WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp One Engine Theme
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 managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wp One Engine Theme
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers 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 + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it’s important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a various approach. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wp One Engine Theme
I have actually used WP Engine for different tasks since 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a current client on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying client 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 “stunning speed, powerful 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 One Engine Theme
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complex your site is, the more intricate the services to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
However a slow site does not indicate that you require a bigger, better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay quick as you grow. There are lots of solutions … however either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with very aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Wp One Engine Theme
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated 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 determines how quickly the server returned enough information to begin packing the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or complex the site gets.
*Keep in mind 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 since you are totally free to focus on speed elements that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, however they also supply worldwide information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp One Engine Theme
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp One Engine Theme
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a big emphasis 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 company has actually grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult feature of customer support is that so much 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 business treats support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of loan, time and competence.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all 3 boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website via chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with in fact understood the great workings of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp One Engine Theme
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially due to the fact that their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large 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 use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s frustrating, tedious & a typically expensive scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wp One Engine Theme
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same rate from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which enable more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & 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 regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any sees 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 do not utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole 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 point out any individual or designer time fixing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better assigned away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wp One Engine Theme
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at needing 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 budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is an essential element, especially having the ability to “just 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-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any prior practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make pledges and offer support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these kinds of clients, 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), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Wp One Engine Theme
WP Engine stands out not only on current functions but also on developing new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even general web advancement best practices have changed radically given that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to incorporate best practices into implementation & jobs with designers.
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
Just like 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 stand since they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some customers. I do not utilize them for this site since I do not require many of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp One Engine Theme
All that stated, here are a few of the larger photo disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be rather complicated– especially if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can lead to some developers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the public or just not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they currently do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never explain finest practice for the general user. Wp One Engine Theme
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to see that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (once you get past the learning curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of website checklists to help troubleshoot 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.
Once again– they have reasons why they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply look after it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp One Engine Theme
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, but those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured allows for less adaptability too. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a variety of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible 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 allow on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your website needs many plugins for complete functionality.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t actually do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for efficiency & not needing to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the functions you’re getting, you really do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wp One Engine Theme
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that does not even include 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 limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs additional costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the price. You can’t utilize them to expand the expense of your strategy,specifically 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 site files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, however what is finest for you based on your goals, budget, resources & habits.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a great service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to worry about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see what you think of their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more liberty/ better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer care.
And lastly, 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 One Engine Theme