WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine WordPress Plugin
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 specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine WordPress Plugin
While they have plenty of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all differ in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as an entire, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is necessary to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a different method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine WordPress Plugin
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous projects since 2012. I do not use them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business mentioned. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” 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 Plugin
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complex your website is, the more complex the services to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with an affordable shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally additional plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
But a sluggish website does not suggest that you require a bigger, better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, however often it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay quick as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … however either you or a designer should execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with very aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the specific chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp Engine WordPress Plugin
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra scripts, a lot of 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 start filling the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right out of package, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or intricate the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are free to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an integrated CDN, however they also provide international data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine WordPress Plugin
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 Plugin
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because 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 position a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult thing about customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never understand 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 fundamental part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or an expense.
I like to try to find access, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of cash, time and proficiency.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually connected with actually knew the great operations of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of several problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine WordPress Plugin
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically since their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security essentials are fairly simple:
- 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 commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that although security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a lot of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have helped clients who have been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a normally pricey circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp Engine WordPress Plugin
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and just up to 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which enable more storage & more visits (ie, generally as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates every 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 monthly cost right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or designer time fixing issues.
Essentially, if your time is much better designated far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an 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 WordPress Plugin
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing basic site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a 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 & client support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is an essential aspect, specifically having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up site owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete site all at once.
They don’t have any prior practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, many of the improvements 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 is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine WordPress Plugin
WP Engine excels not just on current features but also on producing brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have changed drastically because I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web advancement to integrate finest practices into execution & tasks 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And many are valid because they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some consumers. I do not use them for this site because I do not need many of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine WordPress Plugin
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger image drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be rather made complex– particularly if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they likewise do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the unique backend can cause some developers making errors varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev website open to the general public or just not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever describe finest practice for the basic user. Wp Engine WordPress Plugin
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 websites, but I had to watch that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (when you surpass the learning curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site checklists to help fix 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.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply take care of everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine WordPress Plugin
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, however those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured allows for less adaptability as well. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s also costly to pay based upon a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want 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 allow on a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your website requires many plugins for complete functionality.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot really do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up needing to do a painful 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 generally spending for efficiency & not needing to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you really do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine WordPress Plugin
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even consist of much of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs additional costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t utilize them to expand the cost of your plan,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest overall, but what is best for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a great 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 brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to worry about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think of their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more freedom/ much better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer support.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine WordPress Plugin