WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Vs Liquidweb
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to offer managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Vs Liquidweb
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all vary in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is very important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a different method. This evaluation will take a 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 Vs Liquidweb
I’ve used WP Engine for different projects considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning 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 Vs Liquidweb
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, however the guideline is that the more intricate your website 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 couple of little images, you’ll be fine with a budget friendly shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish site does not suggest that you need a bigger, better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply need to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay quickly as you grow. There are a lot of services … but either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with extremely 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 recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Wpengine Vs Liquidweb
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to start packing the page.
It’s great to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it stay that method no matter how big or complicated the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are totally free to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly manage 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 mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Vs Liquidweb
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Vs Liquidweb
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are really 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 company has actually grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult feature of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never know if the story is due to the fact that they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or a cost.
I like to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of money, time and expertise.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They preserve 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 site through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually connected with really understood the fine functions of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of numerous problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Vs Liquidweb
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). But they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That suggests 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 neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals 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 use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not 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 & ready to roll back if something happens. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have assisted clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a typically pricey scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Vs Liquidweb
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, generally as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation 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 whole regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or designer time repairing problems.
Basically, if your time is better assigned far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really 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 Vs Liquidweb
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a crucial element, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third consumer type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any prior habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make pledges and offer support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Wpengine Vs Liquidweb
WP Engine stands out not only on current functions but also on producing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented new developer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development best practices have actually altered significantly considering that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to integrate best practices into execution & tasks with developers.
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 best suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of are valid because they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some consumers. I don’t use them for this site since I do not need many of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Vs Liquidweb
All that said, here are a few of the bigger image drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be quite made complex– especially if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the distinct backend can result in some developers making errors ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev site open to the public or simply not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never describe finest practice for the general user. Wpengine Vs Liquidweb
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to view 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 customized backend isn’t going to be a big offer (when you surpass the knowing curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site checklists to assist repair 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 they do all this. And in many cases, support will just take care of all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Vs Liquidweb
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin behavior for good factors, however those bans restrict adaptability and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized sites, 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 flexible and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured enables less flexibility also. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a number of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or simply 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 manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes further if your site needs lots of plugins for full functionality.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot really do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up needing to do a painful migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for performance & not needing to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you truly don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wpengine Vs Liquidweb
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t 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 limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs 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 have to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to expand the expense of your plan,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is an expensive option, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, but exactly what is best 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 solid item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to stress over hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see exactly what you think of their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more flexibility/ better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wpengine Vs Liquidweb