WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting WordPress Database Repair Optimize
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. WordPress Database Repair Optimize
While they have plenty of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all vary in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, however 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 greater rate 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 options, but as a whole, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a various method. This evaluation will take a 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. WordPress Database Repair Optimize
I have actually utilized WP Engine for different tasks considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or consultant 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 guarantee “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” Here is their promo 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 Database Repair Optimize
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, but the general rule is that the more complex your site is, the more complex the solutions to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text site with a couple of basic plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a slow site does not suggest that you need a larger, much better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but sometimes it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to remain quick as you grow. There are lots of solutions … but either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. WordPress Database Repair Optimize
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up 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, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin packing the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complex the website 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 since you are totally free to concentrate on speed aspects 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 integrated CDN, but they also supply global information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. WordPress Database Repair Optimize
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support WordPress Database Repair Optimize
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a big 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 business has grown & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard feature of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never know if the story is since they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I like to search for access, systems, and knowledge, all three require a financial investment of cash, time and knowledge.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing far better hitting all 3 boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the site via chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has engaged with really understood the great workings of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of a number of concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. WordPress Database Repair Optimize
I’m sure 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 display in the disadvantages). However they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security basics 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 utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a lot of security concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security companies 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 actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped customers who have been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & a normally costly scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. WordPress Database Repair Optimize
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and just up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which permit more storage & more visits (ie, essentially as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices 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 designer’s) time, their prices is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time fixing problems.
Generally, if your time is better assigned far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. WordPress Database Repair Optimize
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a crucial aspect, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s special backend and plan on launching a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any previous routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, so many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. WordPress Database Repair Optimize
WP Engine excels not only on existing features but likewise on developing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new designer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest 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 adequate web advancement to incorporate finest practices into application & projects 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 best suitable for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And numerous are valid since they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some clients. I do not use them for this site because I do not require many of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. WordPress Database Repair Optimize
All that said, here are a few of the larger photo downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be quite made complex– especially if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they likewise do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can result in some developers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website available to the general public or simply not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more novice customers than they currently do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never explain best practice for the general user. WordPress Database Repair Optimize
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to view 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 really going to be a big offer (once you surpass the learning curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website checklists to help fix all sorts of problems.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons why they do all this. And most of the times, support will just take care of all of it.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to enter 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 are familiar. WordPress Database Repair Optimize
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or very genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for good reasons, but those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured allows for less adaptability also. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, however it’s also expensive to pay based upon a number of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to element additional hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible 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 enable on an Individual or Service. And this point goes even more if your site requires numerous plugins for complete performance.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot truly do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up having to do a painful migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically paying for performance & not having to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically visiting often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. WordPress Database Repair Optimize
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy 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 rather a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t even consist of many of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires extra expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot use them to expand the expense of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a pricey option, especially compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, but exactly what is finest for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a strong item. Their rates 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 unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to stress over hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more liberty/ better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer care.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. WordPress Database Repair Optimize