. I do not use them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, powerful 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 Ssl Certificate
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, however the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the services to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a budget friendly shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually extra plugins, customized theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site does not suggest that you need a bigger, much better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, however often it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might just have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain quickly as you grow. There are lots of services … but either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with extremely 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 identify the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Ssl Certificate
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform because 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, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it remain that way no matter how big 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 better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are free to focus on speed factors that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, but they also supply global information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Ssl Certificate
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Ssl Certificate
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge 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 & changed 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 feature of customer 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 talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three require an investment of loan, time and know-how.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has connected with in fact understood the great workings of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Ssl Certificate
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,especially since their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the downsides). However 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 entire Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & screening 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 use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have actually been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a normally costly situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Ssl Certificate
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & 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 update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time fixing issues.
Basically, if your time is better assigned away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial 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 Ssl Certificate
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous fundamental site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process happen. The phone support is a crucial factor, specifically having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s special backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any previous routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Ssl Certificate
WP Engine stands out not just on present functions however likewise on producing new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out new developer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even general web development best practices have altered drastically since I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to incorporate best practices into execution & tasks with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And many stand since they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some clients. I do not use them for this website because I do not need a number of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Ssl Certificate
All that stated, here are a few of the larger picture drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be quite made complex– particularly if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can cause some designers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or merely not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they currently do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Ssl Certificate
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to enjoy that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a huge deal (once you surpass the learning curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of website lists to assist repair 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 why they do all this. And in many cases, support will just take care of all of it.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not need 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 are familiar. Wp Engine Ssl Certificate
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for great factors, however those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured allows for less adaptability too. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to factor extra 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 website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Service. And this point goes even more if your website needs lots of plugins for full performance.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending 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 cannot actually do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up needing to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for efficiency & not needing to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the functions you’re getting, you truly don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Ssl Certificate
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even consist of a number of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits needs extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t use them to expand the expense of your plan,especially 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 & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a pricey option, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, however exactly what is best for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use an excellent service with a solid product. Their pricing 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 smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to stress over hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see what you think about their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more freedom/ much better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer care.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Ssl Certificate