WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first companies to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
While they have plenty of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many methods -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses 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 website content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as an entire, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, typically with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a various approach. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
I’ve used WP Engine for various projects since 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer 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 & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” 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. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the services to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with an affordable shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a slow website doesn’t mean that you require a bigger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may just have to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay quickly as you grow. There are plenty of options … however either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have customized servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to start filling the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or intricate the site gets.
*Note 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 focus on speed factors that you can easily manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, however they likewise provide worldwide information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are actually 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 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 actually 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 tough aspect of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever 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 discuss in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 require a financial investment of cash, time and know-how.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has engaged with in fact knew the great functions of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of numerous issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically since their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). However they seem to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security basics are relatively straightforward:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something happens. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & a typically pricey scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reliable VPS (ie, your very 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 simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both which enable more storage & more sees (ie, generally as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s 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 charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time repairing problems.
Generally, if your time is much better designated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on advancement & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine handles 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, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at needing to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a 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 occur. The phone support is an essential factor, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup website owner that has the budget plan 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 website simultaneously.
They don’t have any previous habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this review revision. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
WP Engine excels not just on existing features but also on producing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even general web development finest practices have changed significantly since I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to incorporate best practices into implementation & 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And lots of stand since they merely aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some customers. I do not utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not require a lot of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
All that said, here are some of the bigger picture downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be rather made complex– particularly if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they likewise don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can result in some designers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or simply not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they currently do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the basic user. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to view that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a huge deal (once you surpass the knowing curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site lists 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.
Once again– they have reasons why they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply take care of all of it.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as 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 company has guidelines (or extremely real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, however those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured permits less flexibility also. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to element extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish 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 an Individual or Service. And this point goes further if your site requires many plugins for full functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot actually do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up needing to do an agonizing migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not needing to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that does not even consist of much 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 limits on local storage. Anything above the limits needs additional expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to spread out the expense of your plan,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than 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 pricey alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, but what is best for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a solid item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to stress over hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see what you think about their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more flexibility/ much better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. 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 quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins