WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Webinars
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to supply managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Webinars
While they have a lot of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short 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.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is essential to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a various method. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Webinars
I have actually utilized WP Engine for different jobs considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Webinars
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, however the general rule is that the more intricate your site is, the more complex the services to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally extra plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish website doesn’t suggest that you need a larger, better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, however often it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might just need to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain quick as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … but either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the specific chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wp Engine Webinars
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a customized 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 additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, 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 determines how rapidly the server returned enough information to start loading the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that method no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an integrated CDN, but they likewise supply international information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Webinars
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Webinars
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a huge focus 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 great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard aspect of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never know if the story is due to the fact that they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I like to look for access, systems, and understanding, all three require a financial investment of cash, time and knowledge.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has communicated with in fact knew the fine functions of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (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 just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after several issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Webinars
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically because their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). However they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals 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 see that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a lot of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security firms 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 totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have been. It’s frustrating, tedious & an usually costly circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine Webinars
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which permit more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k gos to per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices 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 designer’s) time, their rates is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates each month & 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 regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time repairing problems.
Basically, if your time is much better assigned away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Webinars
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate 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 process take place. The phone support is a crucial aspect, especially being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup website owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any previous practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, so many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine Webinars
WP Engine stands out not only on present functions however also on developing brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even general web advancement best practices have actually changed radically considering that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to integrate best practices into application & jobs 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 fit for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And numerous stand because they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some clients. I don’t utilize them for this site because I do not need many of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Webinars
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger image disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be rather made complex– especially if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can result in some designers making errors varying from annoying redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website open up to the public or simply not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they currently do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never explain best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Webinars
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to watch that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (once you get past the knowing curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website 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 in most cases, support will simply take care of everything.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Webinars
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or very genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, however those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured allows for less adaptability also. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also pricey to pay based on a number of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element additional 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 handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Business. And this point goes further if your website requires numerous plugins for full functionality.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are planning to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t truly do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up needing to do a painful migration to another email company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for performance & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based on the features you’re getting, you really do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Webinars
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (working 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 reputable VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even consist of many of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits requires additional costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to expand the expense of your plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is an expensive option, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest overall, but what is finest for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to stress over hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see what you think about their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more liberty/ 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 finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine Webinars