WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine To Godaddy
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to supply managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wpengine To Godaddy
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all differ in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it’s important to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a different technique. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine To Godaddy
I’ve used WP Engine for different tasks because 2012. I do not utilize them for my main websites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class client service.” 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 To Godaddy
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the options to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a budget friendly shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally extra plugins, custom style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
However a slow site doesn’t imply 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 sometimes it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply have to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain quickly as you grow. There are lots of solutions … however either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wpengine To Godaddy
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have such a customized 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 puffed up theme, extra 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 rapidly the server returned enough information to start packing the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or intricate the website 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 considering that you are free to focus on speed factors that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, however they likewise provide worldwide data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine To Godaddy
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine To Godaddy
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough feature of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never know if the story is because they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I want to look for access, systems, and understanding, all three require a financial investment of loan, time and competence.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website via chat.
Based on their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually connected with actually knew the great functions of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after several issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine To Godaddy
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,especially because their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). But they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the required financial 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 a concern with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security basics are relatively simple:
- 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a lot of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. 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 primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped customers who have been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & an usually pricey scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine To Godaddy
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your 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 strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, basically as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & 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 charge right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire 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 individual or developer time fixing problems.
Essentially, if your time is better designated far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine To Godaddy
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on development & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, 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 need for a continuous fundamental website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is an essential element, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd customer type is a startup website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering 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, clients, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, so many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review modification. Wpengine To Godaddy
WP Engine excels not just on present features however likewise on creating brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out new designer features that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even general web advancement best practices have changed radically given that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web development to integrate finest practices into application & tasks 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And numerous are valid due to the fact that they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some customers. I do not utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine To Godaddy
All that said, here are some of the bigger image downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be quite complicated– especially if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can result in some designers making errors ranging from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev site available to the general public or simply not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they already do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing 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 To Godaddy
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of sites 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 best IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (when you get past the learning curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website checklists to assist 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 why they do all this. And in most cases, support will just look after all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine To Godaddy
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to decreasing & 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 have to be rather uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or extremely real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit more to specify exactly 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 behavior for good factors, but those restrictions limit flexibility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured allows for less adaptability also. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also expensive to pay based upon a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to factor extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile 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 allow on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes further if your site requires many plugins for full performance.
The same chooses 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.
Additionally, you can’t really do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another email company mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not having to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the functions you’re getting, you truly 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 normally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine To Godaddy
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (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 trusted VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that does not even consist of many of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited 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 expense of your plan,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, but exactly what is best for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to worry about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a fit 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. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more freedom/ much better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Wpengine To Godaddy