WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Force Strong Password
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to offer managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wpengine Force Strong Password
While they have plenty of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all vary in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different 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 offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it’s important to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a different method. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Force Strong Password
I have actually used WP Engine for different projects because 2012. I do not use them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Force Strong Password
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, however the general rule is that the more intricate your site is, the more complex the services to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally additional plugins, custom style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
But a sluggish site doesn’t imply that you require a larger, better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to transport a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might just need to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to stay quickly as you grow. There are a lot of services … however either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wpengine Force Strong Password
They don’t 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 do well on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, additional scripts, a lot of 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 data to start packing the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right out of package, and have it stay that method no matter how big or complicated the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because you are totally free to focus on speed factors that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an integrated CDN, but they also provide global information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Force Strong Password
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Force Strong Password
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put 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 & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the difficult feature of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never understand if the story is because they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of loan, time and proficiency.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all three boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the site through chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has connected with really understood the fine workings of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Force Strong Password
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly because their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, 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 website safe and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a lot of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a normally pricey situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Force Strong Password
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan 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, reliable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which enable more storage & more sees (ie, essentially as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates downside 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 & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes on a monthly basis. 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 visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or designer time fixing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is better designated far from technical problems, 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 a cost.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Force Strong Password
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of clients 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 process, the very first client type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process happen. The phone support is a key aspect, particularly being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a start-up site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s special backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They do not have any previous habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once 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 client.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, so many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review modification. Wpengine Force Strong Password
WP Engine excels not only on present functions however also on developing brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new designer features that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have actually altered radically because I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to incorporate finest practices into application & 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And many are valid since 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 consumers. I do not use them for this site since I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Force Strong Password
All that said, here are some of the bigger image drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be quite complicated– especially if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can cause some designers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev site available to the general public or just not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner consumers than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never describe finest practice for the basic user. Wpengine Force Strong Password
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (once you get past the learning curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website lists to assist repair all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons why they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply look after it all.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Force Strong Password
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for great reasons, however those restrictions limit versatility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured allows for less flexibility as well. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also costly to pay based upon a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to element additional hosting expenses 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 deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Service. And this point goes further if your site requires many plugins for complete performance.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you can’t truly do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up having to do a painful migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for performance & not having to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically logging in often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wpengine Force Strong Password
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that does not even consist of a number of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to expand the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest overall, but exactly what is best for you based upon your goals, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to worry about hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see what you consider their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more freedom/ much better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wpengine Force Strong Password