WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Ecomm Web Host Reviews
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to supply handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Ecomm Web Host Reviews
While they have plenty of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all differ in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
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 compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it’s important to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a various technique. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Ecomm Web Host Reviews
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various jobs since 2012. I don’t use them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business mentioned. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class client 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. Ecomm Web Host Reviews
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, however the guideline is that the more complex your site is, the more complex the services to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a few standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with a budget friendly shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
However a slow website doesn’t mean that you require a larger, much better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might simply have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain quickly as you grow. There are plenty of services … however either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Ecomm Web Host Reviews
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional 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 measures how quickly the server returned enough data to start loading the page.
Now here is the speed test of a standard WordPress install. WP Engine not only gets solid TTFB times however keep in mind how comparable the First Byte and First Render are to the Unoptimized website.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complex 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 might get with other services since you are complimentary to focus on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an integrated CDN, but they likewise offer worldwide data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Ecomm Web Host Reviews
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Ecomm Web Host Reviews
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good 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:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company 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 client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever know 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 review, the fundamental part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three need an investment of loan, time and proficiency.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has communicated with really understood the fine operations of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Ecomm Web Host Reviews
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). But they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals are fairly straightforward:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a lot of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully 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 take care of it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have assisted clients who have been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a normally costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Ecomm Web Host Reviews
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, generally 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 have actually also run lots of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time repairing issues.
Generally, if your time is much better allocated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Ecomm Web Host Reviews
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first consumer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients 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 guarantee their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that process take place. 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 site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on launching a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any prior routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make promises and provide support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, a lot of 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, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Ecomm Web Host Reviews
WP Engine excels not just on current functions however also on producing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have altered significantly since I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand enough web advancement to incorporate finest practices into implementation & projects 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And many are valid because they just aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some clients. I don’t utilize them for this site because I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Ecomm Web Host Reviews
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger photo disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be quite complicated– especially if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the unique backend can result in some developers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website open to the general public or simply not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they currently do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes good 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 finest practice for the general user. Ecomm Web Host Reviews
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, 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 customized backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (as soon as you get past the learning curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website lists to help troubleshoot all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons why they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply look after everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Ecomm Web Host Reviews
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, however those restrictions restrict adaptability and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured enables less flexibility as well. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a number of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to element additional hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible 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 permit on a Personal or Business. And this point goes further if your site needs many 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 seeking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, 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 an agonizing migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically 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 think of your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Ecomm Web Host Reviews
Many shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even include many of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits requires extra costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot utilize them to spread out the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is an expensive option, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, however what is best for you based upon your goals, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to worry about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more flexibility/ much better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Ecomm Web Host Reviews