WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Vs Google Cloud
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 handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Vs Google Cloud
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name recognition and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, 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 version: They all vary in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides 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 rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, generally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a various method. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Vs Google Cloud
I have actually used WP Engine for various projects since 2012. I do not use them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Vs Google Cloud
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, but the general rule is that the more complex your site is, the more intricate the options to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a few basic plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally extra plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these features integrated with decent 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 indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, however often it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay quickly as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … however either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with very aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Vs Google Cloud
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to start packing the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right from the box, and have it remain that method no matter how big or intricate the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are complimentary to focus on speed factors that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an integrated CDN, but they likewise provide worldwide information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Vs Google Cloud
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 Google Cloud
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a huge emphasis 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 actually grown & changed 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 tough feature of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never know if the story is since they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I want to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three require an investment of cash, time and competence.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually communicated with really knew the great functions of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to expertly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Vs Google Cloud
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly due to the fact that their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials are fairly 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 business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tedious & an usually pricey scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Vs Google Cloud
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just up to 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same price 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 per month.
Both of which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k sees per month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time repairing concerns.
Basically, if your time is better designated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Vs Google Cloud
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first client type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases 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 an ongoing fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process take place. The phone support is an essential factor, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third consumer type is a startup website owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any previous habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Vs Google Cloud
WP Engine excels not just on existing features but also on creating brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even general web development best practices have actually altered significantly because I began observing the market *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to integrate finest practices into application & 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of are valid due to the fact that they just aren’t a fit for everyone. 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 utilize them for this website because I do not need a number of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Vs Google Cloud
All that said, here are some of the bigger image downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite complicated– particularly if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can result in some developers making mistakes ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site available to the public or simply not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they already do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Vs Google Cloud
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to see that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you remain 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). But 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 ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website checklists to assist 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.
Again– they have reasons why they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply look after everything.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Vs Google Cloud
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or very real physical limitations), but 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 discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, but those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured enables less adaptability too. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s also pricey to pay based on a number of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element additional hosting bills 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 allow on a Personal or Service. And this point goes further if your website requires many plugins for full functionality.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t truly do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for efficiency & not having to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you truly don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Vs Google Cloud
Many shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, but 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 previously that doesn’t even consist of a number of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional costs & technical execution 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 websites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to spread out the cost of your strategy,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, however exactly what is best for you based upon your objectives, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a strong 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 savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to stress over hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more flexibility/ better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer support.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Vs Google Cloud