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My experience with WP Engine was largely negative for the various reason I outlined in the review. A lot of that sentiment is reflected in the comments but at the current time you should not trust your business with WP Engine.
When I first moved my WordPress hosting over to WP Engine I was highly impressed. They were very helpful, support took ownership of problems and site speed was incredible.
As someone that has been in the game as long as I have it is rare to find a hosting company that provided the level of support they did.
I have gone from singing their praises, to telling everyone to avoid them.
Here is an example of just some of the things they have done-
- Deleting live customer data without taking a backup
- Injecting a link to their homepage in my footer without permission
- Lots of site down time/slow loading
- Losing connecting to the server in the post editor
- Disabled fulltext mysql indexing without notification – this broke my RSS feed costing 60% of subscribers
- Repeat broken promises from their co-founder
- Support is a rolling joke
In this post I will share my WPEngine experience across the last 18 months and above all, apologise to all of the readers that moved their sites over to WP-Engine off the back of my advice.
I am truly sorry about all of the problems you guys have had.
So let’s get down to business and why you should avoid WP Engine.
I should also highlight that it’s very difficult to find an honest wpengine review, because they pay ridiculous affiliate commissions compared to other hosting companies.
So with that said, let’s get down to business with the only honest wpengine review on the web.
What Will I Learn?
- Why Are There So Many Positive WP Engine Reviews?
- Setting The Standard
- Website Speed
- 502/504 Bad Gateway Errors
- Time To First Byte
- Let The /Facepalms Begin!
- Terminating My Account
- When You Think It Is All Over
- What Do Other People Say About WP Engine?
- Which Hosting Company Can You Trust?
- WPXHosting vs WP Engine
- WPEngine Responds
- Detailed Video Review
- Resources In The Video
- Don’t like videos? Follow This Instead!
- Importance of Site Speed
- My Conclusion
- More about WP Engine
- Overall Thoughts
Why Are There So Many Positive WP Engine Reviews?
If you search around, you will find endless WP Engine reviews that cast them in a positive light. And there is good reason for that…
But not because they are a good web host, it’s because they offer affiliates a whopping $200 commission per sale.
In other words so many people give positive reviews of WP Engine – for the money.
If I can get someone to sign up to the $29 per month plan – WPEngine will pay me a $200 commission!
That is a 589% difference between what the customer spends with WPEngine versus what WPEngine payout to an affiliate which is precisely why there are so many positive reviews for WPEngine.
Especially when competing companies usually pay out in the $60-$120 range.
So if you have ever wondered why it’s possible to find so many positive reviews for WPEngine, well – money talks. Literally.
Let’s get into the meat & cheese of the only honest WPEngine review on the web.
Setting The Standard
When I first moved over to WPEngine 18 months ago the experience was absolutely awesome.
The support team were passionate about Wordpress and it was clear they were experts at what they did. They knew Wordpress inside out and were able to resolve any issue for you whether it was with a theme, plugin or Wordpress core.
I was amazed with everything and I can’t stress enough just how awesome they were.
Unfortunately setting this standard of awesomeness has ultimately led to my continued frustration and disappointment with them for a number of reasons.
Now the support team are clueless, it’s like a bunch of people that don’t really know anything about Wordpress have taken over and are just typing a script back to you.
Some of the responses they give are comical at best.
(I’ll be sharing them throughout this post).
WPEngine pride themselves on how fast they are, so let’s start with that.
When I first moved over to WP Engine my sites load time improved by 27% which was worth an extra $16,609 per year to me.
This was one of the main reasons I moved to WP-Engine, but over time that has seriously degraded-
- Loading the WP-admin login screen took 29 seconds
- Logging into WP-admin took 27 seconds
- Loading the comments area in the back end took 54 seconds
- Approving a comment took 28 seconds
- Loading a list of posts took 29 seconds
To put that in perspective to login and approve 1 comment it would take a total of 2 minutes & 38 seconds.
For every comment on the blog I wanted to approve, it took 54 seconds. That is a serious problem when you get as many comments as I do.
If you want to experience the pain in real time just watch this video-
Pretty painful right? Especially when they continue to advertise themselves as ‘insanely fast’.
Basically whenever the site has to read from or write to the MYSQL database the server cannot handle it. All of this started in the first week of May 2013.
Ps. You can learn to increase website speed yourself without changing hosts.
502/504 Bad Gateway Errors
Continuing with the trend of database problems I started to get 502/504 bad gateway errors on the front end and back end of the site which started in the middle of May 2013.
As the months went on the problems got worse until 5 months later in October 2013 the site was completely unworkable. This was also the period when their support started to seriously degrade.
Instead of taking ownership of issues and fixing them like they used to, they consistently palm you off with irrelevant excuses & finger pointing.
The 502/504 bad gateway errors were causing a number of issues-
First of all it was taking my readers nearly 20 seconds to load posts on the blog. Even with their bespoke front end caching technology – which causes its own set of problems.
If shaving just 1.848 seconds off my load time was worth an extra $16,609 to me a year, imagine how much money I was losing when load times increased 4 times over to 20 seconds.
Even my $0.99 per month host could load the site in 6.620 seconds.
Secondly, anytime I was trying to write or edit a post I was getting the error…
“Connection lost. Saving has been disabled until you’re reconnected. We’re backing up this post in your browser, just in case.”
This means that my local machine was losing connection with the server and timing out completely. This happened every single time I tried to edit, write or publish a post.
My previous $0.99 per month host didn’t have that problem.
Time To First Byte
On top of all of the above I had noticed that the Time To First Byte (TTFB) had increased to over 1 second.
This is the amount of time it takes to receive the first byte of data from the server after requesting a URL in your browser.
That is before the Wordpress application, theme, plugins or files start to load. Bear that point in mind throughout this post as those are the things they always tried to blame.
This is also one of the key things that Google uses to determine site speed and search rankings.
Let The /Facepalms Begin!
Now I should point out when it comes to servers & hardware – I know my stuff.
I usually play dumb with most things to see if people are honest and the WP Engine support team have failed that test at every hurdle.
It was clear to me there was a bottleneck with the MYSQL database somewhere and 502/504 errors are usually because the server has run out of resources to process the request.
These are the things the WP Engine team tried to blame for the huge decreases in site speed and huge increases in 502/504 errors.
The first thing was that outdated plugins will slow your site down. Here is the exact quote-
Which is funny, because the site had been using the exact same plugin versions when it was lightning fast.
But apparently because there were updates available to the plugins that slows your entire site down.
Database Table Size
The next thing they tried to blame was that a table in the database was too big. The table was only 50MB in size, the size a budget webhost can handle (see my full A2 Hosting review).
This table was part of the OIOPublisher banner advertising plugin that I use to serve ads on the site that would log stats when a reader loaded a page on the front end of the website.
They blamed the size of the table & the plugin itself, even though the plugin wasn’t getting called on the backend where most of the issues were.
I also pointed out to them that other much bigger blogs used the exact same plugin and were still lightning fast so it was unlikely the plugin was the issue.
I had also been running the exact same version of plugin for months without an issue – so on top of the above, it just didn’t make sense that was the issue.
But it was an easy issue for them to blame. So I did what they asked of me and it should come as no surprise that didn’t fix the issue.
It took them nearly 2 weeks to get to that after opening the initial ticket. What happened to all of the Worpdress experts?
Dodging Resource Allocation
One of the things I continued to ask support was how much actual CPU/RAM resource was allocated to each customers site.
This seems to be a very sticky question for WP Engine – a question I have asked over and over and over again, I even asked the co-founder to his face at Affiliate Summit.
The question either gets completely ignored or answered in a very vague way. If you are a current WP Engine customer ask the question, it’s funny watching them squirm with the answer.
Right from the beginning I had suspected they had overloaded servers and were unable to cope with their rapid growth.
After 2 weeks of going back and to with excuses they finally admitted the server was overloaded and they were going to move my site to a different server to see if that helps.
Problem solved right? Wrong.
Break All The Things
When they moved me over to a new server not only was the site still slow, but now I had no access to FTP and users could not login.
Even I was locked out of my own admin area.
This was because when they moved the site to a new server, they proxied over the old IP to the new IP internally so there would be no downtime on the front end which is a fantastic solution – if it worked.
First of all WP Engine installs a plugin called Limit Login. They don’t tell you they have done this, it doesn’t appear in your list of plugins and you can’t change the settings. It is completely invisible to you as the website owner.
So every time a user logged in, because of how they proxied over the IP it appeared that every single user was logging in from the same IP and performing a brute force attack on the site which locked everyone out including me.
