WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting WordPress Optimize Etmek
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to provide managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. WordPress Optimize Etmek
While they have plenty of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name recognition and advanced features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all differ in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
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 compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is necessary to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a various technique. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. WordPress Optimize Etmek
I have actually utilized WP Engine for different projects because 2012. I don’t use them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies pointed out. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular speed, effective 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. WordPress Optimize Etmek
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more complex the options to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally additional plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow site doesn’t suggest that you require a larger, much better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might just need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to stay quickly as you grow. There are plenty of services … but either you or a developer should execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the precise chokepoint to obtain your site moving. WordPress Optimize Etmek
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well 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 puffed up style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough information to begin loading the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that way no matter how big or complicated the website gets.
*Note 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 because you are free to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, however they likewise supply worldwide data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. WordPress Optimize Etmek
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support WordPress Optimize Etmek
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually grown & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough thing about consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never know if the story is due to the fact that they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I want to look for access, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of cash, time and proficiency.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the site through chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has communicated with really knew the great functions of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of numerous issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. WordPress Optimize Etmek
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals are relatively 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that although security on WordPress is simple, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a great deal of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped clients who have been. It’s aggravating, laborious & an usually expensive circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. WordPress Optimize Etmek
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes every 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 charge right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time repairing problems.
Essentially, if your time is better allocated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. WordPress Optimize Etmek
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & design 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, releases the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a crucial element, particularly being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on releasing a near-complete site at one time.
They don’t have any previous routines or customs 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 provide support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. WordPress Optimize Etmek
WP Engine excels not just on existing features but likewise on producing new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new developer features that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even basic web development finest practices have actually changed significantly since I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand enough web advancement to integrate best practices into implementation & jobs 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous stand due to the fact that they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some customers. I do not use them for this site due to the fact that I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. WordPress Optimize Etmek
All that stated, here are some of the larger photo downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be rather complicated– specifically if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can cause some designers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open up to the public or just not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never explain best practice for the general user. WordPress Optimize Etmek
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to watch that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a huge deal (when you surpass the knowing curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site checklists to assist 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 that they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply look after all of it.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. WordPress Optimize Etmek
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for great reasons, however those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured permits less versatility too. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s also costly to pay based on a variety of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to element additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want 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 enable on a Personal or Service. And this point goes further if your site needs lots of plugins for full functionality.
The exact same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t really do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up having to do an unpleasant migration to another email company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for performance & not having to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically visiting regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. WordPress Optimize Etmek
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even include a lot of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to spread out the expense of your strategy,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, especially compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, but what is finest for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to worry about hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see what you think of their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more flexibility/ better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer support.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. WordPress Optimize Etmek