WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Cron
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 handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Cron
While they have lots of competition 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 advanced functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all differ in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as a whole, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a various technique. 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. Wpengine Cron
I have actually used WP Engine for various jobs given that 2012. I do not utilize them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer service.” Here is their promotion pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Wpengine Cron
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, however the guideline is that the more complex your website is, the more complicated the solutions to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow website does not suggest that you require a bigger, better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may just have to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to remain fast as you grow. There are lots of options … however either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and determine the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wpengine Cron
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s great to have that type 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 may get with other services given that you are free to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, however they also supply international data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Cron
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Cron
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has grown & 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 difficult feature of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never understand if the story is because they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 require an investment of loan, time and expertise.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the website through chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has connected with really knew the fine operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of numerous issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Cron
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly due to the fact that their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). However they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security basics are relatively 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 business arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially 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. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a great deal of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually helped clients who have actually been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a normally pricey scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Cron
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, basically as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k sees each month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or developer time repairing problems.
Basically, if your time is much better assigned away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Cron
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that process occur. The phone support is a key element, especially being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third consumer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s special backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make promises and provide support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Wpengine Cron
WP Engine excels not only on current features however likewise on producing new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new developer features that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even general web development finest practices have changed drastically because I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to incorporate best practices into execution & projects 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous are valid since they just aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some customers. I don’t use them for this site due to the fact that I do not need a lot of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Cron
All that said, here are some of the larger image downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite made complex– particularly if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they likewise do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the unique backend can result in some developers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website available to the public or just not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they already do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never describe finest practice for the general user. Wpengine Cron
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to see that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (when you get past the knowing curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website lists to help 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 they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply take care of it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Cron
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, however those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured enables less versatility also. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a variety of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to factor additional hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Business. And this point goes even more if your site requires lots of plugins for full functionality.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot really do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for efficiency & not having to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the functions you’re getting, you actually do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Cron
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even include a lot of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits requires additional costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to spread out the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, however exactly what is finest for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to worry about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a fit 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 about their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more freedom/ much better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wpengine Cron