WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine User Portal
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 specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine User Portal
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many methods -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as a whole, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it’s important to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, typically with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a different method. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine User Portal
I’ve used WP Engine for different projects because 2012. I do not use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular 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 User Portal
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the options to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a few standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with a budget friendly shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site doesn’t imply that you require a bigger, better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to stay quickly as you grow. There are plenty of options … however either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the specific chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine User Portal
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have actually 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 among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated 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 out of the box, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complex the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, however they also offer international information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine User Portal
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine User Portal
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. 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 place a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the hard thing about consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never 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 vital part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to try to find access, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of cash, time and competence.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all 3 boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site via chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has communicated with in fact knew the fine workings of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after several problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine User Portal
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially since their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the downsides). However they seem to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security basics 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 utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted customers who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a generally costly situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine User Portal
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which enable more storage & more visits (ie, generally as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes on a monthly basis. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee 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 could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time repairing issues.
Essentially, if your time is better assigned far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine User Portal
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on development & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine manages 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, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that process take place. The phone support is a key aspect, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s special backend and intend on releasing a near-complete site all at once.
They do not have any previous routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine User Portal
WP Engine stands out not just on present features but also on developing brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web development finest practices have actually altered radically considering that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to incorporate finest practices into application & tasks with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of are valid since they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some clients. I don’t use them for this site since I do not need many of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine User Portal
All that stated, here are a few of the larger image downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be quite made complex– particularly if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they likewise don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can cause some designers making mistakes varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site available to the general public or merely not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they currently do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the general user. Wp Engine User Portal
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however 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 are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (as soon as you get past the knowing curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually 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 why they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just take care of all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine User Portal
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise 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 uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, but those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured enables less adaptability also. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also costly to pay based on a number of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to element extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want 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 enable on an Individual or Business. And this point goes further if your site needs numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you can’t truly do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up having to do a painful migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for efficiency & not having to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine User Portal
Many shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even consist of much of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits requires extra costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You can’t utilize them to spread out the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is an expensive option, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, however exactly what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & habits.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to fret about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more flexibility/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine User Portal