WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine WordPress Password
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine WordPress Password
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and advanced features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has ended up being 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 offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, however 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 price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, 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 lot of WP Engine reviews online, normally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a various method. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine WordPress Password
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous projects since 2012. I do not use them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer service.” 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 WordPress Password
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, however the guideline is that the more intricate your site is, the more complicated the options to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site doesn’t imply that you need a bigger, better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, however often it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply have to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to remain fast as you grow. There are a lot of options … but either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and identify the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine WordPress Password
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin filling the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how big or intricate the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are free to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, but they likewise provide international information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine WordPress Password
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 Password
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (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:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business 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 stated, the tough feature of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever know if the story is due to the fact that they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I prefer to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need a financial investment of cash, time and knowledge.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually connected with in fact understood the fine operations of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine WordPress Password
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically due to the fact that their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the downsides). But they seem to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security essentials 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 use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is simple, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website protected 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 whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully 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 never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & an usually pricey circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine WordPress Password
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and just up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both of which enable more storage & more visits (ie, essentially as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation 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 entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time fixing problems.
Generally, if your time is 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 actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine WordPress Password
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on development & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a key factor, particularly having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any prior routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wp Engine WordPress Password
WP Engine excels not only on existing functions however also on producing new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new developer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web advancement best practices have altered radically given that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to integrate finest practices into execution & jobs 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 very best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many are valid since they just aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this site since I do not need many of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine WordPress Password
All that said, here are some of the larger image downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be quite made complex– especially if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can cause some developers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate 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 remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they currently do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine WordPress Password
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to see that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (when 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 team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site lists to assist repair all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply look after everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine WordPress Password
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is also 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 rather consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, however those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured enables less flexibility also. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, however it’s also pricey to pay based on a variety of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to factor extra hosting expenses 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 deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes further if your site needs lots of plugins for full performance.
The same opts for 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.
In addition, you cannot truly do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up having to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
Either way, 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 paying for performance & not having to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine WordPress Password
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even consist of many of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to spread out the cost of your plan,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a costly option, especially compared with 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 goals, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a fantastic service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to worry about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more liberty/ much better prices than WP Engine, have 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 baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wp Engine WordPress Password