WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine User Roles
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first business to provide handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine User Roles
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the site 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 options, however as an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is essential to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a different method. This evaluation will 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 User Roles
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous tasks since 2012. I do not utilize them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a current client on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much measure 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 User Roles
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the services to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a couple of standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically extra plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish website does not suggest that you require a bigger, much better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, however sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may simply need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain quickly as you grow. There are plenty of options … however either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine User Roles
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to start loading the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right out of package, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or intricate the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, however they also provide international information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine User Roles
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 Roles
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. 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 put a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the difficult feature of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever understand 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 point out in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I want to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three require an investment of money, time and expertise.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with really understood the fine operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however 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 stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine User Roles
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially due to the fact that their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). However they appear 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 Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing 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 commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set 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 concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually helped clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tedious & a normally expensive situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine User Roles
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and only as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trusted VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which enable more storage & more sees (ie, generally as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of little 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 important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time fixing issues.
Generally, if your time is better allocated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine User Roles
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types 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 want to concentrate on development & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website owner who is irritated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a key element, particularly being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a startup website owner that has the budget and desires 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 at one time.
They don’t have any prior habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make pledges and provide support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine User Roles
WP Engine stands out not just on existing functions however likewise on developing brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new designer features that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even basic web development best practices have altered significantly given that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to integrate finest practices into execution & projects 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And numerous stand 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 an excellent fit for some clients. I don’t utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine User Roles
All that stated, here are some of the bigger picture downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be quite complicated– especially if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can result in some developers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website open to the general public or merely not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice clients than they currently do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine User Roles
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site lists to help troubleshoot all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in many cases, support will just look after it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine User Roles
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit more to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, however those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured permits less versatility too. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also costly to pay based upon a variety of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to factor 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 handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Company. And this point goes even more if your site requires numerous plugins for full performance.
The same opts 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 utilize case is out.
Additionally, you cannot really do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up having 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 rates based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not needing to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you actually do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically visiting frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine User Roles
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr period 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 fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even consist of much of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t utilize them to spread out the cost of your plan,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a costly choice, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, however exactly what is best for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to worry about hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see exactly what you think of their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more liberty/ much better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine User Roles