WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Slow
While they have a lot 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 acknowledgment and innovative functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
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 install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as an entire, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is very important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a various approach. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine Slow
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various projects because 2012. I don’t use them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business pointed out. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class client 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 Slow
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, however the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the options to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically extra plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish website doesn’t imply that you require a larger, better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just need to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain fast as you grow. There are plenty of services … but either you or a designer should execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Wpengine Slow
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have actually 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 extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra 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 rapidly the server returned enough information to begin packing the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right from the box, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or complicated the website gets.
*Note 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 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 supplies an integrated CDN, however they likewise supply worldwide data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Slow
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Slow
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a big 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 lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult feature of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever know if the story is since they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I want to look for access, systems, and knowledge, all three need a financial investment of money, time and know-how.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the site via chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has interacted with really knew the fine functions of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Slow
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly due to the fact that their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). However they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security basics are fairly 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 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 protect. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website secure is still eventually 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 occurs. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a great deal of security issues 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 also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted customers who have been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & a normally pricey situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Slow
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and just 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 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 each month.
Both of which enable more storage & more visits (ie, essentially as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost 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 might be WP Engine’s whole 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 discuss any personal or developer time fixing concerns.
Generally, if your time is better designated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Slow
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first customer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that process take place. The phone support is a crucial aspect, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third client type is a startup 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 intend on releasing a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any previous practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wpengine Slow
WP Engine stands out not just on current features however likewise on developing brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new developer features that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have actually changed significantly given that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to integrate best practices into execution & projects 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of stand due to the fact that they just aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some clients. I don’t use them for this website since I do not need many of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Slow
All that stated, here are some of the larger photo drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be rather made complex– especially if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can lead to some developers making mistakes ranging from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open to the public or merely not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice customers than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever explain best practice for the basic user. Wpengine Slow
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however 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 customized backend isn’t going to be a substantial deal (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site checklists to help fix all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons why they do all this. And in most cases, support will just look after it all.
However, you still don’t 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 do not have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Slow
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or very genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit more to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for great reasons, however those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured enables less adaptability also. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a variety of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to element extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want 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 permit on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes further if your site requires numerous plugins for full functionality.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t truly do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for efficiency & not having to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually visiting regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Slow
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that does not even include many of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the price. You can’t utilize them to spread out the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a costly choice, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, however exactly what is finest for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a strong product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions 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 don’t want to fret about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think of their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more flexibility/ better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wpengine Slow