WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Speed Up Mobile Website
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to offer handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Speed Up Mobile Website
While they have lots of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all vary in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as a whole, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is necessary to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a different method. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Speed Up Mobile Website
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous projects since 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business mentioned. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer service.” 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. Speed Up Mobile Website
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your website is, the more complicated the solutions to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a few basic plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish website does not indicate that you need a bigger, better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may simply have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to remain quick as you grow. There are a lot of options … but either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually customized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Speed Up Mobile Website
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra scripts, too many 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 data to start packing the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or intricate the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are free to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an integrated CDN, however they also supply worldwide data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Speed Up Mobile Website
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Speed Up Mobile Website
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (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:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the hard aspect of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never know if the story is since they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I want to try to find access, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of cash, time and competence.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the site via chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually communicated with really understood the great operations of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Speed Up Mobile Website
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically because their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But they seem to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That suggests 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 application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security essentials are fairly uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that although security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally 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 takes place. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have helped clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & a typically costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Speed Up Mobile Website
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. 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 very 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 enable more storage & more sees (ie, basically as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k sees each month on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or designer time fixing issues.
Basically, if your time is better designated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really 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 focus on their core markets. Speed Up Mobile Website
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on development & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous basic site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a crucial element, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a startup website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on launching a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any prior practices or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make promises and provide support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming 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, instinctive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Speed Up Mobile Website
WP Engine stands out not only on current functions however likewise on developing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually altered radically given that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to incorporate best 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many stand due to the fact that they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some customers. I don’t utilize them for this site since I do not require a number of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Speed Up Mobile Website
All that said, here are a few of the larger image downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be rather made complex– especially if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the distinct backend can cause some developers making mistakes varying from annoying 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 incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they already do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain best practice for the general user. Speed Up Mobile Website
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to watch that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a huge deal (once you get past the knowing curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety 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 they do all this. And in most cases, support will just take care of everything.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Speed Up Mobile Website
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, however those restrictions restrict adaptability and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured allows for less flexibility too. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a variety of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to element additional 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 website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Service. And this point goes further if your site requires numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot actually do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for efficiency & not needing to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the functions you’re getting, you truly don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Speed Up Mobile Website
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even include a number of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional 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 sites, you need to factor those into the price. You can’t use them to expand the cost of your strategy,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, however exactly what is best for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & habits.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to fret about hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see what you consider their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more liberty/ much better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive 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 a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Speed Up Mobile Website