WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Limerick
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to provide managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Limerick
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all differ in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater cost 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 options, 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 complicated, yes, but it’s important to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a different method. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine Limerick
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various tasks because 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & opinion 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 assure “sensational speed, powerful 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 Limerick
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your site is, the more complicated the solutions to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text site with a few basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally additional plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish website doesn’t imply that you require a larger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might just need to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to remain fast as you grow. There are a lot of options … however either you or a developer should execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have customized servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Wpengine Limerick
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin filling the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that method no matter how big or complicated the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an integrated CDN, but they also offer worldwide data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Limerick
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Limerick
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company 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 client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever know if the story is because they talked 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 business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I like to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 require a financial investment of loan, time and expertise.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually communicated with really knew the great workings of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Limerick
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically since their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals 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 commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is straightforward, 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 website safe is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully 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 ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually helped clients who have been. It’s frustrating, tedious & a typically expensive situation (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 Limerick
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which enable more storage & more visits (ie, basically as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 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 regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time repairing concerns.
Basically, if your time is much better allocated far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Limerick
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on development & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases 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 a continuous standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that process happen. The phone support is a crucial factor, especially being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third consumer type is a startup website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any prior practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, so many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Wpengine Limerick
WP Engine stands out not just on existing functions but likewise on producing brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer features that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web development finest practices have changed significantly because I started observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to integrate best practices into implementation & projects with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of are valid since they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some customers. I do not use them for this site because I do not need a number of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Limerick
All that said, here are some of the larger picture downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be quite made complex– particularly if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the unique backend can lead to some designers making errors varying from annoying redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open to the general public or just not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they already do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never describe best practice for the basic user. Wpengine Limerick
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to view that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a big offer (when you surpass the learning curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of website 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.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just take care of it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Limerick
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is also connected 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 somewhat consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, but those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured enables less adaptability also. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a number of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish 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 Company. And this point goes even more if your website needs lots of plugins for full functionality.
The exact same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you can’t truly do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up needing to do an agonizing migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for performance & not having to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you actually 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 regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Limerick
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly 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 quickly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed earlier that doesn’t even consist of a lot of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to expand the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a costly option, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, but what is best for you based upon your goals, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to fret about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a suitable 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 install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more freedom/ much better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wpengine Limerick