WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Nameservers
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all differ in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as an entire, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, normally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a different method. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine Nameservers
I’ve used WP Engine for different tasks because 2012. I do not utilize them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Nameservers
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complex your site is, the more complex the services to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a couple of basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally extra plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish site doesn’t indicate that you need a bigger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, however often it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to stay fast as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … however either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Wpengine Nameservers
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, 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 start packing 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 big or intricate the site 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 totally free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, but they also supply worldwide information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Nameservers
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Nameservers
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put 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 stated, the hard feature of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never know if the story is due to the fact that they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I want to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three require an investment of cash, time and know-how.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the site through chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually communicated with really understood the great operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of several concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Nameservers
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). However they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security basics are relatively uncomplicated:
- 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & ready to roll back if something happens. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually helped customers who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tedious & an usually 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 Nameservers
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same rate 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 monthly.
Both which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But 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 & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes on a monthly basis. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time fixing problems.
Basically, if your time is better designated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Nameservers
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing site owner who is irritated at having to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process take place. The phone support is a crucial element, especially being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and desires 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 site at one time.
They don’t have any prior habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, numerous of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wpengine Nameservers
WP Engine excels not only on existing features however likewise on creating new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have altered radically 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 finest practices into implementation & tasks 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous stand because they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this site because I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Nameservers
All that stated, here are some of the bigger image drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be quite made complex– particularly if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the distinct backend can lead to some designers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site available to the public or merely not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they already do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the general user. Wpengine Nameservers
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to watch that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (once you surpass the learning curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site checklists to help troubleshoot all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply look after everything.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Nameservers
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or extremely real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for good reasons, but those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But 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 enables less flexibility too. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise pricey to pay based on a variety of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to element extra 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 site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Service. And this point goes further if your website needs numerous plugins for full performance.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot actually do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up needing to do a painful migration to another email company mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered 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 excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the functions you’re getting, you really do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wpengine Nameservers
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even include many of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs extra costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted 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 utilize them to expand the cost of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is an expensive option, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest overall, but what is finest for you based upon your goals, budget, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a great service with a solid item. 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 unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to stress over hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see exactly what you think of their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more freedom/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually valued their balance of instinctive 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 factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wpengine Nameservers