WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Too Expensive
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to supply managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Too Expensive
While they have lots of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many 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 actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all differ in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as an entire, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it’s important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a various technique. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Too Expensive
I’ve used WP Engine for various projects considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies discussed. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Too Expensive
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more complex the solutions to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a few standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with an affordable shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
But a slow site does not indicate that you require a bigger, better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to transport a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might just have to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to remain quick as you grow. There are lots of options … however either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wpengine Too Expensive
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to begin packing the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complex 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 may get with other services given that you are totally free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an integrated CDN, however they likewise supply international data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Too Expensive
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Too Expensive
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place 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 stated, the difficult aspect of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never know if the story is since they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I like to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three need an investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website via chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with in fact knew the great functions of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after several concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Too Expensive
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially since their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security essentials 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that even though security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a lot of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have helped customers who have actually been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a generally costly scenario (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 Too Expensive
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, basically as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire 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 could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better assigned away 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 focus on their core markets. Wpengine Too Expensive
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first consumer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on development & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing basic site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process happen. The phone support is a key aspect, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third consumer type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on launching a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any prior routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Wpengine Too Expensive
WP Engine excels not just on existing features but also on producing brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually altered significantly since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to integrate best practices into execution & tasks 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 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 simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some clients. I don’t use them for this website because I do not require a number of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Too Expensive
All that stated, here are a few of the larger image downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be quite made complex– specifically if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however 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 lead to some designers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open to the general public or merely not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner consumers than they already do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the basic user. Wpengine Too Expensive
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to see that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a big deal (when you surpass the knowing curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out 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 website lists to assist fix 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 why they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Too Expensive
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin behavior for good factors, but those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured permits less versatility as well. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also costly to pay based on a number of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to element additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Company. And this point goes further if your website needs many plugins for complete functionality.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that use 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 & wound up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for efficiency & not needing to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you really do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Too Expensive
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as discussed earlier that does not even include a number of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits needs extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot use them to expand the expense of your strategy,especially 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 & provide your website files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, however what is best for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a solid product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to stress over hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see exactly what you think of their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more flexibility/ better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer support.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wpengine Too Expensive