WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Name Server
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to offer managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Name Server
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all vary in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as a whole, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a various approach. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine Name Server
I’ve used WP Engine for different projects given that 2012. I don’t use them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer service.” 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 Name Server
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the general rule is that the more intricate your website is, the more complex the solutions to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
However a slow site does not mean that you need a bigger, better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay quick as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … however either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have actually tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wpengine Name Server
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or complicated the site 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 may get with other services because you are totally free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, but they likewise supply worldwide information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Name Server
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Name Server
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since 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 place a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has actually grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the hard aspect of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is because they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need an investment of loan, time and know-how.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They maintain a variety 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 upon their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually interacted with actually understood the great functions of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after a number of issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Name Server
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they seem to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security basics 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 utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that even though security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally 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 occurs. Because you technically have an “install” 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 evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped clients who have been. It’s discouraging, laborious & a typically costly situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Name Server
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and only up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same price 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 which enable more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation 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 cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge 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 point out any individual or designer time fixing concerns.
Generally, if your time is better designated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Name Server
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is an essential factor, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third client type is a start-up website owner that has the budget and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on introducing a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any prior habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, a lot of 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, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Wpengine Name Server
WP Engine stands out not just on existing features but likewise on creating brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented new developer features that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have changed significantly considering that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to incorporate finest practices into implementation & tasks with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many stand due to the fact that they merely aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I do not utilize them for this website since I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Name Server
All that stated, here are some of the larger image disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be rather made complex– particularly if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the unique backend can cause some developers making mistakes ranging from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or just not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they currently do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the general user. Wpengine Name Server
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to enjoy 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 (once you get past the learning curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site lists to assist troubleshoot all sorts of problems.
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 most of the times, support will just take care of all of it.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Name Server
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior for great factors, however those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed 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 prices is structured allows for less versatility also. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based on a number of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to aspect 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 deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Company. And this point goes even more if your site needs many plugins for full performance.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot truly do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for performance & not having to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the functions you’re getting, you really 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 generally visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wpengine Name Server
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the 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 basic caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr period 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 gos to, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even consist of many of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the cost. You cannot use 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 wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a costly option, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, however what is finest for you based upon your goals, budget, resources & habits.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to fret about hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see what you consider their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more freedom/ much better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer support.
And last but not least, 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 Name Server