WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Vat
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to offer managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Vat
While they have plenty of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all vary in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is necessary to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a various approach. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Vat
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous jobs since 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” Here is their promo 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 Vat
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complex your website is, the more complicated the services to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally extra plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
But a slow site does not mean that you need a bigger, much better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to transport a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might just need to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to remain fast as you grow. There are plenty of services … however either you or a developer should execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the precise chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Vat
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated 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 rapidly the server returned enough data to start filling the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right out of package, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or intricate the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are totally free to focus 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 just offers an integrated CDN, but they likewise supply international data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Vat
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Vat
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has 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 said, the difficult aspect of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never understand if the story is because they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or a cost.
I like to search for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 require a financial investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with in fact understood the great workings of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of a number of concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Vat
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically because their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). However they seem to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials are relatively uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe 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 & ready to roll back if something takes place. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a lot of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & a normally 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 Vat
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same rate 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 per month.
Both of which enable more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time repairing concerns.
Basically, if your time is better designated far from technical problems, 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.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Vat
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. 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 lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is an essential aspect, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a startup site owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any previous routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make pledges and provide support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of customers, 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 performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Vat
WP Engine excels not only on current functions but also on creating new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually changed radically since I started observing the market *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to integrate best practices into implementation & tasks with developers.
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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And numerous stand since they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some customers. I don’t use them for this site because I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Vat
All that said, here are some of the bigger photo downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be rather made complex– especially if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they also don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can cause some developers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev website open to the public or merely not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they already do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Vat
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to view that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a big offer (once you surpass the learning curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site lists to help 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.
Again– they have reasons why they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply look after everything.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Vat
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or very real 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 discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for great reasons, however those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. 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 adaptability too. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s also costly to pay based upon a number of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor additional 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 site on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Company. And this point goes further if your website requires numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are planning to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot really do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail supplier 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 generally spending for performance & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Vat
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental 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 dependable VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even include many of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to expand the expense of your plan,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best overall, however what is finest for you based upon your goals, budget, resources & routines.
If you are in exactly 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 area, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to worry about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more freedom/ much better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Vat