WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Xml Sitemap
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to supply managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Xml Sitemap
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all differ in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is necessary to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a different technique. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp Engine Xml Sitemap
I’ve used WP Engine for different tasks since 2012. I do not utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & viewpoint 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 live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class client 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 Xml Sitemap
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your site is, the more intricate the solutions to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a few fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy 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, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a slow site doesn’t mean that you need a bigger, better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may just need to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to remain fast as you grow. There are lots of options … however either you or a designer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Wp Engine Xml Sitemap
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to start packing the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that method no matter how big or intricate the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an integrated CDN, but they likewise supply worldwide information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Xml Sitemap
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Xml Sitemap
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 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 stated, the hard feature of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever know if the story is since they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to look for access, systems, and knowledge, all three require an investment of money, time and competence.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site via chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with actually understood the great workings of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Xml Sitemap
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically due to the fact that their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). But they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security essentials are relatively 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 commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & ready to roll back if something happens. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually helped clients who have been. It’s frustrating, tedious & a typically pricey situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Xml Sitemap
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k sees per month on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time fixing problems.
Essentially, if your time is better allocated far from technical concerns, 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 a cost.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp Engine Xml Sitemap
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases 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 need for an ongoing fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing site owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much 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 factor, particularly having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s special backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any previous practices 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 pledges and supply support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Xml Sitemap
WP Engine stands out not only on existing features but also on developing brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out new developer functions that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually altered significantly considering that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand adequate web development to integrate best 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
Similar to 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 everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some clients. I don’t utilize them for this website 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 Xml Sitemap
All that stated, here are some of the larger image disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be rather made complex– particularly if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the unique backend can lead to some developers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open to the public or just not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they currently do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never explain best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Xml Sitemap
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to watch that video several 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 customized backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (as soon as you get past the learning curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website checklists to assist fix all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons why they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just take care of all of it.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Xml Sitemap
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, but those restrictions restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured enables less adaptability also. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply wish to drive a surge 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 manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Business. And this point goes further if your website requires numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you cannot really do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up having to do an unpleasant migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In either 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 efficiency & not having to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you truly 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 often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wp Engine Xml Sitemap
Many shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even include a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot 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 limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot utilize them to expand the expense of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is an expensive option, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, however what is best for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a terrific service with a strong item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to stress over hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at 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. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more flexibility/ much better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wp Engine Xml Sitemap