WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Vs Kinsta
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to offer handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Vs Kinsta
While they have plenty of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has become a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers 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 material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as a whole, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is very important to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a various method. This review will 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 Kinsta
I’ve used WP Engine for different tasks because 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main websites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business discussed. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer 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 Vs Kinsta
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more complicated the options to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish site doesn’t suggest that you need a larger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to stay fast as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … however either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the specific chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Vs Kinsta
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin packing the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right out of package, and have it remain that method no matter how big or intricate the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are totally free to focus on speed aspects that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an integrated CDN, however they likewise supply international data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Vs Kinsta
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 Kinsta
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very 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 & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough thing about customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever know if the story is due to the fact that they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I want to try to find access, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of money, time and competence.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website through chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has engaged with really understood the fine functions of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after a number of issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Vs Kinsta
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially due to the fact that their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security basics 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 use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial 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 protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have actually been. It’s aggravating, laborious & an usually pricey situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Vs Kinsta
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, basically as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes on a monthly basis. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or developer time fixing concerns.
Basically, if your time is much better designated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot 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 rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Vs Kinsta
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears 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 procedure, the very first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on development & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing basic website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise 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 happen. The phone support is an essential element, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a startup website owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on launching a near-complete website at one time.
They do not have any previous routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, numerous of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Vs Kinsta
WP Engine excels not only on present functions but also on producing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new developer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have altered radically since I started observing the market *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to incorporate finest practices into application & projects with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of stand since they merely 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 clients. 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 Kinsta
All that said, here are some of the bigger image drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be quite made complex– especially if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can result in some developers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or merely not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they currently do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Vs Kinsta
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to watch that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial deal (as soon as you get past the knowing curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site checklists to help fix 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 simply look after everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wp Engine Vs Kinsta
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, but those bans restrict adaptability and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured permits less versatility as well. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also costly to pay based on a number of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to element extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile 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 allow on an Individual or Business. And this point goes further if your site requires numerous plugins for full performance.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you can’t actually do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up having to do a painful 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 upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for efficiency & not having to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the features you’re getting, you actually do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Vs Kinsta
Many shared hosting servers can handle the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even consist of a lot of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to spread out the expense of your plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, but exactly what is finest for you based on your goals, budget, resources & routines.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use 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” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to worry about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see what you consider their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more freedom/ better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer support.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Vs Kinsta