WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Uptime
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to supply managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Uptime
While they have plenty of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short 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.
Then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as an entire, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a different method. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Uptime
I have actually used WP Engine for different tasks considering that 2012. I do not use them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current client on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Uptime
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, but the guideline is that the more intricate your website is, the more intricate the solutions to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text site with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
However a sluggish website doesn’t mean that you need a larger, much better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize 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 … but either you or a designer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with very aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Uptime
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well 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 style, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin loading the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that method no matter how big or intricate the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are totally free to focus 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 supplies an integrated CDN, however they also provide global information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Uptime
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Uptime
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a big 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 since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough thing about customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never know if the story is due to the fact that they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of cash, time and expertise.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing far better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website via chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has engaged with in fact understood the great functions 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 during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after a number of issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Uptime
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly due to the fact that their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That implies 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 install, the security essentials are relatively straightforward:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually helped customers who have been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & an usually expensive scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Uptime
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only approximately 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 with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices downside 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 designer’s) time, their pricing is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes every 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 visits 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 do not utilize 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 concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time fixing problems.
Basically, if your time is better assigned far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Uptime
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & style 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 site over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a much 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 & consumer support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential factor, specifically having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a startup website owner that has the budget and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any previous routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make pledges and supply support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Uptime
WP Engine stands out not just on current functions however also on developing brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented new designer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even general web advancement best practices have actually changed radically since I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web development to integrate best practices into application & 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 fit for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And many stand because they simply aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some customers. I don’t use them for this website because I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Uptime
All that said, here are some of the bigger picture drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be quite made complex– particularly if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the unique backend can lead to some developers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open to the public or simply not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner consumers than they currently do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Uptime
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to view that video multiple 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 custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a substantial deal (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of website lists to assist fix 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 why they do all this. And in many cases, support will just look after everything.
However, 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 many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Uptime
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to decreasing & 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 need to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really real 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 prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for great reasons, but those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured allows for less flexibility as well. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s also pricey to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to aspect extra 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 website on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your site needs many plugins for full performance.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t truly do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up needing to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for performance & not having to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the functions you’re getting, you really do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Uptime
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” site owners how quickly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that does not even include a lot of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs extra costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the rate. You cannot use them to spread out the expense of your strategy,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install 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 option, especially compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, but exactly what is best for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use an excellent service with a strong product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to worry about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see what you consider their backend. Make certain 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 option. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Uptime