WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Kinsta Vs Wp Engine
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first business to offer handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Kinsta Vs Wp Engine
While they have plenty of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all vary in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as an entire, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a different method. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Kinsta Vs Wp Engine
I have actually used WP Engine for different tasks because 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely 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 client or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer 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. Kinsta Vs Wp Engine
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, however the guideline is that the more intricate your site is, the more complicated the services to speed become.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a few basic plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a budget friendly shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically additional plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
But a slow website does not indicate that you require a larger, much better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to remain quick as you grow. There are plenty of services … but either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the precise chokepoint to get your website moving. Kinsta Vs Wp Engine
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated 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 measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin packing the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that way no matter how big or intricate the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are free to concentrate on speed factors that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an integrated CDN, however they also offer worldwide information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Kinsta Vs Wp Engine
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Kinsta Vs Wp Engine
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my 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 stated, the hard aspect of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a business treats 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 proficiency.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually connected with in fact knew 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 between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Kinsta Vs Wp Engine
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially due to the fact that their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). 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 Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security basics are fairly simple:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something happens. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a great deal of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually helped clients who have actually been. It’s aggravating, tedious & a typically 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. Kinsta Vs Wp Engine
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which enable more storage & more sees (ie, basically as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & 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 entire monthly cost right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or designer time fixing issues.
Essentially, if your time is better allocated far from technical concerns, 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 a financial investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Kinsta Vs Wp Engine
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing fundamental site upkeep. 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 website owner who is frustrated at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise established 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 an essential element, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a start-up site owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any prior habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Kinsta Vs Wp Engine
WP Engine excels not only on current functions but also on producing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out new designer features that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have altered radically considering that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web advancement to integrate finest practices into execution & projects with designers.
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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And numerous are valid since they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this site since I do not require a number of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Kinsta Vs Wp Engine
All that stated, here are some of the larger image downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be rather made complex– particularly if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the special backend can cause some designers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open up to the public or simply not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they already do.
Like many custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never describe finest practice for the general user. Kinsta Vs Wp Engine
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to enjoy that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a substantial deal (once you get past the knowing curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of website checklists to assist fix 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.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And in many cases, support will just take care of all of it.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Kinsta Vs Wp Engine
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, however those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized 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 method their rates is structured permits less adaptability also. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, but it’s also expensive to pay based upon a variety of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor additional hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Service. And this point goes further if your website requires numerous plugins for complete performance.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot really do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not needing to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based on the features you’re getting, you actually do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Kinsta Vs Wp Engine
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” site owners how quickly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that does not even consist of many of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot utilize them to spread out the expense of your plan,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, especially compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best overall, however what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a fantastic service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched 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 what you consider their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more flexibility/ better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer service.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Kinsta Vs Wp Engine