WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Nz Web Host Reviews
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to supply managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Nz Web Host Reviews
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all vary in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer 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, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as a whole, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a various method. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Nz Web Host Reviews
I have actually used WP Engine for various tasks since 2012. I do not utilize them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a current client on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” Here is their discount 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. Nz Web Host Reviews
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, however the guideline is that the more intricate your website is, the more complicated the services to speed become.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a few standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with an economical shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a slow website does not indicate that you require a bigger, better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to transport a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might just need to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay quick as you grow. There are lots of services … but either you or a developer should execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the specific chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Nz Web Host Reviews
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that method no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are totally free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an integrated CDN, however they also offer international information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Nz Web Host Reviews
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Nz Web Host Reviews
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are truly offering 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 among 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 business 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 stated, the hard aspect of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never understand if the story is since they spoke with 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 deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to look for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of cash, time and know-how.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing better hitting all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the website via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has interacted with actually knew the great functions of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to expertly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of a number of concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Nz Web Host Reviews
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially since their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show 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 entire Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials 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 see that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s discouraging, laborious & a typically costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Nz Web Host Reviews
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trusted VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both which enable more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates each 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 month-to-month fee right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee 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 entire regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time repairing concerns.
Basically, if your time is better assigned far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Nz Web Host Reviews
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on development & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous basic site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing site owner who is irritated at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that process happen. The phone support is an essential aspect, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site all at once.
They do not have any prior habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, a lot of 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, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Nz Web Host Reviews
WP Engine stands out not only on existing features however also on producing brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented new designer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have changed radically since I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web development to integrate best practices into implementation & 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous stand due to the fact that they simply aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this site because I do not need a lot of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Nz Web Host Reviews
All that said, here are some of the larger picture downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite made complex– particularly if you have simply enough 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 lots of hosting companies, they likewise don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the unique backend can result in some designers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev website open to the public or simply not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more novice clients than they already do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the basic user. Nz Web Host Reviews
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to see that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a big deal (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website checklists to help repair all sorts of problems.
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 take care of everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Nz Web Host Reviews
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is also 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 somewhat uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for great reasons, but those restrictions limit adaptability and experimentation if your website might handle 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 not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured permits less adaptability too. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a variety of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor 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 deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Company. And this point goes even more if your website needs many plugins for full 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.
Additionally, you cannot actually do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up needing to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail 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 spending for efficiency & not needing to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally visiting frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Nz Web Host Reviews
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) dealt with more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour period 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 fairly transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as discussed previously that doesn’t 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 local storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional expenses & technical implementation 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 rate. You can’t 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 looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a pricey option, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, however what is finest for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to worry about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see what you think about their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more flexibility/ better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued 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 aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Nz Web Host Reviews