WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Deploy Site
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first business to supply handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wpengine Deploy Site
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole 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 offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, 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 various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a various technique. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Deploy Site
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various projects considering that 2012. I don’t use them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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. Wpengine Deploy Site
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your website is, the more complicated the solutions to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally extra plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
However a slow site does not imply that you need a larger, much better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine 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 eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain quickly as you grow. There are lots of options … however either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have customized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the precise chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wpengine Deploy Site
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because 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, too many 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 start loading the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right out of package, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or intricate the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services since you are free to concentrate on speed aspects 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 incorporated CDN, however they also supply global data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Deploy Site
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Deploy Site
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a big focus 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 actually grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard aspect of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never understand if the story is since they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of loan, time and know-how.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all 3 boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has connected with actually knew the great 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 between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after a number of issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Deploy Site
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly since their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). But they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security basics are fairly 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 industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site secure 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 whatever off-site & ready 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 globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & a normally pricey circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Deploy Site
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same price 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 monthly.
Both of which enable more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup 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 gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or designer time fixing issues.
Generally, if your time is much better designated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Deploy Site
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit 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 want to concentrate on development & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing standard 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 website owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that process happen. The phone support is an essential aspect, particularly being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on releasing a near-complete site all at once.
They do not have any prior routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds 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), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wpengine Deploy Site
WP Engine stands out not just on current features however likewise on producing new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web development best practices have changed significantly because I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to integrate best practices into execution & tasks 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 best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of stand because they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some consumers. I don’t use them for this website since I do not need many of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Deploy Site
All that stated, here are some of the bigger photo downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be quite complicated– specifically if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the distinct backend can result in some developers making mistakes ranging from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or just not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice clients than they already do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never describe best practice for the general user. Wpengine Deploy Site
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to view that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a substantial deal (when you surpass the knowing curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website checklists to assist troubleshoot 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.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Deploy Site
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with 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 have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or very real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, but those restrictions limit versatility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured allows for less versatility too. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to aspect additional 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 site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Company. And this point goes even more if your website requires lots of plugins for full performance.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t truly do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up having to do an unpleasant migration to another email company mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found 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 too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the functions you’re getting, you actually do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wpengine Deploy Site
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed earlier that does not even consist of many of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits requires additional costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t use them to expand the cost of your plan,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a costly option, especially compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, however exactly what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to stress over hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more flexibility/ better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wpengine Deploy Site