WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Largefs
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name recognition and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: 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.
And then 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 set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as an entire, 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, but it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a different technique. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Largefs
I have actually utilized WP Engine for different tasks given that 2012. I don’t use them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “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 Largefs
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, however the guideline is that the more intricate your website is, the more complicated the solutions to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of basic plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with an affordable shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
However a slow website doesn’t mean that you require a bigger, much better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might just have to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay quick as you grow. There are a lot of options … however either you or a developer must implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have actually customized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wpengine Largefs
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating 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 among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough information to start packing the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right out of package, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complicated the website gets.
*Note 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 might get with other services since you are free to focus on speed aspects that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, however they also supply global data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Largefs
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Largefs
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 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 said, the tough feature of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never understand if the story is since they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I prefer to look for access, systems, and knowledge, all three require a financial investment of money, time and competence.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website through chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually interacted with in fact knew the fine operations of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of numerous concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Largefs
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially due to the fact that their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). However they seem to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & testing 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally 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 takes place. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a lot of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security companies on code evaluations 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 never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have helped customers who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a generally pricey situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Largefs
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, generally as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & 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 whole regular monthly charge right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or developer time fixing issues.
Generally, if your time is much better allocated far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Largefs
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on development & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous basic website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a key factor, particularly being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on launching a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Wpengine Largefs
WP Engine stands out not just on existing functions however likewise on developing brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented new designer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually changed drastically because I started observing the market *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web development to incorporate finest practices into implementation & projects 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 everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And many stand since they just aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not need a number of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Largefs
All that stated, here are a few of the larger image downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be quite made complex– especially if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can result in some designers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open to the public or merely not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they already 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 ever explain finest practice for the general user. Wpengine Largefs
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a big offer (when you get past the knowing curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety 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 they do all this. And for the most parts, 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 lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Largefs
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise 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; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or extremely genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin behavior for good factors, but those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured enables less flexibility as well. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise costly to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, 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 manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Business. And this point goes further if your site requires many plugins for full performance.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot actually do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up having to do a painful migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for performance & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wpengine Largefs
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely 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” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even consist of a number of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to spread out the cost of your plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, but what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & habits.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a fantastic service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to fret about hosting concerns.
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 install and see what you think about their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more liberty/ much better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wpengine Largefs