WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Go Live
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to supply managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Go Live
While they have lots of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many methods -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 become a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all vary in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a various method. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Go Live
I have actually utilized WP Engine for different projects since 2012. I do not use them for my main sites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business discussed. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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. Wpengine Go Live
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, but the guideline is that the more intricate your website is, the more complex the solutions to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text site with a few basic plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with an economical shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally additional plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
However a slow site does not imply that you need a bigger, better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to remain fast as you grow. There are lots of options … but either you or a designer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually customized servers with very aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Wpengine Go Live
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs 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 customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complex the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because you are totally free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an integrated CDN, however they likewise offer worldwide information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Go Live
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Go Live
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (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 difficult aspect of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never understand if the story is because they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I like to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all three require a financial investment of money, time and proficiency.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with in fact understood the fine workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability 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 transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of several problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Go Live
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially because their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they seem to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security essentials 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 utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & ready to roll back if something happens. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s aggravating, laborious & an usually pricey scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Go Live
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both which enable more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k sees each month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates each 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 monthly cost right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time repairing concerns.
Basically, if your time is much better designated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Go Live
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases 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 standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a crucial aspect, especially being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a startup site owner that has the budget and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on launching a near-complete site all at once.
They don’t have any prior practices or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wpengine Go Live
WP Engine stands out not just on present features but also on producing new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new developer features that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have changed significantly given that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web development to integrate best practices into application & 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many are valid since they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some consumers. I do not use them for this website because I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Go Live
All that said, here are some of the bigger image drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be quite complicated– especially if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can result in some developers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open to the public or simply not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice customers than they already do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never explain finest practice for the general user. Wpengine Go Live
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to watch that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (when you get past the knowing curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website lists to assist fix all sorts of problems.
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 they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply take care of all of it.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Go Live
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or very real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, however those bans restrict adaptability and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured permits less adaptability also. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to element additional hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes further if your website needs numerous plugins for full performance.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot truly do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not having to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wpengine Go Live
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed previously that doesn’t even include many of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t utilize them to expand the expense of your plan,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, but exactly what is best for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a fantastic service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to stress over hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. 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 & desire more freedom/ better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wpengine Go Live