Luckily I had the knowledge to get into PHPMyAdmin and manually change the setting in the database to unlock it so at least I could access the admin area of my site.
At the same time I had no FTP access – it took nearly 5 days of going back and to with them to get a resolution. If I didn’t have the knowledge to unblock my admin access myself, I would have also been without admin access for 5 days as well.
As you can see I was starting to lose my patience with them. Even when you told them exactly what was wrong & exactly what needed to change to fix things – they still argued the point.
Until eventually they realised I was spot on with the solution, the first time I told it to them. Never mind the 3rd, 4th & 5th time.
So at this point, the site is on a new server, it is still slow, I had no FTP access for 5 days and if it wasn’t for my manual intervention I wouldn’t have had WP-Admin access for 5 days either.
Then just a few days later-
The blog had just hit the most popular story of the week on Inbound.org which was driving a lot of targeted traffic, if the site was actually online.
It was down for a total of 3 hours during what would of been a record setting day of traffic.
So much for the new server huh!
Deleting Live Customer Data Without Permission Or Backup
Less than 10 days later the site was down again reporting the same 502/503 bad gateway issues that were first reported to them over 6 months earlier on May 16th.
Continuing on the trend of excuses, this time they tried to blame the number of comments in the database.
So without my permission the WP Engine team took it upon themselves to clear out all of the spam comments on the live database without taking a backup first.
The problem with that is an awful lot of you guys get flagged as spam when you’re not, so I go through the spam comments manually each month to approve the genuine ones.
Plus after deleting my live data without my prior permission or taking a backup, it didn’t actually fix the problem! I was not a happy bunny.
Then they tried to blame the fact that the site was getting too many spam comments and was slowing the entire server down.
I checked the logs myself and the site was only getting 1-2 spam comments per minute. When I publish a new post I get more genuine comments per minute than that!
Even a budget web host could handle that load!
The solution – install a captcha form to stop all the spammers. Ironically the Wordpress & security experts were unaware I could solve 1,000 captchas for just $1.39 while I’m asleep.
All that adding a captcha form does is inconvenience genuine users, it certainly doesn’t stop spammers.
All they needed to do was put the same time & effort into resolving problems as they put into creating excuses.
Grilling The Co-Founder Directly
At this point over 7 months after opening the first ticket about the speed problems, my patience was exhausted.
I flew half way around the world to Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas to find the WP Engine co-founder Ben Metcalfe and explained all of the issues I have had.
He assured me that he would take control of the problems and resolve them all, not only that but he would give me 6 months of hosting free of charge.
Awesome! I was confident that everything was going to get fixed. Unfortunately the very next morning the site was down for nearly an hour.
After Affiliate Summit was over WPEngine got in touch with me to resolve the issues as quickly as possible.
Here is the full email conversation that we had – notice how they dodge the resource question, again.
At last they had their best guys working on the problem, after 7 months of complaining and flying half way around the world!
I could sit back in confidence knowing that all of my issues would be resolved at long last.
I was wrong.
Amateur Wordpress Experts
It turned out that their ‘top guys’ were just as clueless about how servers and Wordpress works as anyone else.
Instead of trying to blame a plugin, this time they tried to blame the .htaccess file
Their top tech guy didn’t understand what basic level .htaccess code did. I don’t think I need to say anything more than that.
Emergency Account Migration
During this period I also got a notification they had migrated my site to another server, again.
This time they had identified that the site was using over 50% of the servers resources.
Which is funny because that is precisely what would be causing the 502/504 bad gateway errors I had reported to them 8 months earlier.
And just like the last time they migrated the site to a new server, they failed to check if everything was working properly which it wasn’t.
If All Else Fails, Ignore The Customer
Giving their top tech guys credit where credit is due, they came back with a list of possible reasons the site was performing so badly.
Well not really, they just installed a free plugin which gives you a basic overview of things.
The same guy that didn’t understand the basics of .htaccess was also trying to blame a plugin called MShots but he couldn’t locate it on my blog.
The reason he couldn’t locate it is because it’s part of Wordpress core functionality straight out of the box.
You would expect a Wordpress expert to know what is a plugin and what is a core Wordpress function.
Anyway we continued to do the dance, but dancing gets very tiring after doing it non-stop for 8 months.
That was the last I heard from support about the speed issues. They didn’t even bother to reply to the ticket after that.
After 6 days had passed and the site continued to be slow and/or unavailable I was getting flocks of complaints from readers. Enough was enough.
I sent this email to the co-founder & the rest of the top brass at WP Engine
Guess what happened next?
Absolutely nothing. Support never replied and neither did the co-founder who had promised to my face that he would resolve all of the issues and give me 6 months free hosting as compensation.
So after 8 months of the same issues, pathetic excuses from support, flying half way around the world and speaking to the co-founder directly the ‘Wordpress Experts’ couldn’t be arsed to reply.
That tells you everything you need to know about the company, the co-founder & how they treat their customers.
Do you trust your business with someone that handles themselves like that?
Using Customers Sites To Build A Link Network
I noticed a few days later that there was a keyword stuffed link to the WP Engine homepage in my blogs footer.
That was strange because I hadn’t put it there and it wasn’t visible in the footer.php file of my theme.
So how on earth was a link to the WP Engine homepage appearing on my blog?
If you take a look in the very bottom left corner of the screenshot below you can see it for yourself, they did a very good job at hiding it!
How sneaky is that? They were dynamically inserting a keyword stuffed link to their homepage at the server level. I couldn’t manually remove it!
Ben responded pretty quickly and promised to follow up with a call-
I told Ben not to worry and to just give me a call on Monday.
But in true WP Engine style that call never came, even when I followed up via email – that was ignored as well.
What makes this even worse is the fact that genuine businesses that have had their websites penalised or deindexed from Google completely for less than that.
But WP Engine still rank for the target term!
Deleted 60% Of My RSS Subscribers
It has taken me over 20 months of hard work to build up my RSS subscribers. It took WP Engine minutes to wipe out 60% of that effort.
That is 12 months hard work building my RSS subscriber base completely wiped out without a blink of an eye from WP Engine.
Around the start of April a reader emailed me to let me know my RSS feed wasn’t working. When I took a look at the source code of the feed I noticed this message-
“The used table type doesn’t support FULLTEXT indexes”
At that time I was actually sat with one of the head developers from the BBC. He took a look at it and told me exactly what was wrong.
Basically WP Engine had changed their MYSQL configuration to disable full text indexing – which my RSS feed relied on to function properly.
They had made this configuration change to the server without any kind of customer notification.
So with that knowledge in mind and confirming that was the issue with a few Google searches I opened a support ticket.
All they needed to do to fix the issue was enable full text indexing on the MYSQL database again. Its a 60 second job for anyone that knows what they are doing.
I told them what the exact issue was and what needed to change for it to be fixed, instead of just fixing it they continued with their usual line of excuses and palming the issue off.
Here is a list of excuses they came up with for that-
- A link to an irrelevant issue on Wordpress forums
- I had uploaded files that were not part of Wordpress (eg the PDF files behind the social lockers)
- Blackhat SEO applications & videos – a zip file containing a copy of my windows based software & a folder with MP4 video files
- The developer of a plugin – the plugin was working fine until THEY changed THEIR config
- Uploading any file to your account means they cannot provide any level of support
The level of stupidity displayed here is beyond what I’m able to put into words. None of those excuses had ANYTHING to do with MYSQL.
They might as well have said your RSS feed is broken because you brushed your teeth this morning.
What they should of said is sorry we changed our server configuration without telling you which broke your RSS feed & wiped out 12 months of your hard work. However we have now re-enabled that for your account.
Here is the full support ticket with them about that issue – which in true WP Engine fashion they just ignored and stopped replying to. At least they are consistent in one thing!
The funny thing is when I eventually moved to my new host and told them about the problem, they fixed it in less than 2 minutes.
Take a guess at what they did to fix it? They enabled fulltext MYSQL indexing on the table. If you don’t know anything about server configs I can’t stress how basic that is.
I wouldn’t like to put a $$$ value on what that specific issue cost me with WP Engine.
It took 20 months to build it to that level and WP Engine wiped out 12 months of that effort without a blink of the eye, which is the WPEngine way apparently!
Testing The Co-Founder’s Promise
When I spoke to the WP Engine co-founder at Affiliate Summit he told me they would give me 6 months free hosting as compensation for the problems I have had.
That never actually happened so 4 months after he made that promise I opened a ticket to see what was going on.
