WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Staging To Live Database Issues
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to supply managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Staging To Live Database Issues
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer 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 really purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however as a whole, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is very important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a different method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Staging To Live Database Issues
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various tasks considering that 2012. I do not use them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer service.” 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 Staging To Live Database Issues
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, however the guideline is that the more complex your site is, the more complicated the solutions to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text site with a couple of standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom-made theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish website does not suggest that you require a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, however sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might simply have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay fast as you grow. There are lots of services … however either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Staging To Live Database Issues
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note 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 great to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it remain that method no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are totally free to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an integrated CDN, but they also supply global information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Staging To Live Database Issues
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Staging To Live Database Issues
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough aspect of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever know if the story is because they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I like to look for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of cash, time and competence.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing much better striking 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 available everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has communicated with really knew 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 in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly 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 Staging To Live Database Issues
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically due to the fact that their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). But 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 Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are relatively uncomplicated:
- 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 industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility 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 protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have helped clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & a generally costly scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Staging To Live Database Issues
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k sees per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & 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 regular monthly charge right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge 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 regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or designer time fixing problems.
Essentially, if your time is better allocated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Staging To Live Database Issues
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous fundamental website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is an essential element, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd client type is a start-up site owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any prior habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make promises and provide support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, numerous of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Staging To Live Database Issues
WP Engine stands out not just on current features but likewise on creating new, advanced hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually changed drastically since I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to incorporate finest practices into execution & tasks with developers.
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 best suitable for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous stand 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 an excellent suitable for some customers. I don’t utilize them for this website because I do not need many of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Staging To Live Database Issues
All that stated, here are some of the larger photo downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be rather complicated– especially if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can cause some developers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website available to the general public or just not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they already do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never explain finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Staging To Live Database Issues
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to enjoy that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a substantial deal (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of website lists to help 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.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And most of the times, support will just look after everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Staging To Live Database Issues
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin behavior for great factors, however those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. 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 flexibility also. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s also expensive to pay based on a variety of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor extra hosting costs 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 permit on a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your website needs numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot truly do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up needing to do an agonizing migration to another email company mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for efficiency & not having to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Staging To Live Database Issues
Many shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly 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 pointed out previously that does not even consist of a number 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 regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to spread out the cost of your plan,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a costly option, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, but what is best for you based upon your goals, budget, resources & routines.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a fantastic service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to stress over hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see what you consider their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more liberty/ better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve valued their balance of user-friendly 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 elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine Staging To Live Database Issues