WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting WordPress Backup Sftp
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first companies to offer managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. WordPress Backup Sftp
While they have a lot of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all vary in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as an entire, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it’s important to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a different 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. WordPress Backup Sftp
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous projects considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), however 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 get referral fees from any business mentioned. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class client service.” 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. WordPress Backup Sftp
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, however the general rule is that the more complex your site is, the more complex the solutions to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a few standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally extra plugins, custom style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a slow website does not imply that you need a bigger, much better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, however often it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to remain fast as you grow. There are lots of options … however either you or a designer should execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with very aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. WordPress Backup Sftp
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to start filling the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that way no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, however they likewise provide international data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. WordPress Backup Sftp
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support WordPress Backup Sftp
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a big emphasis 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 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 thing about customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never know if the story is because they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I prefer to try to find access, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of loan, time and know-how.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website through chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has communicated with really understood 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 in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after a number of concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. WordPress Backup Sftp
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly because their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But 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 means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials are fairly 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 utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe is still eventually 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 everything off-site & ready to roll back if something happens. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a lot of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a generally expensive scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. WordPress Backup Sftp
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which permit more storage & more sees (ie, essentially as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k sees per month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates each 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 monthly cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time repairing problems.
Basically, if your time is better allocated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. WordPress Backup Sftp
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears 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 customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a 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 & consumer support to make that process take place. The phone support is an essential aspect, especially being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a start-up site owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s special backend and plan on releasing a near-complete site all at once.
They don’t have any prior routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. WordPress Backup Sftp
WP Engine excels not just on existing features however likewise on developing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented new developer features that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even basic web development finest practices have changed significantly given that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to incorporate finest practices into execution & 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And many stand since they just 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 consumers. I don’t utilize them for this site because I do not require a number of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. WordPress Backup Sftp
All that stated, here are a few of the larger photo downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be quite made complex– particularly if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the special backend can lead to some designers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or just not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they already do.
Like many custom platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never explain best practice for the general user. WordPress Backup Sftp
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to enjoy that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (as soon as you get past the knowing curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of website checklists to help fix all sorts of concerns.
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 most of the times, support will simply take care of it all.
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 managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. WordPress Backup Sftp
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for good factors, but those restrictions limit flexibility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured allows for less adaptability also. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise pricey to pay based upon a number of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to factor extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Company. And this point goes further if your site needs numerous plugins for full performance.
The very same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you cannot truly do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for performance & not having to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the functions you’re getting, you truly do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. WordPress Backup Sftp
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even include a number of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits requires additional expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to spread out the expense of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, however what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a great service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to worry about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at 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. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more flexibility/ much better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer care.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. WordPress Backup Sftp