WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Workspaces
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first business to supply managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp Engine Workspaces
While they have lots of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many methods -and they have broad name recognition and advanced functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all vary in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly 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 greater rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as a whole, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is very important to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, typically with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a different method. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Workspaces
I have actually utilized WP Engine for different jobs because 2012. I do not utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer service.” Here is their promo 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 Workspaces
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the services to speed become.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically additional plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish website does not imply that you require a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, however often it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may just need to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to stay quickly as you grow. There are a lot of services … however either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Workspaces
They don’t even enable 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 puffed up theme, additional 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 information to start packing the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or complicated the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are complimentary to focus on speed factors that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an integrated CDN, but they likewise offer worldwide data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Workspaces
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Workspaces
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a big focus 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 & 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 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 discuss in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three require a financial investment of cash, time and competence.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the website by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has interacted with in fact knew the great operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after numerous problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Workspaces
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically since their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But they appear to know 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 suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security basics 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 see that although security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped customers who have actually been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a generally pricey circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Workspaces
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same rate from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which permit more storage & more sees (ie, generally as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k sees each month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing 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 value & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire month-to-month fee right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual 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 managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Workspaces
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that process take place. The phone support is a crucial element, particularly being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s special backend and plan on launching a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any prior practices or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Workspaces
WP Engine stands out not only on present functions however likewise on developing new, innovative hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually changed significantly given that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web development to integrate finest practices into application & tasks 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many stand due to the fact that they just aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I don’t utilize them for this site since I do not require much of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Workspaces
All that stated, here are some of the larger photo drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be quite made complex– specifically if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the unique backend can result in some developers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or simply not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more novice customers than they already do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever describe finest practice for the general user. Wp Engine Workspaces
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to watch that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a substantial deal (when you surpass the knowing curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of website lists to assist fix 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 why they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Workspaces
WP Engine’s proprietary 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 rather uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for good factors, but those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured enables less adaptability also. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise pricey to pay based upon a number of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect extra hosting costs 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 permit on a Personal or Company. And this point goes further if your site needs many plugins for full performance.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t truly do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for efficiency & not having to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Workspaces
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even consist of much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires extra costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You can’t use them to spread out the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, but what is finest for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a solid item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to worry about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies 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 talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more flexibility/ much better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer support.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Workspaces