WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Testimonials
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to provide handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Testimonials
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all vary in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however as an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is very important to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a different approach. This evaluation 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 Testimonials
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous projects because 2012. I do not utilize them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a present client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business discussed. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically 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 Testimonials
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complex your website is, the more complex the options to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with a budget friendly shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally extra plugins, custom style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
But a sluggish site doesn’t suggest that you require a bigger, better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, however often it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might simply need to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain quick as you grow. There are a lot of options … however either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the precise chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Testimonials
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional 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 data to begin loading the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it remain that method no matter how big or complicated the site 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 considering that you are free to concentrate on speed factors that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, but they likewise supply worldwide data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Testimonials
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Testimonials
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the 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 stated, the tough feature of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or an expense.
I prefer to search for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of cash, time and proficiency.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has communicated with in fact understood the great functions of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Testimonials
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially because their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). However they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large neighborhood releasing updates & testing 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 utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site safe and secure 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 whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something occurs. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped customers who have actually been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a generally costly situation (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 Testimonials
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost 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 monthly.
Both which enable more storage & more gos to (ie, basically as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge 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 might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time repairing issues.
Generally, if your time is much better assigned far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Testimonials
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types 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 want to concentrate on advancement & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential element, specifically having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s special backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any previous habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make pledges and provide support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, so many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Testimonials
WP Engine stands out not just on existing functions but also on creating brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new designer features that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have actually altered significantly given that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to incorporate best practices into application & projects 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And numerous are valid since they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this website since I do not need a number of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Testimonials
All that said, here are a few of the larger image downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be rather complicated– particularly if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the distinct backend can result in some designers making errors ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or merely not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they already do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never describe best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Testimonials
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to watch that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really 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.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site 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.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply take care of everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Testimonials
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and cannot 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 behavior for excellent factors, however those restrictions restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured enables less versatility also. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also expensive to pay based on a number of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Service. And this point goes further if your website requires many plugins for complete functionality.
The exact same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot truly do automatic 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 service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for performance & not having to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you truly don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Testimonials
Many shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly manage 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” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even consist of a lot of the features you don’t 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 requires additional costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to spread out the expense of your plan,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, but exactly what is finest for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a terrific service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to stress over hosting issues.
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. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more flexibility/ better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer support.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Testimonials