WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to provide handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name recognition and innovative features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all differ in services supplied. Some simply 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 managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
In any 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 evaluates online, typically with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a various technique. This evaluation will take a 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 Vs Flywheel
I’ve used WP Engine for various projects considering that 2012. I don’t use them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class client 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 Vs Flywheel
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your website is, the more intricate the services to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text site with a few fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically extra plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site doesn’t imply that you require a larger, better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might simply need to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to stay fast as you grow. There are plenty of options … however either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and identify the specific chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s great to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complicated the site gets.
*Note 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 free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, however they likewise offer international data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a big 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 company has 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 aspect of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never understand if the story is since they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to look for access, systems, and understanding, all three require a financial investment of loan, time and competence.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing better hitting all three boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the website via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has connected with actually understood the fine workings of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly since their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). 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 means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals are fairly 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 commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a lot of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee 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 assisted customers who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a normally expensive situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and only up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both of which enable more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k gos to per month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing 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 very own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup 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 charge right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or designer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better designated away 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 rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable 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 very first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their client.
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 fascinating tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is an essential aspect, especially being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a startup website owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any previous routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make promises and provide support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, so many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
WP Engine excels not just on existing functions but likewise on developing new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented new designer features 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 industry *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to integrate best practices into implementation & 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous are valid because 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 do not utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not need much of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
All that said, here are some of the bigger image disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be quite made complex– particularly if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they likewise don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can cause some designers making mistakes varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or just not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like many custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never describe finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to see that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (once you surpass the knowing curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website checklists 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 they do all this. And most of the times, support will just take care of it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, but those restrictions limit versatility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller 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 flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured allows for less versatility also. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also costly to pay based upon a variety of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element extra hosting bills 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 deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Company. And this point goes even more if your website needs lots of plugins for complete performance.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you can’t really do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for performance & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based on the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Vs Flywheel
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as discussed earlier that doesn’t even include a number of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the cost. You cannot utilize them to expand the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, but what is best for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to worry about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see what you consider their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more liberty/ much better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, 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 Vs Flywheel