WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Non Profit
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first business to supply handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Non Profit
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and advanced features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all vary in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, 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 competitor 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 standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a different approach. This review will take a 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. Wpengine Non Profit
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various projects since 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business mentioned. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational 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. Wpengine Non Profit
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, however the guideline is that the more complex your site is, the more complicated the services to speed become.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a slow site doesn’t imply that you need a larger, much better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay fast as you grow. There are lots of solutions … however either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with extremely aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Wpengine Non Profit
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to start loading the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right from package, and have it stay that method 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 even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are totally free to focus on speed elements that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, but they also provide international data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Non Profit
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Non Profit
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a huge 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 company has actually grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough aspect of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever understand 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 point out in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I like to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three require an investment of loan, time and know-how.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with really understood the fine operations of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Non Profit
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially because their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the downsides). But they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security basics are relatively 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 business arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that even though security on WordPress is simple, the duty 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 protected is still ultimately 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 & all set to roll back if something happens. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a lot of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have helped clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a normally costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Non Profit
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both of which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time repairing issues.
Essentially, if your time is better allocated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Non Profit
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some spending 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 key factor, particularly being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on launching a near-complete website simultaneously.
They do not have any prior practices or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating 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, instinctive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Wpengine Non Profit
WP Engine excels not just on present functions but also on creating new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new developer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even general web advancement best practices have altered radically because I began observing the market *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to integrate best practices into application & 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And many stand due to the fact that they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, 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 require much of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Non Profit
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger photo drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be rather complicated– particularly if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the distinct backend can lead to some designers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website available to the public or just not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they already do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the basic user. Wpengine Non Profit
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to enjoy that video multiple 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 backend isn’t going to be a substantial deal (once you get past the knowing curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of website lists to assist repair 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 simply take care of all of it.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wpengine Non Profit
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is also associated with 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 foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or extremely genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define 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 local storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for good factors, but those restrictions restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured permits less flexibility as well. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s also pricey to pay based upon a variety of check outs.
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 need to factor extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile 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 allow on an Individual or Business. And this point goes further if your site needs many plugins for full functionality.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t really do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up having to do a painful migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for efficiency & not needing to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you really do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Wpengine Non Profit
Lots of 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) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” site owners how quickly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even include much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted 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 can’t use them to spread out the expense of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, however exactly what is finest for you based upon your goals, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a terrific service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to stress over hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think of their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more flexibility/ better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. 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 quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wpengine Non Profit