Yet again, that ticket went unanswered and was actually marked as solved the next day.
Turns out the co-founders promises are worth nothing. That is the kind of person you are trusting your business with when using WP Engines hosting services.
Terminating My Account
At the same time I had the ticket open about the RSS feed issue and asking about the co-founder’s promise of 6 months hosting – WP Engine decided to terminate my account.
Instead of taking 2 minutes to fix the problem they created when they changed their server configuration without notification and keeping their promise they decided to just cancel my contract with them.
They didn’t even provide a reason for that. When I asked for the reason they said to see the first communication which didn’t provide a reason. Such is the WP Engine support merry go round.
They did this on the 18th of April with 7 days notice. Except in the UK the 18th-21st was a public bank holiday. They terminated my account with just 3 working days notice.
That was also during a period I was packing and planning to move country. Suddenly I had to drop everything, find a reliable new host and move the entire site.
The knock on effect of that was the time I had planned to spend seeing friends & family for the last time, was spent running around cleaning up their mess.
When You Think It Is All Over
You would think that once WP Engine terminates your account and your website is no longer hosted by them, that would be the end of the problems.
But they weren’t finished with the clown act just yet!
They terminated my account as promised on the 24th of April 2014. Then on the 25th April they took money from my credit card for the next month of service.
The service they had just terminated. So even though I was no longer a customer with them, they continued to take money directly from my bank account.
Not only that but they actually hijacked the money for 10 days! Given all of the costs of moving to a new host I could have done with that money in my account.
But we have established the WP Engine doesn’t care about their customers or your business so that shouldn’t come as a surprise.
What Do Other People Say About WP Engine?
When I was at Affiliate Summit I spoke to a bunch of people about my problems with WP Engine and I was surprised to hear what other people had to say about WP Engine. It wasn’t great!
I also knew that my friend from MyTanFeet was having similar problems with them.
I felt bad because he moved his hosting to WP Engine based on my recommendation.
If you moved your hosting to WP Engine based on my previous advice I can’t stress how truly sorry I am for that!
Here is just some of the feedback I got from my readers about WP Engine when I mentioned the problems in last month’s income report–
As you can see the verdict is pretty much unanimous.
Which Hosting Company Can You Trust?
When WP Engine terminated my hosting I was in a desperate situation.
I reached out to some people for advice as I didn’t know which hosting company I could trust and Terry Kyle quite literally saved the day.
Terry Kyle knows his stuff when it comes to SEO & internet marketing.
He also runs WPXHosting which competes directly with WP Engine & his support team took care of everything for me.
Not only did they move the site, they fixed all of the problems that WP Engine couldn’t.
Remember the RSS issue that had the WPEngine team stumped even though I told them exactly how to fix it?
That took them 2 minutes to sort out. They also took care of optimising the blogs load times & setup the CDN for me. It was a truly painless experience during a moment of panic & desperation mid-moving country.
I cannot thank them enough for that! That level of service & support reminds me of the early days of WP-Engine. Take a look at my full WPX Hosting review to learn more.
I’ve also had some amazing experiences with Kinsta lately so I highly recommend you read through my Kinsta review before making any decisions.
WPXHosting vs WP Engine
So on top of the great service & support that WPXHosting has offered so far, what else do they do offer that WP Engine don’t?
Not only are they cheaper, they offer a huge range of features that WP Engine don’t.
One of the main ones is email support. If you host your site with WP Engine you need to buy additional hosting just for your email! That is not the case with WPXHosting.
I suggest you take a look at my full WPX Hosting review to learn more.
The Site Speed Challenge
However price & features aren’t everything – one of my main concerns is site speed, after all website speed optimization is money in the bank!
So who is actually faster – WP Engine or WPXHosting? There is only one way to find out!
UPDATED TEST: >Please read my new fastest Wordpress hosting case study for even more tests!
I ran a series of speed tests before the site was moved from WP Engine & then repeated the same tests after it was moved to WPXHosting.
I tested the home page, my top 100 blog tutorial and loading WP-Admin. I chose these pages because they were either the most visited, the most resource intensive or a combination of both.
I also tested each of these pages from the USA & from Amsterdam to make sure the site loaded quickly on both sides of the pond.
I used Pingdom (P) and WebPageTest (W) to test each of the 3 pages from both locations to be 100% confident in the results.
WP Engine Site Speed Results
|Page||USA (P)||Amsterdam (P)||USA (W)||Amsterdam (W)|
WPXHosting Site Speed Results
|Page||USA (P)||Amsterdam (P)||USA (W)||Amsterdam (W)|
Who Is Faster? Site Speed Summary
Using the WP Engine results as a benchmark, the table below shows if WPXHosting was faster or slower.
So if you see -20% that means WPXHosting was 20% faster. If you see +20% that means WP Engine was 20% faster.
|Page||USA (P)||Amsterdam (P)||USA (W)||Amsterdam (W)|
As you can see, it is quite clear that WPXHosting is considerably faster than WP Engine.
On average WPXHosting is 18.77% faster than WP Engine.
Not only that but WPXHosting only costs me $24.99 a month compared to WP Engine’s $212.00 in March.
WP Engine has a strange pricing system that changes based on how many visitors you have. I was on their $99 a month plan that allows 100,000 visits per month.
After that you pay $1 per 1,000 visitors so I had to pay an extra $113 in March.
And when they say 100,000 visitors they don’t actually mean 100,000 visitors. What they actually mean is 100,000 page requests, which is open to abuse.
For example I could buy 20,000 visitors from Fiverr for $5 and send them to your website. That would cost you $20 but it only cost me $5. Or I could just load up Scrapebox & have full control over your bill.
Either way WPXHosting is 18% faster & 76% cheaper than WPEngine.
Oh and the support team actually knows what they are doing which helps.
WPXHosting Testing Update
I recently published an updated case study to find the fastest Wordpress hosting that takes both WPEngine & WPXHosting through 7 rigerous tests.
The results might surprise you.
Wrapping Up My WPEngine Review
It is a shame to see the demise of WP Engine in this manner. Like I said at the start of the article they were one of the best hosting companies I had ever worked with by quite a stretch.
In my corporate career I have dealt with a range of hosting companies from the likes of RackSpace to HostGator – none of them could stand up to the service & support WP Engine used to offer.
In my opinion when WP Engine first started it was a business founded out of passion & innovation. That was clear from the level of support and knowledge displayed when I first moved over.
However I think they grew too quickly over the past couple of years which has caused them major problems.
Now instead of dealing with actual Wordpress experts, you’re dealing with customer service staff that have had minor Wordpress training & fail to understand the basics.
Last year Heather Brunner became COO which probably led to changes in how the company operates. Is it a coincidence the service & support started to degrade shortly after?
Then you have to consider the $15 million investment by venture capitalist firm North Bridge which pushes the focus towards money & profits rather than passion & innovation.
Investors don’t care about your business or your website, they only care about 1 thing – profit. It is also worth noting the passionate co-founder left the company shortly after that investment.
It feels like they have undergone serious cost cutting exercises to the demise of the service & support. I’ve worked in a number of companies where this has happened and it has never turned out well.
WP Engine need to remind themselves of their own values and if they had just followed their own customer support strategy I wouldn’t be writing this post.
There is a certain irony in that!
My advice is if you are a WP Engine customer – move your business away from them as quickly as possible.
My experience with WPXHosting has been awesome so far – hopefully they don’t follow WP Engines lead.
The WPEngine team have published a couple of responses on their blog this week.
The first one was very disappointing and just the usual marketing/PR propaganda with no actual substance or ownership behind it.
Anyone with any experience in marketing & PR will see straight through that.
The second one had a bit more substance to it but still failed to address the majority of issues highlighted.
For example they continue to dodge questions about-
- Resource allocation
- Why so many customers suffer from the same problems (see comments)
- Why so many customers reported these issues to them & were repeatedly ignored (see comments)
- Why the support team no longer contains Wordpress experts like they advertise on the front end – in their first response they admit support staff rely on a knowledge base. Eg they have hired people that know nothing about Wordpress
- Why they have a careless attitude towards the damage done to customers businesses, not even an apology
- Why they change server configs without notifying customers that break peoples sites/businesses
- Why website speed/load times/mysql issues have got worse over time
- Why they feel its ok to delete live customer data without permission or backup
- Why they flat out ignore customers at support & senior levels if they can’t resolve a problem
- Why they failed to keep their co-founders promises
- Why they deploy links on customers sites without permission
- Why they terminated my account
- Why they continue to take customers money after ending service with them
It would be nice to see them take some level of ownership & responsibility for the damage they have done to their customers businesses – I doubt that is going to happen.
