WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Backupbuddy WordPress Free
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Backupbuddy WordPress Free
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: 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.
And then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as a whole, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it’s important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a various method. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Backupbuddy WordPress Free
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous tasks because 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business discussed. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer service.” Here is their discount 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. Backupbuddy WordPress Free
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, however the guideline is that the more intricate your website is, the more intricate the services to speed become.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text site with a couple of basic plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with an affordable shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
However a sluggish website does not mean that you need a larger, much better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may just have 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 fast as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … but either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Backupbuddy WordPress Free
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to start filling the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right from package, and have it remain that method no matter how big or intricate the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, however they also supply global data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Backupbuddy WordPress Free
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Backupbuddy WordPress Free
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has grown & altered 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 tough feature of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never understand if the story is since they talked with 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 deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need an investment of cash, time and knowledge.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the website via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has communicated with actually understood the fine functions of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Backupbuddy WordPress Free
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically since their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). However they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But 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 & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security basics are relatively uncomplicated:
- 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally 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 takes place. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have assisted customers who have been. It’s discouraging, laborious & a generally costly scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Backupbuddy WordPress Free
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which enable more storage & more gos to (ie, basically as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation 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 whole monthly cost right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or developer time fixing issues.
Generally, if your time is better designated far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Backupbuddy WordPress Free
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on development & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at having to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is an essential aspect, especially 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 desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s special backend and plan on launching a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any prior practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, numerous of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Backupbuddy WordPress Free
WP Engine stands out not only on present features but also on developing new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even general web development best practices have changed radically given that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web development to integrate finest practices into implementation & tasks with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And numerous are valid because they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some consumers. I don’t use them for this site due to the fact that I do not require a number of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Backupbuddy WordPress Free
All that stated, here are some of the bigger picture downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be rather complicated– specifically if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
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 likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the distinct backend can cause some designers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website available to the public or just not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they currently do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes good 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. Backupbuddy WordPress Free
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to see that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a big deal (once you get past the knowing curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site lists 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.
Once again– they have reasons why they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply take care of everything.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Backupbuddy WordPress Free
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for good reasons, but those restrictions limit versatility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured enables less versatility too. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s also costly to pay based on a variety of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your site needs numerous plugins for full performance.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t actually do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up needing to do an agonizing migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for performance & not needing to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the functions you’re getting, you truly don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Backupbuddy WordPress Free
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that does not even consist of many of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the price. You cannot use them to spread out the expense of your plan,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, however what is finest for you based upon your objectives, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to worry about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more freedom/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Backupbuddy WordPress Free