WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Hipaa
While they have plenty of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all differ in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is very important to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a various technique. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Hipaa
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous projects because 2012. I don’t use them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer care.” Here is their promo pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Wpengine Hipaa
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, but the general rule is that the more intricate your website is, the more complicated the solutions to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text site with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally extra plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish website does not mean that you need a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to haul 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 simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain quickly as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … however either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Wpengine Hipaa
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up 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 rapidly the server returned enough information to start loading the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right from the box, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or complex the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are complimentary to focus on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, however they likewise offer international data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Hipaa
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Hipaa
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the difficult thing about client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is because they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I want to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all three need an investment of loan, time and proficiency.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, 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 client has connected with in fact understood the fine workings of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Hipaa
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically since their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). But 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 Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security basics 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 utilize 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 duty is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still ultimately 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 everything off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have assisted customers who have been. It’s aggravating, tedious & a normally expensive scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Hipaa
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the 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 per month.
Both of which permit more storage & more visits (ie, generally as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k gos to per month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup 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 whole month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge 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 designer time fixing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is better assigned far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Hipaa
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a fit 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 want to focus on advancement & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move 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 & consumer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is an essential factor, especially being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a start-up website owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any previous habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make pledges and provide support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Wpengine Hipaa
WP Engine excels not just on current functions however also on developing new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have changed drastically since I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to incorporate best practices into application & jobs with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of stand due to the fact that they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not need a lot of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Hipaa
All that said, here are some of the larger photo drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be rather made complex– especially if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can cause some developers making errors ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev website available to the public or simply not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they currently do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never explain best practice for the basic user. Wpengine Hipaa
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to see that video numerous 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-made backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (when you surpass the knowing curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover 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 myriad of website lists to help 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.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply take care of all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Hipaa
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to decreasing & increasing complexity.
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 predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for great factors, but those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad 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 way their prices is structured permits less adaptability too. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also pricey to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to element extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your website needs lots of plugins for full functionality.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot actually do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not having to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you truly don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Hipaa
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even include much of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to spread out the expense of your plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, especially compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, however exactly what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & practices.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a great service with a strong item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to fret about hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see what you think about their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more liberty/ much better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wpengine Hipaa