WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Website That Speeds Up Music
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to provide handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Website That Speeds Up Music
While they have a lot of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all differ in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as a whole, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is necessary to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a various approach. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Website That Speeds Up Music
I’ve utilized WP Engine for different jobs because 2012. I do not use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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. Website That Speeds Up Music
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the general rule is that the more intricate your site is, the more intricate the options to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text site with a few standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally extra plugins, custom style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site does not mean that you require a bigger, better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, however sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming 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 huge enough when you may simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to stay fast as you grow. There are lots of services … however either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with very aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and identify the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Website That Speeds Up Music
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right out of package, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or complex the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because you are free to focus on speed factors that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, but they likewise provide global data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Website That Speeds Up Music
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Website That Speeds Up Music
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 company has actually grown & changed 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 feature of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never understand if the story is since they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I want to look for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 require an investment of money, time and know-how.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually connected with actually knew the fine operations of WordPress and has been able 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 during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Website That Speeds Up Music
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). However they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security basics are fairly 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that even though security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe is still eventually 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 whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a generally expensive situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Website That Speeds Up Music
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both of which enable more storage & more sees (ie, basically as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k sees per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup 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 regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or developer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better designated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Website That Speeds Up Music
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first consumer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing basic site maintenance. 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 site owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a key aspect, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third consumer type is a startup website owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s special backend and plan on launching a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make pledges and provide support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, so many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Website That Speeds Up Music
WP Engine stands out not just on current features however also on producing new, innovative hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented new developer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have actually changed radically because I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web development to incorporate best practices into application & tasks with developers.
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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of are valid since they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this website because I do not need many of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Website That Speeds Up Music
All that said, here are a few of the larger picture downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be rather complicated– specifically if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they likewise do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can cause some developers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open to the public or just not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they currently do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the general user. Website That Speeds Up Music
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to see that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a substantial deal (as soon as you get past the knowing curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site checklists to assist 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.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply look after everything.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter into 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 recognize. Website That Speeds Up Music
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for great factors, however those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured permits less versatility too. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise pricey to pay based upon a variety of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to factor extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want 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 enable on a Personal or Company. And this point goes even more if your site needs many plugins for full performance.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot actually do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for efficiency & not needing to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the functions you’re getting, you really don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Website That Speeds Up Music
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that does not even include much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional costs & technical application 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 plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, but exactly what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a solid product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to fret about hosting problems.
If handled 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 install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more liberty/ much better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Website That Speeds Up Music