WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine WordPress Login
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to supply managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Wpengine WordPress Login
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the site 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 options, but as an entire, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it’s important to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, generally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a different method. 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 “best fit” for. Wpengine WordPress Login
I have actually used WP Engine for different tasks since 2012. I don’t use them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer service.” 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 WordPress Login
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your site is, the more complex the options to speed become.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a slow website does not imply that you require a larger, better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, however sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might just need to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay fast as you grow. There are lots of options … 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 exceptionally aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Wpengine WordPress Login
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, 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 rapidly the server returned enough information to start loading the page.
It’s great to have that kind of speed right out of package, and have it stay that method no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Note 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 may get with other services because you are totally free to focus on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, but they likewise provide global information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine WordPress Login
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine WordPress Login
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. 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 place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard feature of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever understand 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 discuss in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I like to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need a financial investment of loan, time and knowledge.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has communicated with in fact knew the fine functions of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to expertly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after numerous issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine WordPress Login
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly because their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). But they appear 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 indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, 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 utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility 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 everything off-site & ready to roll back if something happens. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually helped clients who have been. It’s aggravating, tedious & a generally costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wpengine WordPress Login
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which permit more storage & more sees (ie, basically as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k sees per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes on a monthly basis. 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 sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or designer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is better allocated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine WordPress Login
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first customer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on development & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to deal with technical development 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 handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process take place. The phone support is a key element, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on launching a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any prior habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, numerous of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wpengine WordPress Login
WP Engine excels not just on existing functions but also on developing new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new designer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web advancement best practices have altered significantly given that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to integrate best practices into execution & jobs 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of stand due to the fact that they merely aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this website because I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine WordPress Login
All that stated, here are some of the bigger image disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be rather made complex– specifically if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they likewise don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the distinct backend can lead to some designers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open to the public or merely not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner clients 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 very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the general user. Wpengine WordPress Login
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to see that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (when you get past the learning curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of website checklists to help troubleshoot 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 that they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply take care of everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine WordPress Login
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit more to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for great reasons, but those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated 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 bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured allows for less versatility too. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a variety of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to factor extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Business. And this point goes further if your site requires numerous plugins for full performance.
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.
In addition, you can’t actually do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for efficiency & not having to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based on the functions you’re getting, you truly don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Wpengine WordPress Login
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy 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 “little” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t even include many 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 limits requires extra costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t use them to expand the cost of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than 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 a costly alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, but exactly what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a fantastic service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to fret about hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go take 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 chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more freedom/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer support.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wpengine WordPress Login