I also asked them to refund all of the money I had paid to them & everyone that I had referred to them as an affiliate – they ignored that as well.
What Else Don’t They Tell You
There is something else that they do to your website without your permission or telling you.
When you move your site over to WPEngine they make serious WPEngine specific changes to core Wordpress files.
They don’t tell you what they have changed or which files they have made those changes in.
But what this means is when you try to move your site away from WPEngine, you are going to have a hard time getting it to work properly on another host.
I’m currently investigating this further but I will update in due course with my findings.
Are WPEngine Just A Glorified Reseller?
Added on 28th May 2014
One of the comments from Joseph pointed out that WPEngine are listed as a client of Linode who are a cloud hosting company.
It appears that WPEngine are just renting out cloud servers from Linode and then reselling them as premium hosting.
If you take a look at the price plans you can get an awful lot more bang for your buck than you can with WPEngine.
Not only that but you can have your own dedicated environment that won’t be overloaded with other clients paying a premium price.
After reading about the WPEngine infrastructure you would expect they actually have their own infrastructure.
But it seems that they are nothing but glorified shared hosting resellers with flashy branding and premium pricing rather than the hosting experts they claim to be.
If you want to help, please share this article on your blog
My Old WPEngine Review
I have taken down the original WPEngine review that I published because it was no longer relevant after publishing this.
However, if you want to check out my original review before all of the problems, just click the link below.
They still suck. I wanted to change my plans to add one extra site and there isn’t a way to do this automatically so opened a ticket. Even after 3 days, no reply or follow up. 4th day I got hold of somebody but he said they are short of staff. A simple thing like this should not take more than couple of hours.
You’re right. Thank you for sharing your experience!
I go to see everyday some blogs and information sites to read posts, but this webpage presents quality based content.
It is an amazing post and you explained in a detailed way. Nice to see this here. I will bookmark your blog for more details. Keep sharing the new things like this.
I am a wordpress developer since the beginning, means since 2004. I am wondering about the development since several years, in general. It seems that a number of influential people want to eliminate the business basis of thousands of wordpress developer to fill their own pockets. A perfect match to this is, in my point of view, the business model of wpengine, which rips off users. This makes me speechless in the light of being a studiopress customer since years.
But there is another alarming fact. While investigating in this I have seen that the most website articles and comments regarding to studiopress and wpengine are paid. The bloggers earn affiliate commissions, the comments written by the same guys and may be also well-known agencies. Therefore, donßt wonder about the one star rating of your current article.
It is really a shame!
Considering that the genesis framework is not one of the fasted as it is told very often by a lot of affiliates and the further development plan of wordpress publishing another major release at the end of 2020 I am sure that wordpress frameworks and page builder won’t make sense nowadays.
As I am a theme and plugin coder using genesis framework only if the client requested it I would recommend everyone to investigate as much as possible. Do not let yourself be blinded and make sure you’re
not getting ripped off.
Thanks Mike for your relevant comment! You’re right, always investigate before!
I’d like to add to all of the above: I’ve been peppered by WP Engine sales staff repeatedly over the last few weeks because of supposed “Major overages” on my account. This amounted to being 3GB over my storage limit (I think their storage limits are ridiculously low, especially for someone paying $2000+ a year, but very well, it was over). I was also a few hundred users over my monthly visit allocation, for which they charged me a few dollars in overages.
I quickly fixed my storage overage, but I’ve still been contacted at least a dozen times by three different sales people pushing upsells to tiers that are double-to-triple my already exorbitant hosting rate.
All the while, my quality of service has gone down down down the last six months. Slow responses, inept support team members, etc. At this moment I’ve been waiting in a chat queue for over an hour because my site crashed when I tried to restore from a backup.
It’s clear they’ve stopped caring about quality or service or innovation and at this point just want to extract as much profit as possible from their existing customers. Really a shame.
Ah no! Sorry to hear that! As you’ve just read my experience started well and took many turns (all for the worst). It sounds like you should start considering a new hosting service. I can show you the hosts from my last round of testing here (including WP Engine for comparison) – https://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/blogging/fastest-wordpress-hosting/
That’s a very thorough technical review of WP Engine. But here is the problem with it. You begin by pointing out WP Engine relies on Affiliate incentives to drive positive reviews. And then you yourself use a cloaked affiliate link to WPX Hosting. The link you posted
redirects to wpxhosting.com/?affid=5
Which makes me doubt your review and suggestion also.
This is why I recommend WPX Hosting – https://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/blogging/fastest-wordpress-hosting/. And the cost of doing all these tests are huge which is why I add affiliate links to try and recoup some of the expense.
Thanks for you honest review, but the question is, what wp hosting you recommended ?
I appreciate this content… You’re really genuine
Wow a surprising post considering seems like everyone promoting it the WP Engine giving the huge impression it’s the standard tool to host a wordpress blog, yet reading this forcing us to reconsider using their service.
Let’s hope they have improved their services now!
Hi there! I realize this is kiind of off-topic however I
had to ask. Does building a well-established webgsite like yours require a
lot of work? I am completely new to operating a blog buut I do write in myy diary on a daily basis.
I’d like to start a blog so I can eaqsily share my experience and feelingbs online.
Please let me know if you have any kind of suggestions or
tips for brand new aspiring log owners. Appreciazte it!
You’ll find everything you need here – https://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/blogging/
Great Article. I too left them a long time back. I didn’t see a speed improvement over when I was hosting with a shared host. So went ahead an purchased a nice little small Cloud server. My website has been fast and I am happy :)
I guess we both made the right decision!
Even a properly configured WordPress caching plugin on a $5 server and CloudFlare free plan can give below 0.5 second TTFB for a static site.
Might want to update your post, as this is from __gaTracker(‘set’, ‘dimension8’, ‘2014-05-28T08:00:24-06:00’)… Additionally, there are many, many problems with how you’ve presented some of the facts in this “review” that explain why I too would cancel my business agreement with you and terminate services.
What are the problems?
Thanks for this honest review. I got suckered into going with them based on Reddit recommendations. Apparently, WP Engine has a team of affiliate markets on Reddit. Paid over $100/mo for overpriced garbage.
Hey James, I’m sorry they got you too!
I recommended WPENGINE to a client so they could take control of their marketing site which was controlled by an overseas / global IT team. When the client got the quote of $24,000 per year it was quite a shock. Their site gets approx 50k pageviews and 15k uniques a month – not a large site by any means.
So when the client decided a shared solution (not the cheapest plan) was the best option, they received a long response with the following line which is disgusting:
“Furthermore, on shared, if any one of the 150+ other customers on your shared server has an unexpected spike in traffic, forgets/neglects to update their plugins/site and/or makes an error when updating their site, it can result in the server crashing, all of your ((redacted)) sites will be down also. Unfortunately, this happens quite frequently. “
I guess you won’t be recommending them anymore! Thanks for sharing George.
This information is just excellent. I appreciate the amount of research and hard work put in to present such a fantastic and informative article. Kudos to your experience in the field.
Thanks very much Harry!
YES! I agree with you 100% on avoiding WP-Engine at all costs. It may work well for people with low WP skills who want to feel “protected”. Personally, I think it prevents a site owner for doing a myriad of critical things for security and optimization.
Cheers Jim, couldn’t agree more!
Mate, you opened my eyes today. I could have been sleepwalking while using WP for last five years. Keep up your good work.
Haha, awesome! Will do and thanks
WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for tips kesehatan haji
Glad you found my blog, come back soon.
I’d just like to give my $0.02.
I run a site with ~100k/hits a month hosted on WPEngine which is soon to be moved off. I’m sorry to say your experience with WPEngine isn’t unique: it took support far too long to do basic things that I requested for this particular site (secure LDAP to AD, for instance). Couple that with unresponsive or ineffective support with no “escalation” paths as of the last time I used them, S3-integration flails, no follow-through from support or managers, and ever-increasing slowness has pushed me to migrate to a fully dedicated VPS at Linode. Ironic? Yes, given that Linode was at one point in time where the majority of their back-end was located.
Slowness was actually not an issue for our install up until the point where WPEngine switched from Linode to Google Cloud Platform for all(?) or a subset of their client base. After this change LDAP lookups / general responsiveness for our site plummeted. I even demonstrated to them the difference in response time with a test install on Linode vs. WPEngine.GoogleCloudPlatform and it was met with crickets. The only thing they could do was offer us a $600/month plan for a “dedicated” account, even they they were unwilling to give us clear numbers on the resources that would be dedicated to us.
