WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Ssl
While they have plenty of competition 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 recognition and cutting-edge functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all differ in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is necessary to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a different technique. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Ssl
I have actually utilized WP Engine for different tasks since 2012. I do not utilize them for my main websites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer service.” Here is their discount 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
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your site is, the more complex the services to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text site with a few standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually extra plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
However a slow site does not suggest that you need a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to remain quick as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … however either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Ssl
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed 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 bloated theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to begin packing the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it stay that method no matter how big or complicated the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are complimentary to focus on speed elements that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an incorporated CDN, however they also offer global information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Ssl
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
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a big focus 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 company has grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard aspect of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever understand 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 treats support as an investment or a cost.
I want to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three require an investment of cash, time and proficiency.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing better hitting all three boxes. They preserve 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 via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually communicated with actually knew the great operations 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 between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Ssl
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly because their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are relatively 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 commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & a typically costly situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Ssl
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, essentially as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates drawback 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 developer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes on a monthly basis. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or designer time fixing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is better assigned far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Ssl
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first customer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on development & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a key factor, specifically having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Ssl
WP Engine stands out not only on existing functions however also on creating brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out new developer features that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even basic web development best practices have changed significantly considering that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to incorporate finest practices into application & 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many stand because they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some clients. I do not utilize them for this site because I do not need a lot of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Ssl
All that said, here are some of the larger image disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be quite complicated– specifically if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the special backend can result in some developers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev website open to the public or just not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they currently do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever describe finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Ssl
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to enjoy that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a substantial deal (once you get past the knowing curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website checklists to help troubleshoot 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.
Once 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 website. Sure, you do not technically do not have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Ssl
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for great factors, however those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured enables less adaptability too. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also costly to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to aspect 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 manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your website needs numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot truly do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically paying for performance & not needing to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Ssl
Many shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even include much of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You can’t utilize them to spread out the expense of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, especially compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, but what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to worry about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see exactly what you think of their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more flexibility/ better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer support.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Ssl