WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wp Engine Llc San Antonio Address
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first business to offer managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wp Engine Llc San Antonio Address
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting industry has 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 offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as an entire, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a different technique. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wp Engine Llc San Antonio Address
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various projects because 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” Here is their discount 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. Wp Engine Llc San Antonio Address
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, but the guideline is that the more complicated your website is, the more complex the options to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text site with a few basic plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site does not suggest that you need a larger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, however sometimes it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may just have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to remain quick as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … but either you or a developer must implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with extremely aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the precise chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Wp Engine Llc San Antonio Address
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting 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 among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to start filling the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or complicated the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are free to focus on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an incorporated CDN, however they also supply worldwide information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Wp Engine Llc San Antonio Address
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wp Engine Llc San Antonio Address
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 actually 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 aspect of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but 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 discuss in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to look for access, systems, and knowledge, all three require a financial investment of money, time and know-how.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website via chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually communicated with actually understood the great operations of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly 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. Wp Engine Llc San Antonio Address
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth 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 distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, 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 industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that even though security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe and secure 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 whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something occurs. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading 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 for free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have assisted clients who have been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & an usually pricey scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Wp Engine Llc San Antonio Address
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, basically as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k visits per month on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation 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 whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time fixing issues.
Essentially, if your time is much better designated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wp Engine Llc San Antonio Address
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first consumer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing basic site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential aspect, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s special backend and plan on releasing a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any prior habits or customizeds 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 offer support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Wp Engine Llc San Antonio Address
WP Engine excels not just on present features but also on producing brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out new developer features that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have actually altered radically because I started observing the market *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to incorporate finest practices into application & projects 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And numerous stand since they just aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some customers. I do not utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wp Engine Llc San Antonio Address
All that said, here are a few of the bigger image downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be quite complicated– particularly if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can lead to some designers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev website open up to the public or merely not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they currently do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never explain best practice for the general user. Wp Engine Llc San Antonio Address
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to view that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a huge deal (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site lists to assist troubleshoot 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 they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just take care of it all.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Wp Engine Llc San Antonio Address
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or very real physical limits), but 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 prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for good factors, however those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured allows for less flexibility as well. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a number of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to element extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your website requires many plugins for complete performance.
The exact same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot really do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for performance & not needing to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you really do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and generally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Wp Engine Llc San Antonio Address
Many shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even include a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional expenses & technical implementation 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 cost. You cannot use them to expand the expense of your plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a costly choice, especially compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, however exactly what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & routines.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to stress over 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 guarantee. So do a test install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more freedom/ better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Wp Engine Llc San Antonio Address