With all that said, we’ve wasted way more resources and time on working with WPEngine vs. what we would have commited to spinning up a dedicated VPS and rolling it into our in-house management system. Live and learn.
Sorry to hear about that Joe and honestly I would love to see that data that you sent to them!
I’m only a small business owner with one site, but fast loading is important to me. I was ready to move to WP Engine, but not now. Besides your issues, the re-seller part really hit me. It’s deception at the very least and gouging the public. Thanks for your detailed post.
No problem Gust
Just moved to WP Engine after being with a different server for 3 years. First time my site is showing 502 errors and is completely down. Support saying server is being “attacked”. They are saying nothing can be done for now, so left with an e-commerce site with a running google adwords campaign to be down. the pain it has been to pause the campaigns and lose sales is unreal. cannot believe it as they looked to be so good!
Yeah the same problems I had it sounds like
although i haven’t tested wpengine but i would never spend money on that when we have linode….wpengine buys servers from linode and the same servers you can buy directly from linode from as less as 5$ pr month which is more then best for a starter site. the problem could be some technical skills but installing free panels like webuzo/virtaulmin etc is not that hard. i learnt them from online tutorial…and you can also use serverpilot to setup that servers.
Yes that was suggested in another comment as well which seems like a great solution!
Everything you describe is the problem I am having with websynthesis right now, the exact blame of plugins, theme, and I removed it all and same errors, delays in loading wp-admin. So frustrated it’s rediculous my site only gets 2500 visits per day at most, usually between 1500 and 2000, this level of performance is so frustrating.
Thanks for sharing this detailed and frustrating experience. I must say that I am rather perplexed. I moved my sites and a couple of clients sites over to WP Engine recently and have had a pretty good experience. Uptime is great, speed is good and support has been helpful. I find the speed to be better than a cloud server we rent, so all in all I was pretty impressed.
However, reading your post and seeing all the comments from different people out there, have made me wonder when things are going to go bad :(
Yeah its a shame but at least you are having a positive experience!
I’m looking into Traffic Planet. Spain based support chat and email only. That’s a deal breaker for me, I think…
They are super super responsive 24/7
Like Siteground, WPX Hosting (formerly Traffic Planet Hosting) is headquartered in Sofia, Bulgaria, has an Australian CEO (me!) and offers hosting in Chicago and London presently.
We have no presence in Spain.
Hi there, I’m a first time visitor here :) Funny, but I landed here by Googling “504 error wordpress frontend backend and phpmyadmin are unaccessable” – you see I even misspelled “unaccessable / inaccessible”. For those who’re curious – it turns out that my hosting provider was simply “restarting their services” without notifying customer, so everything is fine now.
However, I do confirm that WP Engine is not the best solution for your website. I’m not a technical Geek as Matthew here -, but still I was smart enough to use that “30 Days Money Back” thingy to cancel my subscription on WP Engine. I got my money back and to be honest, I was considering to move back to WP Engine at some point, but after reading this post I became reassured that my decision to cancel subscription was, well, the right thing to do.
My main reason – the more content I have the slower site becomes. I even tried to play around with subscriptions (select more expensive). Nah, still the same. And of course the price, like I mentioned, I’m not into all this phpmyadmin, htaccess stuff, but still I tried to compare in a, kinda funny way: I used Woocommerce > System Status. It has this list of information about the hosting environment. So, I compared this system info with other hosting providers (cheaper ones) – yeap, wpengine is expensive compared to other providers that have the same specs. That was the second reason why I used “30 days…money back” thingy.
However, I’m still not happy, as I mentioned above – I was searching for “504 error wordpress frontend backend and phpmyadmin are unaccessable”. But at least, I’m not overpaying….
There was something else I wanted to share, but I forgot. Embarassing stuff, well, buy for now… my hosting has fixed the 504 error. I’m off to work.
What terrible experiences. Great, you tell us about the real side of it (though I am not affected it is good to know to stay away).
Not the best situation but it is what it is
What hosting are you using these days? I see that Traffic Planet is now WPX hosting.
This blog is on Kinsta now because it out grew the environment at TP/WPX but is significantly more expensive. All my other sites are still with TP/WPX
I’ve been fighting with query speed for a good while now on a client’s site; 423,000 post meta rows and it’s nearly to a crawl in the backend.. This article is a great help to me, though all it’s really letting me do is shift the blame towards WPengine. We’re going to have to calm the clients down, then possibly move every client off wpengine to something else. This article will be a huge help explaining the issues to the bossman. Thanks for the thorough write up!
No problem Jarvis and I’m sorry to hear you are having problems. If you are dealing with serious sites like that you might want to consider Kinsta
Finally a neutral review from customer side without any affiliate links. Thank you so much for your review, this is helpful for me.
At first I’ll never trust any review with affiliate links, because a lot of reviewer recommend Site A, Site B, Site C, D, E, etc on their different post… come on…
I’m using Hawkhost for 10years, I love it and when I got a problem and their support and IT gave up, Their CEO give a hand and fix my problem in an hour, I feel like a premium customer. lol
But I want to try another company for my new site, because Hawkhost is small company compare to the others, so they just have a few plans on it, and don’t have wordpress hosting plan. I want to try wordpress hosting because I’m tired to manage my wordpress site by my self after my programer retired, especially security, site performance, etc it’s very confusing for me, and I want to focus to my content.
I thought to give a try WPengine, but I can’t find any neutral review, until I read your post.
Do you have another recommended site for wordpress hosting?
Yeah it’s easy to find good WPEngine reviews haha
I moved from WPEngine to TrafficPlanetHosting who have great support.
However the blog outgrew their hosting environment and now it runs on Kinsta which is considerably more expensive.
I spent 3 hours making site changes now all of a sudden the site has been reverted back. All changes gone. Hold times SUCK!!!!!!! They are oversold. AVOID AVOID AVOID AVOID AVOID.
Are you saying the database rolled back or something?
No, to many chefs in the kitchen. It was not their fault. Hold times are still painful though. I dunno, is it worth the cost?
I’ve been running 10-15 sites on wp engine for about two years now and have never had a single problem. several of my sites are high traffic (upwards of 15 million visits a month) and I’ve never experienced any down time (knock on wood). I’m sure not everyone has shared my positive experience but while some folks might have had a less than favorable experience, I think it’s also important to note that there are many that have.
Good to hear you are having a positive experience!
Are you still using wpengine or have you migrated to another host. I really like your website speed and I am also considering to migrate to another host. Please let me know about your host.
No I am using Kinsta now however that is probably overkill for most people and TrafficPlanetHosting will be fine
It’s really a fantastic post.Thanks for sharing.
No worrys Ali
I’m so glad I met with your site
Why is that?
that was such an amazing article. I was just about to sign up with them and now am having 2nd thoughts.
It’s now February 2017, what do you recommend for hosting a wordpress website?
At this time I recommend TrafficPlanetHosting or Kinsta depending on budget
how do I know which site they die? link information bro
You’re reading it
Nice post, how much wpxhosting pays for affiliate??
An average of $50
$70 for Business Plan referrals
$150 for Professional Plan referrals
$300 for Elite Plan referrals
I am looking to move a client site from WPEngine.
thanks for post
So, just thinking of moving across to WP engine and come across this, must admit I’ve not read all this as it’s huge. Who do you recommend now??
TrafficPlanetHosting are great still or if you want something more than that you can look at Kinsta
I recently switched from wpengine to traffic planet (now wpxhosting) because I wanted to have a faster website at a cheaper price.
And that’s exactly what I get.
But there are some major drawbacks.
The support, while quick to respond, has been a disappointment. I migrated three sites to wpxhosting and had to change the SSL certificates on them.
That opened a can of worms the website not displaying properly, images not showing, broken links, email DNS not working properly. going back and forth fixing one thing while breaking another.
There doesn’t seem to be any sort of quality check people go through once they make a change. They focus on quick fixes that break other things in the process.
I’ve been trying to get this SSL situation fixed for two weeks now, and it finally got fixed.
Then there was an issue with an uploaded image not displaying, they made a change, now my images are not displaying and lost their metadata.
Though WPEngine is slower and their support slower, I do feel everything worked together really well. SSL was a breeze to setup in cloudflare and had almost no problems.
That being said, I’m still sticking with wpxhosting (Traffic Planet) and seeing how things go. I like that my site is around 1second faster than on wpengine and that the support is fast.
