WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine WordPress Hosting
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to supply handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine WordPress Hosting
While they have a lot of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
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 compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is essential to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a different technique. 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 WordPress Hosting
I have actually used WP Engine for different projects because 2012. I don’t use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 WordPress Hosting
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your site is, the more complicated the solutions to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text site with a few standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically additional plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow site doesn’t mean that you require a bigger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to transport a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just need to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to remain fast as you grow. There are lots of solutions … but either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine WordPress Hosting
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well 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 bloated theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to start filling the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complicated the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are complimentary to concentrate 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 offers an incorporated CDN, but they likewise supply international information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine WordPress Hosting
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine WordPress Hosting
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has 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 tough feature of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever know if the story is since they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to search for access, systems, and understanding, all three need an investment of cash, time and knowledge.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually connected with in fact knew the great workings of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine WordPress Hosting
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly because their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security basics are fairly uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped customers who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & a normally pricey situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine WordPress Hosting
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which enable more storage & more gos to (ie, basically as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & 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 monthly charge 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 use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time fixing concerns.
Generally, if your time is much better assigned away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine WordPress Hosting
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of consumers 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 very first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on development & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that process take place. The phone support is an essential aspect, particularly being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a startup site owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website at one time.
They do not have any previous routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, so many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine WordPress Hosting
WP Engine stands out not only on existing functions however likewise on creating new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have altered radically considering that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to integrate finest practices into implementation & jobs with developers.
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
Just 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 complaining about dev websites). And many are valid since they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some consumers. I don’t use them for this site due to the fact that I do not require much of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine WordPress Hosting
All that stated, here are a few of the larger picture disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite complicated– particularly if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
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 lots of hosting companies, they also don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can lead to some designers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open to the public or merely not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner 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 extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine WordPress Hosting
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (when you surpass the learning curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site checklists to help repair all sorts of problems.
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 that they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply take care of all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine WordPress Hosting
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit more to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, but those restrictions restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured enables less flexibility as well. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a number of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to aspect additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish 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 enable on a Personal or Business. And this point goes further if your site needs numerous plugins for full performance.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you can’t truly do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up having to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for performance & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine WordPress Hosting
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the exact 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 basic caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted 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 monthly tier.
And as discussed earlier that doesn’t even consist of a number of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to spread out the cost of your plan,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a costly choice, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, however what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & habits.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a great service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to stress over hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see what you think about their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more flexibility/ much better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And last but not least, 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 WordPress Hosting