WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Quora
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to provide managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Quora
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has become 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 offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is very important to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a various approach. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Quora
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous tasks since 2012. I don’t use them for my main websites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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. Wp Engine Quora
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, however the guideline is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the services to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with an affordable shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually extra plugins, custom style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site does not indicate that you need a bigger, better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, however often it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply need to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay quick as you grow. There are plenty of services … however either you or a designer should execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the precise chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Quora
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin packing the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that way no matter how huge 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 might get with other services because you are free to focus on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an integrated CDN, however they likewise offer worldwide data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Quora
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Quora
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has 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 aspect of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or a cost.
I like to search for access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need a financial investment of money, time and competence.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website through chat.
Based on their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has interacted with actually knew the great workings of WordPress and has actually been able 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 throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wp Engine Quora
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially since their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show 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 Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security essentials are fairly 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 use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped customers who have actually been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a generally pricey circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Quora
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & 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 entire regular monthly charge right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time repairing problems.
Basically, if your time is better designated far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Quora
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a key element, especially being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on releasing a near-complete site at one time.
They don’t have any prior routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Wp Engine Quora
WP Engine excels not only on current features but likewise on creating new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have altered radically given that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web advancement to integrate finest practices into application & jobs 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous stand due to the fact that they simply aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I do not use them for this site since I do not need many of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Quora
All that stated, here are some of the bigger image disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be quite made complex– particularly if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the unique backend can lead to some designers making errors ranging from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site available to the public or just not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they already do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the basic user. Wp Engine Quora
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to see that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website checklists to help fix 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.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Quora
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, but those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured allows for less adaptability also. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a variety of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Business. And this point goes further if your site requires many plugins for full performance.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are wanting to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t actually do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up having to do a painful migration to another email supplier 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 typically spending for performance & 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 really do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally logging in often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Wp Engine Quora
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even include many of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the price. You can’t utilize 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 planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, however what is best for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to worry about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see what you consider their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more liberty/ much better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wp Engine Quora