Yeah migrating to SSL is a royal pain in the butt to say the least and often you’ll find there are plugins that aren’t updated to support HTTPS so you end up with non secure connections all over the place. You are right though, CloudFlare makes it super easy!
Sorry to hear about that trouble Arthur. I am investigating it and will reply through WPX Support.
Never ever read so realistic experience and review about any hosting. Nobody will be buying Wpengine hosting after reading it.
Me too was thinking it a very good host but I think, now WPengine has improved in their services or stil going like that only. If anyone knows answer will be appreciated.
Well just read through the latest comments and you’ll see that nothing has changed
Still hosting on Kinsta? Looking for secure managed WP hosting for my business. Spent hours and hours researching and I think I’m down to , FlyWheel, Pagely, Pressidium, Pressable, and Kinsta.
Yes, I recommend either TrafficPlanetHosting or Kinsta depending on budget
Your site is still slow as hell. Considering the number of web hosts you’ve been through, you may want to look in the mirror and see the real problem.
Hope this is helpful.
You might want to read this https://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/blogging/income-reports/october-2016/ before making stupid comments :)
Owned. All I know is that Matthew probably has a gold plated mirror!
So the client is the responsible for crappy service provided?
WPEngine is not always a good choice. But several hosts are more dangerous for our sites. I only used professional WordPress hosting services.
Yes that is true, there are worse choices out there!
So – if you get a lot of visitors and the site is making you a lot of money, you couldn’t afforded to upgrade to the next plan or their premium plans?
The only difference between the plans is-
1) how many websites you can host
2) how many visitors per month you get
3) how much storage you need
None of those things bear any relevance to the problems listed above
I went with Trafficplanethosting (now WPXHosting) based on your recommendation. However, it’s been horrible. I’m afraid they’re pulling a WPEngine.
My blog used to work just fine on my previous host. Fine, but slow (~7s load time according to GTmetrix).
After moving to Trafficplanethosting (WPXHosting):
– My blog started to load in ~10s, and sometimes up to 50 – 60 s
– It was slow, temporary unavailable, or gave 500 / internal server errors
– They blamed my Wordpress theme, plug-ins, and even images (?!) and couldn’t fix the situation
Their lower level tech support kept replying with copy and paste answers, seldom really answering my questions. I felt like I was talking to a machine.
After 2 days of this, the best answer their senior support gave me was to turn off half of my plug-ins. Of course, this doesn’t make a lot of sense, since my blog was working just fine on my previous host. You’ve pointed out the same logical mistake in your review of WPEngine.
I’m now trying to migrate my blog to another (reputable) host. However, we’re having trouble with migration:
“Hello, It appears wpxhosting.com has really limited your PHP/WEB request processes time. As a result, I am consistently receiving a timeout 500 error when trying to backup your site. I am attempting to use the updraft backup plugin but this may not work due to the heavy limitations.”
I have screenshots of 500 internal server errors and 50-60s load times on Trafficplanethosting (WPXHosting). I could share them if you want. Same for support tickets. The whole thing is pretty appalling.
I’m writing this in hopes the next entrepreneur like me who reads your review thinks twice about going with Trafficplanethosting / WPXHosting. I’m leaving as fast as I can.
Thanks for sharing your experience, please feel free to reply with screenshots and I’ll point the team over to your comment so they can also respond!
Last week I actually moved this blog to Kinsta (you can read more about why here https://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/blogging/income-reports/september-2016/ ) although I still have all my other sites hosted with them such as https://www.searchlogistics.com/ which is rapid fast so I’m sorry to hear of your problems!
Have you found a new host yet?
Kinsta looks top notch! Has your speed increased with them?
I moved to LiquidWeb. Had some websites there. Now have almost my sites there. Their support is the best I’ve seen since I’m in the business (2007).
Here are the images you requested:
55 s load time on Pingdom: https://s22.postimg.org/884jiqj9t/55_44s.png
60 s load time on GTmetrix: https://s15.postimg.org/4w502e3zf/60_3s.png
GTmetrix time out: https://s15.postimg.org/jq4ly0zi3/GTmetrix_time_out.png
Service unavailable: https://s14.postimg.org/ne5ejyaxd/Service_unavailable.png
Internal server error: https://s9.postimg.org/fqdwuvmbz/Internal.png
It’s OK if you want to point TPH’s team here to reply, but I’ll say this right away: I don’t plan to answer back and forth and turn this into a flame war. I’ve got better things to do.
Hi again Etienne,
I have looked into your issues on your recent experience with WPX Hosting and here are my findings:
 According to the ticket transcripts, which I’m happy to publish in full with all logins redacted, the first migration to us went smoothly and it’s obvious from those that you have a sound technical knowledge of hosting fundamentals.
That’s a fact of life that all webmasters, software services and hosting companies working with WordPress have to deal with.
That’s exactly why WPEngine have a pretty long list of forbidden plugins, including many very popular ones: https://wpengine.com/support/disallowed-plugins/
However, we don’t want to be that restrictive and instead work on a case-by-case basis.
 In relation to the migration and performance on musculation-prise-de-masse.com, when we investigated the poor performance after the migration, these 2 plugins in particular were identified as being the culprits: Duplicate Page and Page Expiration Robot PRO Plus!
Also, this image, Ectomorph.png, in .png format that loads on the homepage is 2.5Mb and the slowest loading element there e.g. sort the Waterfall by load time on the Pingdom tools test from when we first completed the migration to us on October 6 (http://terrykyle.com/etienne3.jpg):
In .jpg format, that image would be 190 Kb:
Optimizations like this and identifying resource-hungry plugins (for which there are often much better alternatives) are obviously fast ways to optimize a site like my blog here (also running on PHP 7 which can potentially be an SSD-like speed improvement as well):
I’m not sure why you got that false 60 second load time reading on your homepage but a few repeated scans on Pingdom Tools today also produced that same reading on your current host:
 Now that your site is back at Liquid Web (where I believe we migrated your site from in the first place), the performance still isn’t anything too special as these optimizations are necessary on any hosting platform in the world, including Liquid Web GT Metrix screenshot:
There’s no need to go back and forth on this further Etienne and regrettably we couldn’t find a way forward in this case but we do work very hard here to deliver the best possible experience for each WPX Hosting customer that we can.
Sometimes however, unique setups, issues or other factors prevent that.
Also if you want us to investigate better alternatives to those problematic plugins – regardless of where your hosting is – then let me know.
Co-owner, WPX Hosting
Thanks for your image optimization tip.
I’d like to clarify a few points:
1) I wasn’t with LiquidWeb before (I was with Pair hosting). I moved from Pair to you to LiquidWeb.
2) On average, my site load time was:
– Pair: 7 s (with plugins)
– TPH / WPX Hosting: 10 s (with plug-ins) – but it also crashed often, leading to your staff blaming my plug-ins.
– LiquidWeb: 4 s (with plugins)
You say you’re “not sure why I got that false 60 second load time reading on your homepage.” It wasn’t a false positive. I got it while my site was down on your servers. Whenever I’d try to log into my site to update it or post, it would crash, and I’d get those.
I got them all day. I wrote to your support many times. But they still took about 48 hours to address the situation, and the best thing they came up with was to turn off my plugins.
I haven’t had a single crash on LiquidWeb yet. My site is faster, it runs smoothly, and their support solves everything the same day. No blaming the plugins.
Just wanted to clarify that, as you wrote that LiquidWeb “isn’t anything too special.” In my experience last week, it’s actually been the opposite. TPH was slow, offline, and their support didn’t help. On the other hand, Liquid was fast, smooth, and solved all isues the same day. I don’t want to sound like an ad, but that’s the truth.
OK, I’m done.
Best of luck with your business.
As a co-owner of WPX Hosting, I will personally investigate your incident above as that experience is very unusual for our WPX customers.
Far from resources and server capability going down, we are continually optimizing in the opposite direction.
I don’t want to comment further until I have more information but I will post that once I have fully looked into it.
WOW! I’ve heard so many horrifying stories from wpengine…but your’s has been the worst.
I’ve used several hosting sites and have had horrible experiences. The biggest complaint I have is that they’re all shared and you must use a CDN.
For the prices they charge on shared hosting is outrageous.
I’ve now been with ecomlane.com now for just over 8 months and I love them. No more shared servers for me!!!
Did you have a bad experience with WPEngine yourself?
I going to use them at the beginning of this year and was warned not to. After reading all the different complaints and your story, I am so glad I didn’t.
You are not the only one!
Holy Grail of badmouthing WP-Engine!
THANKS to all honest souls out there.
