WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Speed Up Website WordPress Plugin
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to offer handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Speed Up Website WordPress Plugin
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all differ in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, however 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 website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is essential to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a different technique. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Speed Up Website WordPress Plugin
I’ve used WP Engine for numerous tasks given that 2012. I do not use them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies pointed out. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, powerful 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. Speed Up Website WordPress Plugin
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more complicated the services to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text site with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally extra plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds 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 indicate that you require a bigger, much better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might just need to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to remain fast as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … but either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the specific chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Speed Up Website WordPress Plugin
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a customized caching setup.
The fascinating 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 customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin loading the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that way no matter how big or complex the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are totally free to focus on speed aspects that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an incorporated CDN, however they also supply global information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Speed Up Website WordPress Plugin
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 WordPress Plugin
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very 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 difficult aspect of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is since they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I want to look for access, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of loan, time and know-how.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website through chat.
Based on their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has interacted with in fact understood the fine operations of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after a number of problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Speed Up Website WordPress Plugin
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly since their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). But they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security essentials are relatively uncomplicated:
- 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 observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is simple, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something takes place. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have assisted clients who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a generally expensive scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Speed Up Website WordPress Plugin
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and only as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, basically as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire regular 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 cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses 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 far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Speed Up Website WordPress Plugin
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential element, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on releasing a near-complete site all at once.
They don’t have any previous practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements 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 WordPress Plugin
WP Engine excels not just on existing features however likewise on producing brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented new designer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have actually altered significantly because I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to integrate best practices into implementation & tasks 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 very best fit for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And numerous are valid due to the fact that they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some clients. I do not utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not need many of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Speed Up Website WordPress Plugin
All that said, here are a few of the larger photo disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite made complex– especially if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can cause some designers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev website open to the public or just not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they currently do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the basic user. Speed Up Website WordPress Plugin
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to custom 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 right IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a big deal (when you get past the knowing curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website checklists to help repair all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply look after everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Speed Up Website WordPress Plugin
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or very real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior for great factors, however those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. 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 allows for less versatility as well. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also expensive to pay based on a variety 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 element extra hosting bills 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 Service. And this point goes further if your website needs many plugins for complete functionality.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot really do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for performance & not having to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you actually do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Speed Up Website WordPress Plugin
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the 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 fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even include a number of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional expenses & technical execution 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 websites, you have to factor those into the price. You can’t use them to expand the expense of your plan,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a costly choice, especially compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, however what is best for you based on your goals, budget, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans 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 fret about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see what you consider their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more freedom/ better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer care.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Speed Up Website WordPress Plugin