WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Godaddy
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to offer managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Godaddy
While they have plenty of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name recognition and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that 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 install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as an entire, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is necessary to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a different approach. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine Godaddy
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous jobs because 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Godaddy
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, however the general rule is that the more intricate your site is, the more complex the options 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 couple of little images, you’ll be fine with an affordable shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish site does not suggest that you require a larger, better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may just need to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay quickly as you grow. There are plenty of services … however either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the specific chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wpengine Godaddy
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have such a customized caching setup.
The interesting 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 style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or complex the site gets.
*Note 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 given that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, however they also supply global data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Godaddy
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Godaddy
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has 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 aspect of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever know if the story is due to the fact that they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three require an investment of cash, time and know-how.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with really understood the great operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Godaddy
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically because their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). However they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security essentials 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that even though security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something happens. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually helped clients who have actually been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a normally expensive scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Godaddy
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, generally as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty 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 sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular 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 month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or designer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is better assigned away from technical issues, 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 rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Godaddy
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first customer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at having to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is an essential aspect, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair 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 finding out WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any previous habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, so many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wpengine Godaddy
WP Engine excels not only on present functions but also on creating new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web advancement best practices have changed drastically since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web development to incorporate finest practices into implementation & projects with designers.
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 best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of stand due to the fact that 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 great suitable for some clients. I do not utilize them for this site because I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Godaddy
All that stated, here are some of the larger picture 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 rather complicated– particularly 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 absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can lead to some designers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site available to the public or simply not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they already do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the basic user. Wpengine Godaddy
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to see that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a big deal (when you surpass the knowing curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site checklists to assist troubleshoot all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons why they do all this. And most of the times, support will just look after everything.
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 don’t need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Godaddy
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to 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 guidelines (or very real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for great reasons, however those restrictions limit flexibility and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured enables less adaptability too. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also costly to pay based upon a number of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to factor additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want 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 an Individual or Service. And this point goes further if your site needs numerous plugins for full performance.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t really do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
Either way, 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 normally spending for efficiency & not needing to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you really do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wpengine Godaddy
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) managed 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 definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t even include a lot of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires extra expenses & 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 cost. You cannot use them to spread out the cost of your strategy,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, especially compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, however exactly what is best for you based upon your goals, budget, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to fret about hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think of their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more flexibility/ better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer support.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wpengine Godaddy