WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Spf
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all differ in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as an entire, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a various method. 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 “finest fit” for. Wpengine Spf
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various tasks because 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a current client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Spf
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, however the guideline is that the more intricate your site is, the more complicated the options to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a few standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish website doesn’t suggest that you require a bigger, much better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain fast as you grow. There are plenty of services … but either you or a designer should execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have actually tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the precise chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wpengine Spf
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional scripts, a lot of 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 data to start packing the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or intricate the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are complimentary to focus 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 just supplies an integrated CDN, but they likewise offer global information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Spf
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Spf
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. 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 position a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business 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 stated, the difficult feature of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever 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 discuss in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I want to search for access, systems, and knowledge, all three require an investment of money, time and know-how.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has interacted with really knew the great functions of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Spf
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly since their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). But they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, 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 use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that even though security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation 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 & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a generally pricey circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Spf
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, generally as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k gos to per month on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty 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 sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or designer time repairing problems.
Generally, if your time is much better designated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Wpengine Spf
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on development & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is an essential factor, especially 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 plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s special backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, 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 performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wpengine Spf
WP Engine stands out not only on present features but also on creating new, advanced hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out new designer features that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have changed drastically considering that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to integrate finest 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And many are valid since they just aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some consumers. 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 Spf
All that said, here are some of the larger photo downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be quite made complex– particularly if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the distinct backend can result in some designers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or just not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner consumers than they currently do.
Like numerous custom 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 explain finest practice for the basic user. Wpengine Spf
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to view that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (once you get past the knowing curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site lists to assist 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 most of the times, support will just take care of it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Spf
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit more to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, however those restrictions restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured permits less adaptability too. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also expensive to pay based upon a number of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want 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 an Individual or Company. And this point goes further if your site requires many plugins for complete functionality.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t truly do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up having to do a painful migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices 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 take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the functions you’re getting, you actually do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally visiting often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Spf
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed earlier that doesn’t even include much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits requires additional costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to spread out the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a pricey option, especially compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, however exactly what is finest for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies 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 worry about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see what you think of their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more flexibility/ better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer care.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wpengine Spf