WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Speed Up Joomla Website Load Time
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first business to offer managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Speed Up Joomla Website Load Time
While they have a lot of competitors 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 functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has actually 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 supplied. 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 actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however as an entire, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it’s important to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a different approach. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Speed Up Joomla Website Load Time
I have actually used WP Engine for different tasks given that 2012. I don’t use them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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. Speed Up Joomla Website Load Time
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, however the general rule is that the more complex your website is, the more complicated the solutions to speed become.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with a budget friendly shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually extra plugins, custom-made theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site does not imply that you need a bigger, better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may just have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to stay fast as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … but either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have customized servers with very aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the precise chokepoint to get your website moving. Speed Up Joomla Website Load Time
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional 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 data to begin filling the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right out of package, and have it stay that method no matter how big or complex the website gets.
*Keep in mind 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 considering that you are totally free to focus on speed factors that you can easily manage 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 provide international data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Speed Up Joomla Website Load Time
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Speed Up Joomla Website Load Time
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a huge 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 business has actually grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the difficult thing about customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever know if the story is since they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or a cost.
I want to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need an investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site via chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually connected with actually knew the fine functions of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after several concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Speed Up Joomla Website Load Time
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically due to the fact that their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials 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 despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Much 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 & performance, WP Engine essentially 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 takes place. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee 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), but have actually helped clients who have been. It’s frustrating, tedious & an usually expensive circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Speed Up Joomla Website Load Time
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, essentially as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k visits monthly 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 disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or developer time fixing problems.
Generally, if your time is better assigned away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Speed Up Joomla Website Load Time
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their client 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 including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing site owner who is irritated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process happen. The phone support is an essential factor, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third consumer type is a startup site owner that has the budget and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on introducing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make pledges and provide support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, so many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this review revision. Speed Up Joomla Website Load Time
WP Engine stands out not just on current functions but also on developing brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web development finest practices have changed significantly because I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web development to incorporate best practices into application & jobs with designers.
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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of stand due to the fact that they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this website since I do not require many of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Speed Up Joomla Website Load Time
All that said, here are a few of the larger photo drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be quite complicated– specifically if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the unique backend can result in some designers making mistakes varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open to the general public or merely not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more novice clients than they already do.
Like many custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the basic user. Speed Up Joomla Website Load Time
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to watch that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (when you surpass the learning curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website checklists to assist troubleshoot 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.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply look after everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Speed Up Joomla Website Load Time
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, however those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates 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 also costly to pay based on a number of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to factor additional hosting costs 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 handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Company. And this point goes even more if your website needs many plugins for full functionality.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are wanting to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot actually do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up having to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for performance & not having to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Speed Up Joomla Website Load Time
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (operating on a shared hosting plan 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 deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed earlier that doesn’t even include much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to spread out the expense of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a costly option, especially compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, but exactly what is best for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a fantastic service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t 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 warranty. So do a test install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more liberty/ much better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Speed Up Joomla Website Load Time