WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Google
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site 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. However here’s the short version: They all vary in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a various technique. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Google
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various jobs given that 2012. I do not use them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer 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, effective security, and best-in-class customer service.” Here is their promotion pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Wpengine Google
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, but the guideline is that the more intricate your site is, the more complicated the services to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
However a slow website doesn’t indicate that you require a larger, much better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to remain quickly as you grow. There are plenty of services … but either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wpengine Google
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to begin packing the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are free to concentrate on speed factors that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, however they likewise provide global data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Google
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Google
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has actually grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough feature of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever know if the story is because they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I want to look 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 better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the website through chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has connected with in fact knew the great 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 customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Google
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials are fairly simple:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a great deal of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also 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 free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have helped customers who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & an usually pricey circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Google
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and only as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same price 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 monthly.
Both of which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, essentially as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty 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 entire month-to-month fee right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time fixing concerns.
Basically, if your time is better allocated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Google
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on development & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a crucial factor, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on launching a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive 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 Google
WP Engine stands out not just on current features but likewise on creating new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented new developer features that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have actually altered significantly since I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web development to incorporate best practices into implementation & jobs 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And lots of 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 an excellent suitable for some customers. I do not utilize them for this site because I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Google
All that said, here are some of the bigger photo downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be rather made complex– particularly if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can result in some developers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open up to the public or merely not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more novice clients than they currently do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever explain best practice for the basic user. Wpengine Google
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to enjoy that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial deal (as soon as you get past the knowing curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site lists to assist fix 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 why they do all this. And most of the times, support will just take care of all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Google
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, but those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured enables less versatility as well. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s also pricey to pay based upon a number of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to factor additional hosting expenses 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 deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your site requires numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The very same chooses 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 utilize case is out.
Additionally, you can’t truly do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you 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 website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally visiting regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wpengine Google
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned earlier that does not even include many of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to expand the cost of your strategy,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, but exactly what is best for you based upon your goals, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to stress over hosting issues.
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 warranty. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think of their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more freedom/ much better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive client service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wpengine Google