WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Speed Up Website With Htaccess
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to offer managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Speed Up Website With Htaccess
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is necessary to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a different technique. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Speed Up Website With Htaccess
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various tasks considering that 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a current client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational 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. Speed Up Website With Htaccess
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complex your site is, the more intricate the options to speed become.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with a budget friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally extra plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow site does not indicate that you require a larger, much better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to transport a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay quick as you grow. There are lots of options … however either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Speed Up Website With Htaccess
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough information to begin loading the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right from the box, and have it stay that way no matter how big or complicated 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 might get with other services given that you are free to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an integrated CDN, however they also provide global data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Speed Up Website With Htaccess
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Speed Up Website With Htaccess
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard aspect of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never understand if the story is because they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I want to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three require a financial investment of money, time and know-how.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually interacted with in fact understood the great workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to expertly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after numerous issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Speed Up Website With Htaccess
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly because their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). But they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that even though security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally 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. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a lot of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & a typically expensive scenario (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 Website With Htaccess
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trusted VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I’ve also 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, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your installation 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 fee right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole 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 problems or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time fixing issues.
Basically, if your time is better designated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Speed Up Website With Htaccess
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is a crucial factor, particularly being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any previous habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once 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 client.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, so many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review modification. Speed Up Website With Htaccess
WP Engine excels not only on present features but also on creating brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have changed radically because I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to integrate best practices into application & 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And numerous are valid due to the fact that they simply 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 don’t utilize them for this site since I do not need a number of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Speed Up Website With Htaccess
All that said, here are a few of the bigger picture 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. Which difference can be quite complicated– specifically if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the distinct backend can result in some designers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site available to the general public or just not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they currently do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever describe best practice for the general user. Speed Up Website With Htaccess
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to watch that video several 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 substantial deal (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site checklists to help troubleshoot 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 in most cases, support will just take care of everything.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Speed Up Website With Htaccess
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, however those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured allows for less adaptability as well. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a variety of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to factor additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Business. And this point goes even more if your site needs numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t truly do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up needing to do a painful migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, 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 usually paying for performance & not needing to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the functions you’re getting, you truly don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally visiting often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Speed Up Website With Htaccess
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 (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that does not even include much of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the rate. You cannot use them to spread out the expense of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, however what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a strong product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to worry about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more liberty/ better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Speed Up Website With Htaccess