WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting WordPress Optimize Php
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to supply handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. WordPress Optimize Php
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all vary in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as a whole, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is necessary to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, normally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a various technique. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. WordPress Optimize Php
I’ve used WP Engine for different projects since 2012. I do not use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer 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 Optimize Php
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your site is, the more complicated the solutions to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally extra plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a slow site does not suggest that you need a bigger, much better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may just need to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay quickly as you grow. There are a lot of options … but either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. WordPress Optimize Php
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform since 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, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or intricate the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even much 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, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, but they also offer worldwide information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. WordPress Optimize Php
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support WordPress Optimize Php
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a big focus 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 company has grown & altered 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 hard thing about consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever know if the story is since they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I prefer to look for access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of loan, time and know-how.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually interacted with in fact understood the great operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after several problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. WordPress Optimize Php
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). But they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security basics are fairly straightforward:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that even though security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, 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. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually helped clients who have been. It’s aggravating, laborious & an usually costly situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. WordPress Optimize Php
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both of which enable more storage & more sees (ie, essentially as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole monthly 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 cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time fixing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better assigned away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. WordPress Optimize Php
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first consumer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases 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 standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical growth 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 spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is an essential element, especially being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a start-up website owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on launching a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any previous practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make pledges and provide support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, numerous of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. WordPress Optimize Php
WP Engine stands out not just on current functions but also on creating brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web advancement best practices have altered significantly since I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web development to incorporate best practices into execution & jobs with designers.
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 very best fit for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And numerous are valid because 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 customers. I do not use them for this website since I do not require a number of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. WordPress Optimize Php
All that stated, here are a few of the larger image downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be rather made complex– especially if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they likewise do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the distinct backend can lead to some developers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website available to the general public or merely not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they already do.
Like numerous customized 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 ever explain finest practice for the general user. WordPress Optimize Php
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to enjoy that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right 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 get past the learning curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site lists to help fix 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 they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just look after it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. WordPress Optimize Php
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for good factors, but those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your site might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured permits less versatility as well. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also pricey to pay based upon a variety of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Business. And this point goes further if your site requires many 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 aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t actually do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up having to do an unpleasant migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for efficiency & not needing to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the functions you’re getting, you really do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. WordPress Optimize Php
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly handle 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” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even include many of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits requires extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to expand the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a costly choice, especially compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best overall, however what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & routines.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a terrific service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to fret about hosting problems.
If managed 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 what you think of their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more freedom/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. WordPress Optimize Php