WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting WordPress Optimize Db
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 managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. WordPress Optimize Db
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name recognition and advanced features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, normally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a various method. 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. WordPress Optimize Db
I’ve used WP Engine for different tasks given that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business pointed out. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Optimize Db
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complex your site is, the more complicated the services to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of basic plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with an economical shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
But a slow website doesn’t suggest that you require a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may just need to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to stay quickly as you grow. There are lots of services … but either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. WordPress Optimize Db
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services since you are free to focus on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an integrated CDN, however they likewise provide international information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. WordPress Optimize Db
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support WordPress Optimize Db
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
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 lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult feature of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never understand if the story is due to the fact that they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or an expense.
I like to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has connected with really understood the great operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. WordPress Optimize Db
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially because their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large 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 use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a great deal of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually helped clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a typically costly situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. WordPress Optimize Db
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and only as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trusted VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k sees per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small 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 thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost 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 entire month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time repairing concerns.
Basically, if your time is better assigned far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. WordPress Optimize Db
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of clients, 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 want to focus on advancement & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous basic site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at needing to deal with technical development 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 budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is an essential factor, particularly being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third client type is a startup website owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on releasing a near-complete site all at once.
They don’t have any prior practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these kinds of customers, 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 functionality), instead of mass-market improvements 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 evaluation revision. WordPress Optimize Db
WP Engine stands out not just on present functions however likewise on creating brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development best practices have changed radically considering that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to incorporate best 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 fit for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many stand since they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some clients. I don’t use them for this website since I do not require much of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. WordPress Optimize Db
All that said, here are a few of the larger photo disadvantages 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 rather complicated– particularly if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they likewise don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the unique backend can lead to some designers making mistakes varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open to the public or just not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice clients than they already do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss finest practice for the general user. WordPress Optimize Db
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to view that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a big deal (as soon as you get past the knowing curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection 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.
Again– they have reasons why they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply take care of everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. WordPress Optimize Db
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also 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 somewhat uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or very real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for great factors, however those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured allows for less adaptability also. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a number of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element extra hosting expenses 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 deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Business. And this point goes further if your site requires lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot truly do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for efficiency & not having to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally visiting often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. WordPress Optimize Db
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even consist of a lot of the features you don’t 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 extra costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot utilize them to spread out the cost of your plan,specifically 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 & dish out your website files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, however exactly what is best for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a solid item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to worry about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more flexibility/ better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. WordPress Optimize Db