WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Media Temple WordPress Backups
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first companies to supply managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Media Temple WordPress Backups
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all vary in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as a whole, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is essential to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a various approach. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Media Temple WordPress Backups
I’ve used WP Engine for various tasks given that 2012. I don’t use them for my main websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business discussed. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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. Media Temple WordPress Backups
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, however the guideline is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the options to speed become.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with an inexpensive shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally extra plugins, customized theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
However a slow site doesn’t suggest that you require a larger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may just need to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to stay quick as you grow. There are lots of services … however either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the precise chokepoint to get your website moving. Media Temple WordPress Backups
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing 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 style, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to start filling the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that way no matter how big or complex the website gets.
*Keep in mind 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 free to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an integrated CDN, but they likewise provide global data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Media Temple WordPress Backups
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Media Temple WordPress Backups
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put 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 & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult thing about customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never understand 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 point out in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three require a financial investment of cash, time and expertise.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the website by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has communicated with really understood the great operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to expertly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after numerous problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Media Temple WordPress Backups
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially due to the fact that their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the downsides). 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 Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility 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 eventually 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 whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something happens. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a great deal of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have assisted customers who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a generally expensive circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Media Temple WordPress Backups
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and just up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup 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 check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge 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 could be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time repairing issues.
Basically, if your time is much better allocated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Media Temple WordPress Backups
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on development & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a much better host.
They’re also established 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 take place. The phone support is a key element, especially being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site at one time.
They don’t have any previous practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make pledges and supply support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, numerous of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Media Temple WordPress Backups
WP Engine stands out not only on existing features but also on producing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new designer features that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have changed radically considering that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web development to incorporate finest practices into execution & projects 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 best fit for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And lots of stand due to the fact that they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some customers. I don’t use them for this site since I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Media Temple WordPress Backups
All that stated, here are some of the bigger photo drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be rather made complex– especially if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can result in some designers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website open to the general public or merely not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they currently do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never describe best practice for the general user. Media Temple WordPress Backups
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to enjoy that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a huge deal (once you get past the knowing curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website checklists to help repair all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply look after everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Media Temple WordPress Backups
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or very genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for good factors, but those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured allows for less adaptability also. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a variety of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to element additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish 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 allow on a Personal or Service. And this point goes further if your website requires many plugins for complete performance.
The very same goes for 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 utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t actually do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up needing to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for efficiency & not having to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Media Temple WordPress Backups
Many shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that does not even include a number of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits needs extra costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t utilize them to spread out the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, but what is finest for you based upon your objectives, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to stress over hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see exactly what you think of their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more freedom/ better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer support.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Media Temple WordPress Backups