WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting How To Speed Up Php Mysql Website
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to supply managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. How To Speed Up Php Mysql Website
While they have plenty of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled 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 place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all vary in services supplied. Some just 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 truly purchasing 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 price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as an entire, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is essential to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a different technique. 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. How To Speed Up Php Mysql Website
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous jobs given that 2012. I do not use them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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. How To Speed Up Php Mysql Website
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your website is, the more complicated the solutions to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a couple of basic plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually extra plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow site does not mean that you need a larger, better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but sometimes it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to remain fast as you grow. There are a lot of services … however either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the precise chokepoint to get your website moving. How To Speed Up Php Mysql Website
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough information to start loading the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are totally free to focus on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, however they likewise supply international data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. How To Speed Up Php Mysql Website
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support How To Speed Up Php Mysql Website
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my 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 hard thing about client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never know if the story is because they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention 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 try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three need an investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all three boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the site via chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has engaged with in fact knew the fine workings of WordPress and has 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 client, 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, but he was able to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. How To Speed Up Php Mysql Website
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically because their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the downsides). But they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the required financial 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 nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a great deal of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & an usually costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. How To Speed Up Php Mysql Website
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both of which enable more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens 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 thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty 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 check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or developer time repairing problems.
Basically, if your time is much better assigned far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. How To Speed Up Php Mysql Website
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing fundamental site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is a key aspect, particularly being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third consumer type is a startup site owner that has the budget and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s special backend and plan on introducing a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any previous routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make pledges and supply support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. How To Speed Up Php Mysql Website
WP Engine excels not just on existing functions however likewise on producing new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have altered significantly given that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to integrate finest practices into execution & 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 everybody. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And many stand 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 good suitable for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this site because I do not require much of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. How To Speed Up Php Mysql Website
All that stated, here are some of the larger image disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite made complex– specifically if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the distinct backend can cause some developers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site available to the general public or just not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more novice clients than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss finest practice for the general user. How To Speed Up Php Mysql Website
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to view that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial deal (when you get past the learning curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover 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 plethora of website lists to assist 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 in many cases, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to get into 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 are familiar. How To Speed Up Php Mysql Website
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for good factors, however those restrictions limit flexibility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured enables less versatility also. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise costly to pay based on a number of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect extra hosting expenses 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 handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Company. And this point goes further if your site requires lots of plugins for full functionality.
The very same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you cannot actually do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up needing to do an agonizing migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically paying for performance & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the functions you’re getting, you really don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. How To Speed Up Php Mysql Website
Many shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how quickly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even include a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires additional costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t use them to spread out the cost of your strategy,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a costly choice, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, however exactly what is best for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use an excellent service with a solid product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to worry about hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see what you consider their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more freedom/ much better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. How To Speed Up Php Mysql Website