Just got my website hacked…
And this led me looking for another hosting provider for WP.
All of your suggestions were welcomed. After doind a bit of research I found that my needs with a small-medium sized site could do well with shared hosting IF…
It is safe
And I just found out that it is possible to get away with that instead of VPS or dedicated servers.
What hosts am I looking at:
*NOTE I HAVE NO EXPERIENCE YET WITH THESE HOSTS MYSELF ON A PERSONAL LEVEL*
Siteground – They seem to really know pro-active steps when it comes to security and also had a kick a** rep so I assume customer satisfaction will be good here. Just what I needed. Kernel level attention.
Some of the same.
– Will look more tomorrow but all in all for a small site that should do it for a while more. REALLY appreciate the options again guys.
By the way. Wordpress owners. Get Anti malware plugins. Firewall plugins. And get some security on your hosting level. Daily backups.
Total faceplant to find out that your site has been modified/taken/raped when hours/days/weeks has been spent tweaking that engine to the max.
Be PRO-Active Y’all
I am sorry to hear that – I also learned the hard way about taking regular backups myself, it’s a sucky situation.
However you should be aware that it is rarely the host that is at fault in these situations, most security breaches come via poorly coded themes/plugins that get exploited. Even popular plugins like Yoast SEO have had security holes in the past that were fixed.
It’s often difficult to workout exactly where the problem lies, so make sure you update all plugins and themes (even if they aren’t enabled) along with the latest version of Wordpress.
I am aware of Yoast and their situation also and I do update often on most of my sites but this led me to believe that I needed BETTER security in all ends. Hence the change of host to make sure that would not be the issue, or at least most likely won’t be the issue next time, if any =)
All files on all domains will be checked even though I only myself found it on one site. Better safe than sorry. BTW, some hosts do this for you instead of the need to pay extra for it )
I do not use WordPress, but I would stay away from Siteground. (They might be OK for WordPress, but I was non-WordPress, so I saw a different side of them.)
Their billing office is in Panama (or was it Bulgaria?) ; this placed a security hold on my credit card when I renewed my services.
While I was on a live chat with their help desk, I installed rather than upgraded my site, losing one new user and a couple new posts. I was able to restore from backup.
Their help chat window had an automatic resize that would not allow users to escalate the chat to a superior (you could only do that once anyway) ; when I showed it to them, they did not believe me because I was not a developer. They did not see what I was talking about until they logged in as me to their help chat, they sent me a screen shot of the chat window, and I sent back the appropriate part of their screenshot.
There were also some issues about the update script not having the new security version available right away. Drupal published it; Softaculous had it about 15 hours later; Siteground made that available to me about 24 hours after that (at about 1:00 am my local time, so another 6-8 hours before I could apply it).
[That said, I did like the features Siteground had against incoming spam email. They caught one from someone who recomended a lawyer to help me get back all the money I sent to Nigeria.]
(And you would not believe how many WordPress hacking attempts there are on my Drupal site. Or maybe you might.)
Thank you Matthew for your posting. I’ve been having so many problems with a non-profit site it’s not even funny. Basically they asked if I would help and the first thing I want to do is get them away.
Can you recommend a tool, or anything, that helps eliminate all this extra garbage code they put in? I’ve been fighting for 2 days trying to clean things up with little success.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Sorry to hear that, what you could do is something like this
1) Install virgin Wordpress on new host
2) Copy over the wp-content folder from wp engine to the new host
3) export the database from wp engine and import it into the new host
That should work out but don’t quote me on it :)
I’ll give that a try over the weekend and post the result.
Thank you kindly for the reply.
No problemo :)
Honest review . Thanks
I wont shift to wpengine now although i am in trial period.
Can you tell if amazon is good for our wordpress website. We get 8000 visitors a month
With 8,000 visitors a month you dont need anything special – either shared hosting from Bluehost or the basic package from TrafficPlanetHosting
These are better than GoDaddy
I have never used GoDaddy for hosting so I can’t comment
How is Traffic Planet hosting holding up till now? Still with them? I am looking to move a client site from WPEngine.
Yes I am still with them and highly recommended
I was thinking to move some of our client sites to wpengine, but will seriously re-consider after reading your post. Thanks for the detailed report Matt!
Eeeeek sounds scary! Tread carefully!
I never trust any good reviews. I always look for any article like this. I used several hosting company’s services. Now, Using Linode and i’m happy with it till now. If someone wants suggestion from me, I will say buy a plan from Linode, DO or vultr and install serverpilot. Then start using your own VPS. It is 100 times better than shared hosting or any managed VPS.
Looks like a great combo especially if you aren’t super technical!
Thanks for putting this blog together. I’m a long time follower of yours.
Personally I’ve never experienced any issues with WP Engine, so this article and the depth you’ve gone into is pretty surprising to me.
Certainly not saying any of it’s not true, inaccurate, just surprising.
I’ve called WP Engine tech support numerous times over the last year, and I’ve literally had my questions answered in a few minutes (at most).
I’ve never had any clients report any serious down time, or slowness with their sites either.
I might start monitoring everyone’s site a bit closer now though to see if there’s anything going on, that we’re missing.
Disclaimer: I’m also a partner, I refer clients to them (all of my clients in fact), so I get paid a commission for this too.But I refer people to WP Engine because they cause me less headaches than any other hosts I’ve used over the last 15+ years.
Glad to hear you are having a good time with them, you are not the first person to say that either – it seem’s to be a mixed bag of experiences!
We try to run all our WordPress sites as bare bone as possible, so maybe that’s why the site’s go ok.
Minimal plugins, minimal everything!
Less areas for things to break!
WordPress, the temperamental nightmare.
Ahhhh yes that will help! Although it’s a difficult task to keep plugin numbers down at times!
i agree with couple of your points but i am choosing wpengine because of their speed, i tried several different hosting provider none of them even come close to the speed which wpengine provide…so my vote any day goes to wpengine
Well the speed sucked for me with WPEngine but that might not be true for everyone.
Wow! I’m really surprised. I thought WPEngine is one of the top hosts around. I almost chose them when I was deciding on a host. I’m glad I went with StackPress ( https://StackPress.net ) instead. I couldn’t be happier with them.
I’m also looking at https://kinsta.com/ at the moment
How hard it is itis to port your site from WPE to another host? They don’t use cpanel!
You can use a plugin like WPClone or UpdraftPlus BUT WPEngine like to make changes to core wordpress files which can make it difficult to move away from them.
If the host you are moving to has a migration service, use it :)
This is fun,as today i was thinking of changing from hostgator to wpengine and i got your email that redirected me to this post,man i am glad i opened your email,you just avoided me making a terrible mistake,i will follow your recommendation.Thank you Matthew
No problem, glad to be of service :) Congratulations on needing to move to a new host though, that means you are growing nicely :)
these WPengine chaps were at the wordcamplondon earlier today, will avoid them like the plague tomorrow
Ask them about this post, it usually gets some funny responses!
Very good write up… Had to take all day, but probably worth it considering how much time you’d already lost dealing with these issues.
I’ve had some bad experiences with them recently as well. They originally told me that I could copy sites using their clone site tool in the dashboard and I wouldn’t get charged as long as the sites were for development and didn’t have a url associated with them. A couple months ago I contacted them asking to upgrade my server because they still had it running on php 5.3 and they told me that if I wanted them to upgrade it I would have to pay for the premium account since I had more than once site (even though all but one were staging/dev sites).
They recently came up with a new process called “Transferrable Installs” that you assign your development sites to. This was more of just a term that they coined though for a process they’d more or less implemented for years now. My dev sites were created before this new process came out so basically they’re using this as a way to try and force me to pay $250 a month. I could download the sites and reupload them under the new “Transferrable Installs” setting, but that would be an enormous waste of my time. They could easily change them to “Transferrable Installs” themselves in about 5 seconds, but won’t.
Like you mentioned in your article I’ve also find they never own up to anything. Today for example I figured I would harden security a bit after hearing about the “Panama Papers hack”. To my surprise though the first two things I tried, both had issues.
First, I tried ensuring the file permissions were set properly:
define( ‘FS_CHMOD_DIR’, 0755 );
define( ‘FS_CHMOD_FILE’, 0644 );
However, it doesn’t do anything. When checking the file permissions they were 0775 0664. I also tried using sftp, as well as all in one wp security, and their own dashboard plugin… When I asked them why I couldn’t set the permissions to the right ones, their response was, that 0775 and 0664 were the right permissions… I said according to wordpress docs they weren’t and they told me that they chose 0775 and 0664 instead for security which makes zero sense to me, but oh well.
