WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Wikipedia
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to offer handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Wikipedia
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as an entire, 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 complicated, yes, however it is very important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a different method. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Wikipedia
I have actually used WP Engine for various tasks because 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” Here is their discount 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 Wikipedia
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, but the guideline is that the more complicated 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 primarily text website with a couple of standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
However a slow website doesn’t mean that you need a larger, much better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching specific 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. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might just need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay quick as you grow. There are lots of services … but either you or a developer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine Wikipedia
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have actually 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 among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it stay that method 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 may get with other services given that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, but they also provide global information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Wikipedia
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Wikipedia
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually grown & altered 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 difficult thing about customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never know if the story is since they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all three need a financial investment of cash, time and knowledge.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site through chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with in fact understood the fine functions of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Wikipedia
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically since their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the downsides). But they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security essentials are relatively 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 industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site safe is still ultimately 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 & ready to roll back if something happens. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise 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 look after it for free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually helped clients who have been. It’s aggravating, laborious & an usually pricey scenario (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 Wikipedia
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and only as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which enable more storage & more sees (ie, basically as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k gos to per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire 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 website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month 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 point out any individual or developer time repairing problems.
Basically, if your time is much better allocated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Wikipedia
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. 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 plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on development & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a much 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 & customer support to make that process occur. The phone support is a crucial element, especially being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third client type is a startup site owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s special backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any prior practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make pledges and provide support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, numerous of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Wp Engine Wikipedia
WP Engine stands out not only on existing features but also on producing brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out new developer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even general web development best practices have actually altered radically considering that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web development to integrate best practices into execution & projects 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 everybody. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of stand since they merely aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some consumers. I don’t use them for this site due to the fact that I do not need much of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Wikipedia
All that stated, here are a few of the larger photo downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be rather complicated– particularly if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they likewise do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the special backend can result in some designers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open to the general public or merely not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they currently do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never describe finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Wikipedia
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to enjoy that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (once you get past the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site checklists 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 they do all this. And in most cases, support will just take care of everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Wikipedia
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, however those restrictions restrict flexibility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related 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 necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured enables less flexibility also. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a variety of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to aspect extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your website needs lots of plugins for complete performance.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you can’t actually do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for efficiency & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the functions you’re getting, you truly don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually visiting regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Wikipedia
Many 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 strategy from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” site owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even include much of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the rate. You cannot use them to expand the cost of your strategy,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a pricey option, especially compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, however what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to stress over hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see exactly what you consider their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more liberty/ better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of user-friendly 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 Wikipedia