WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Magento Website Speed Up
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first business to supply managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Magento Website Speed Up
While they have plenty of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all differ in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, 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 site material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however 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, but it is very important to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a different method. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Magento Website Speed Up
I’ve used WP Engine for various jobs considering that 2012. I do not use them for my main websites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business pointed out. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” Here is their promotion 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. Magento Website Speed Up
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your website is, the more intricate the services to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a few basic plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically extra plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
But a slow website does not suggest that you require a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, however often it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to stay quick as you grow. There are lots of solutions … however either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Magento Website Speed Up
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to begin packing the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right out of package, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complex 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 might get with other services given that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, but they also offer global information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Magento Website Speed Up
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Magento Website Speed Up
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 actually grown & altered a lot ever since. 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 so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever know if the story is due to the fact that they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I prefer to look for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of cash, time and proficiency.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has communicated with actually knew the fine workings of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Magento Website Speed Up
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially since their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). However they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are relatively 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially 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. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a lot of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have assisted clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a normally expensive situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Magento Website Speed Up
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost 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 each month.
Both of which permit more storage & more gos to (ie, basically as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k gos to per month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or designer time repairing issues.
Basically, if your time is better designated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed 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. Magento Website Speed Up
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients 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 procedure, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on advancement & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that process happen. The phone support is a key aspect, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup site owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s special backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this review revision. Magento Website Speed Up
WP Engine stands out not just on existing functions but likewise on developing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new developer features that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have altered radically since I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web advancement to integrate finest practices into implementation & projects with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many are valid because they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some customers. I do not use them for this website because I do not need a number of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Magento Website Speed Up
All that said, here are a few of the larger photo downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be rather made complex– especially if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the unique backend can cause some developers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open to the public or merely not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they already do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the general user. Magento Website Speed Up
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to enjoy 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 customized backend isn’t going to be a big deal (once you surpass the knowing curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website checklists to assist 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 why they do all this. And most of the times, support will just look after it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Magento Website Speed Up
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit more to specify what you can and cannot 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 habits for great factors, but those restrictions limit versatility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured allows for less versatility also. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s also expensive to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your site requires lots of plugins for full performance.
The exact 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.
Additionally, you cannot truly do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
Either way, 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 normally paying for performance & not having to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you actually don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Magento Website Speed Up
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed earlier that doesn’t even include many of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to expand the expense of your plan,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, however what is finest for you based upon your goals, budget, resources & routines.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to fret about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more freedom/ better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Magento Website Speed Up