WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Cdn Speed Up Website
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. Cdn Speed Up Website
While they have lots of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all differ in services supplied. 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 separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as an entire, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it’s important to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a various technique. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Cdn Speed Up Website
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various jobs considering that 2012. I don’t use them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business mentioned. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer care.” Here is their promo pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Cdn Speed Up Website
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, but the guideline is that the more complicated your website is, the more intricate the services to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a few basic plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
However a slow site doesn’t suggest that you need a bigger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, but 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. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain fast as you grow. There are lots of services … however either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Cdn Speed Up Website
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform since 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, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to begin packing the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right from package, and have it stay that way no matter how big or intricate the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are totally free to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, but they likewise provide international information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Cdn Speed Up Website
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Cdn Speed Up Website
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. 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 put a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough thing about customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is because they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to look for access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require an investment of cash, time and know-how.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has connected with really knew the great workings of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Cdn Speed Up Website
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly since their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, 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 utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a lot of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have helped clients who have been. It’s aggravating, tedious & a normally expensive circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Cdn Speed Up Website
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reliable 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 plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both of which permit more storage & more gos to (ie, generally as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
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 month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, 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 website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time fixing problems.
Basically, if your time is much better allocated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Cdn Speed Up Website
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing basic site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing site owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a key aspect, especially being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any previous routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Cdn Speed Up Website
WP Engine stands out not only on present functions but likewise on producing brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented new designer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even general web development finest practices have actually altered significantly because I began observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to incorporate finest practices into application & jobs with designers.
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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And many stand since they simply aren’t a suitable 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 do not utilize them for this site since I do not need a lot of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Cdn Speed Up Website
All that stated, here are some of the larger image disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be quite complicated– specifically if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the distinct backend can lead to some developers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev website available to the public or merely not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they already do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never describe finest practice for the general user. Cdn Speed Up Website
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to view that video numerous 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 custom-made backend isn’t going to be a big deal (when you surpass the learning curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of website checklists to help repair 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.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And most of the times, support will just take care of all of it.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Cdn Speed Up Website
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, however those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured allows for less versatility also. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise costly to pay based on a number of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a surge 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 site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Business. And this point goes further if your site requires lots of plugins for full functionality.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t actually do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up having to do a painful migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for performance & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Cdn Speed Up Website
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even include many of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the cost. You cannot utilize them to spread out the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, but what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a strong product. Their prices 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 smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to worry about hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see what you consider their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more liberty/ much better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Cdn Speed Up Website