WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Tx
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has become a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But 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 different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it’s important to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a different approach. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Tx
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous tasks considering that 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & 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 basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Tx
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, but the guideline is that the more complex your site is, the more complex the services to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a few basic plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site doesn’t mean that you need a larger, much better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to stay quickly as you grow. There are a lot of options … however either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have actually tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the specific chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Tx
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough information to begin loading the page.
Now here is the speed test of a standard WordPress install. WP Engine not only gets solid TTFB times however keep in mind how comparable the First Byte and First Render are to the Unoptimized website.
It’s good to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complicated the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, however they also offer global data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Tx
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Tx
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled 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 & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough thing about customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never know if the story is because 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 business treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need a financial investment of money, time and expertise.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with really knew the great workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Tx
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly since their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). 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 entire Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security essentials are fairly simple:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically 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 happens. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tedious & an usually costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Tx
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both of which enable more storage & more gos to (ie, generally as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup 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 whole monthly cost right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or designer time fixing concerns.
Generally, if your time is better allocated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. 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 concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Tx
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a key factor, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any prior routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of clients, 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), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Tx
WP Engine stands out not just on present functions however also on producing brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new developer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually altered drastically considering that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to integrate best practices into execution & jobs 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And lots of are valid due to the fact that they merely 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 don’t utilize them for this website because I do not require a number of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Tx
All that stated, here are a few of the larger picture disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite complicated– particularly if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely 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 special backend can lead to some designers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev site available to the general public or simply not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they already do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never describe finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Tx
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to see that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (as soon as you get past the learning curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website checklists to help troubleshoot all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And in most 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 don’t need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Tx
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise connected 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 need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or very genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, however those bans restrict adaptability and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured permits less flexibility also. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s also costly to pay based on a variety of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element 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 site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Company. And this point goes even more if your website needs lots of plugins for full functionality.
The exact same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you cannot actually do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In either 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 typically spending for performance & not having to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the functions 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 upgraded and generally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Tx
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even consist of a number of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t utilize them to expand the cost of your plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, however what is finest for you based on your goals, budget, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a terrific service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to worry about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see what you think of their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more liberty/ better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Tx