WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Mysql
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to supply handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wpengine Mysql
While they have plenty of competition 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 cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all vary in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is necessary to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a various technique. This review will take a 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 Mysql
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous jobs given that 2012. I do not utilize them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class client 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 Mysql
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complex your website is, the more complex the services to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text website with a couple of standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally extra plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
However a slow site does not suggest that you need a bigger, much better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, but sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may just need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay fast as you grow. There are lots of services … but either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Wpengine Mysql
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to begin packing the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or intricate 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 given that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an integrated CDN, however they also offer international data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Mysql
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Mysql
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a big focus 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 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 thing about consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never understand if the story is due to the fact that they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I prefer to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of money, time and proficiency.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has connected with actually knew the great functions of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Mysql
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically since their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). But they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are relatively straightforward:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a great deal of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have helped customers who have been. It’s frustrating, tedious & a generally costly scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Mysql
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reliable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same price from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both of which permit more storage & more visits (ie, basically as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing 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 prices is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost 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 could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time fixing issues.
Generally, if your time is better assigned away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Mysql
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first consumer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at having to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that process occur. The phone support is a crucial element, particularly having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on introducing a near-complete site all at once.
They don’t have any previous routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make promises and provide support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, numerous of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Wpengine Mysql
WP Engine excels not only on present functions but likewise on developing new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually altered drastically considering that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web development to integrate best practices into application & 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 best suitable for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And many stand due to the fact that they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this site 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 Mysql
All that stated, here are some of the larger image disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be rather made complex– especially if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can cause some designers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site available to the public or merely not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they currently do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe finest practice for the basic user. Wpengine Mysql
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to watch that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (as soon as you get past the knowing curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website checklists to help repair all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in many cases, support will just look after all of it.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Mysql
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior for good factors, however those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled 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 pricing is structured allows for less flexibility too. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based on a variety 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 site, you’ll have to factor additional hosting bills 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 handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your site needs many plugins for full performance.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot truly do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up needing to do an agonizing migration to another email company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not having to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Mysql
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted 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 each month tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even consist of a number of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires extra expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the rate. You cannot utilize them to spread out the cost of your plan,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, but exactly what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to stress over hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see what you consider their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more flexibility/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer 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 a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wpengine Mysql