WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Staging Url
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to provide handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Staging Url
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name recognition and advanced functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site home 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 short variation: They all differ in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
In either 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 contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a different approach. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Wpengine Staging Url
I have actually used WP Engine for different jobs given that 2012. I don’t use them for my main sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present client on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” Here is their promo 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 Staging Url
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the general rule is that the more complex your site is, the more intricate the services to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of basic plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually extra plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow site does not imply that you need a larger, much better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to remain quick as you grow. There are lots of options … but either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the precise chokepoint to get your website moving. Wpengine Staging Url
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well 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 bloated theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin loading the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right out of package, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or complex the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are free to focus on speed elements that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, however they also supply international information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Staging Url
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Staging Url
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 difficult thing about consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however 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 point out in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I like to look for access, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of cash, time and proficiency.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing much better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily 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 customer has communicated with actually understood the great operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after numerous problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Staging Url
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly because their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security essentials 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 observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped clients who have actually been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a generally pricey scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine Staging Url
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your 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 just a couple dollars per month.
Both which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, essentially as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but 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 prices is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates each month & 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 whole monthly charge right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time repairing issues.
Essentially, if your time is much better assigned far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really 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 concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Staging Url
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer 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 3rd customer type is a startup website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any previous routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make promises and provide support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, so many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wpengine Staging Url
WP Engine stands out not only on existing functions however likewise on producing new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have actually changed radically considering that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to integrate best practices into execution & projects with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has 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 everybody. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of are valid 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 a great fit for some customers. I do not use them for this website since I do not need a lot of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Staging Url
All that said, here are a few of the larger photo disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be rather made complex– particularly if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can result in some developers making mistakes varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev site open to the public or merely not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice customers than they already do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes 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 Staging Url
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to view that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a big offer (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website lists to help repair all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Staging Url
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for great factors, but those restrictions restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured permits less flexibility as well. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise costly to pay based on a variety of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to aspect extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your website requires lots of plugins for full functionality.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot actually do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up having to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for performance & not having to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the functions you’re getting, you truly don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Staging Url
Many shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even include a number of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the price. You can’t use them to expand the cost of your plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, however what is finest for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use an excellent service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to worry about hosting issues.
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 guarantee. So do a test install and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more freedom/ better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer care.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Wpengine Staging Url