Next I tried changing the wp-content directory to WP_CONTENT_DIR and
WP_CONTENT_URL. I deleted the old “wp-content” folder afterwards and everything worked fine. However, After logging back into sftp an hour later, “wp-content” was back with “advanced-cache.php” and “mysql.sql” inside them. I checked my new WP_CONTENT_DIR and those same files were also there, so clearly this shouldn’t be happening. But when I asked them about this their response was that there was nothing wrong and that it is suppose to work like that “by design” since its “suppose to” be “wp-content”. Really?
These are the kind of responses they always give you. I’m assuming it’s either because their support isn’t knowledgeable with wordpress or they are just trying to cover their asses. Either way it’s crazy frustrating that they can’t give straightforward answers. This is what I’d expect from a shared host, but for one that is specific to wordpress, I figured they would know what they were talking about or at least give you straightforward answers that make sense.
Anyway, not trying to rant here, but figured I’d add to the list of shitty practices they implement. Thanks for the good writeup. Negative blog posts seem to be the only thing that gets companies attention these days.
Sorry to hear about your problems, but yes the common thread is the wordpress experts don’t really know much about wordpress at all. It’s just a bunch of people that access an internal knowledge base and regurgitate stuff senselessly.
When you combine that with the fact that they have their own propitiatory systems that interfere with the way Wordpress core actually works – it’s a recipe for disaster.
This negative post certainly got their attention, but it didn’t change anything. I know the current management have asked other people in the community to put pressure on me to take this post down, rather than actually approaching me to have a direct conversation like grown ups- but that really tells you everything you need to know about how they go about business.
I hope you manage to find a resolution to your problems, but honestly – that resolution is probably packing up and moving to a new host.
Thanks for sharing your experience…However your loading times for this post is 60 seconds from Dallas…I guess Traffic Planet is not delivering either? http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/#!/XCJYk/https://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/seo/reviews/wp-engine/
I think Pingdom was having a bad day, run a re-test and you’ll see
Do you still recommend TPF? I am going to switch if you do.
Yes I am still using TrafficPlanetHosting for this blog
Nice affiliate link right there – this site is nothing but snake oil
WOAH! Are you telling me that a site about affiliate marketing, actually uses real affiliate links!?!? That is CRAZY!
The wpengine site itself is very slow… In my experience Wordpress is already slow and very hard to speed up. Google suggest a 0.2s response time in Page Speed Insights, I am not sure thats possible in WP. All the WP sites we built, even with caching and other things to speed it up, is much slower than other CMSs we use.
So if you are to use a Wordpress hosting specialist, they really really need to be able to speed up a WP site beyond any other hosting company. Their current site loads approx. 3 seconds according to Pingdom, which is amazingly slow. Their page speed insight score is 72 / 100 on Desktop, and 49/100 on mobile. I mean come on! If they claim to provide such great WP hosting they need to show that on their own website. I expect to see < 0,5s loading time, and over 95/100 page speed insight score on Mobile AND Desktop.
In the meantime I host my WP sites on my own servers because I can speed them up more than WPEngine's own site.
Page speed insight score is usually down to how something is coded, rather than the hardware that is hosting it.
But you are right, nothing is going to beat your own server with some dedicated hardware!
Hi Laurence, using SSD + underloading servers (instead of the industry-standard practice of overloading them) can certainly help – you can check the speed of some of our users’ sites on the homepage at: https://trafficplanethosting.com/
Can I ask you, you are in the UK like me, and have a .co.uk, which is the domain I host with WP Engine.
I am now looking at using TrafficPlanetHosting (on your recommendation, and spoke them via live chat yesterday), and wanted to ask you how do you think Google will look at hosting in the states, as it is a UK .co.uk, and the website I am going to be hosting is fairly high ranking, and just a little concerned about any knock-on effects from Google for ranking, if I use TrafficPlanetHosting and their US datacentre?
Any advice on that would be great.
Actually I’m about 6,500 miles away from the UK right now but in answer to your question Google have confirmed directly that server location plays a role.
So if you are already hosted in the UK, I wouldn’t recommend moving away from the UK.
Hi Steven, we cover this here: https://trafficplanethosting.com/knowledgebase/article/31/can-my-non-usa-site-be-hosted-in-the-usa—still-rank-in-google-in-my-country-/ and we host many .co.uk sites like http://www.hauntedrooms.co.uk/ and Matt’s blog that rank well in the UK (and still load fast for UK visitors).
I am currently dealing with WP Engine, have been hosting with them for a week after falling for all the sales hype (and false reviews that exist just for an affiliate sale), and already I am seeing MASSIVE red flags.
Firstly, the migration did not work.
Secondly, they are taking half a day to answer basic tickets.
Thirdly, they are also ignoring tickets.
Also, their live chat is not working “connection not made”, which makes me wonder if they can redirect to this message from what they deem as a ‘customer that asks awkward questions..’.
And finally (for now), they are massively over inflating visitor stats, more than double.
Yes, the website speed is a lot faster than it was, but I really dread to think how poor they would be if a server went down, and that is simply not a risk I am willing to take. I will be moving soon, just looking for a reliable host – which as we all know is a task in itself.
Basically, when you are paying premium prices, for shared hosting, and $29.99 is a premium price, then you expect a premium support, and service.
So far, it has been on a par with a $3 a month shared hosting service.
The old UK saying of “all fur coat and no knickers” is currently springing to mind
Sorry to hear you are having so many problems with them Steven!
This post is a huge eyes opener for many of those who buy the hype that surrounds WP Engine.
I wouldn’t EVER thought that such a seemingly cool-looking company would provide such a terrible service.
I can imagine how badly your article must have affected their reputation during the last 1.5 years or so.
Has anyone of them got in touch with you regarding this post, or do they just remain silent?
At the time this was written I was in good contact with someone called Tomas who confirmed I was the most hated person at WPEngine but that sort of died off and now the only thing I hear from them is all the smack talk that comes out of their ‘private’ dinners at conferences that some of my clients are invited too (honestly they are THAT stupid).
Never have they approached me at a conference to talk about it like big people although I know they have tried to influence people to influence me to take the post down indirectly.
Like dealing with children, except they run a company that is responsible for other peoples businesses.
Thanks for this post. Most accurate review of WP Engine I have seen. My experience with them has been very similar to yours and I will be moving my site, even though I paid for a year in advance. Support is terrible and blames everything else except WP Engine, even when the site had none of the same problems on its previous server. Downtime, 502 errors on both front and admin end, and restrictions that are supposed to be preventing these things, yet development version of the site on another server has none of the same problems and no restrictions. Staging site on WP Engine has the same problems as the live site. Can’t get away fast enough!
Sorry to hear that Lori – WPEngine pay attractive affiliate commission so its hard to find a real review and a little birdy told me the reason they increased the affiliate commission was to push out reviews like this one but that could just be rumor.
I know they have spoken with various people in the industry about how to get this post removed rather than just speaking with me directly so it gives you a good idea of the kind of tactics they are willing to use.
Be aware that when you migrate away from them, you will need a developer to fix the install because WPEngine hijack your site by injecting code into core files.
That’s some woefully bad hosting experiences with WPEngine. However and sad to say, it’s not an isolated occurrence, there are many other ‘cowboy’ operations out there. Thankfully there are good folk like yourself who aren’t afraid to post the facts, the real truth about dodgy hosting companies, kudos!
In reply to your comment, I’m confused by this statement:
“Be aware that when you migrate away from them, you will need a developer to fix the install because WPEngine hijack your site by injecting code into core files.”
If the WP core files have been tampered with, then download fresh core files, update your config, check your DB and it should spell problem solved. Where this would become an issue, is if the Theme/Child files have been tampered with. Primarily the functions.php of the theme is a good place to start checking. Granted you’d need to know php and what to look for, what’s out of place.
I have used WP installers in the past, it saved a lot of time but a couple cost me a lot of time too. These days it’s manual upload and manual install from A to Z.
Just as a heads up for anyone using a WP automated installer, these will set ALL your DB User Privileges to ON. WP only needs the following to functions The rest leaves your site open to abuse. These are:
Create Temporary Tables
Your site loads very slowly. Perhaps try fewer plugins and get rid of that ugly black thing at the top of the page.
Maybe the host wasn’t the problem. Just saying.
Over the past month I have added quite a few new plugins to the blog which are having a considerable impact on the blogs performance, I need to throttle back you are right :)
this post has been very interesting and revealing to read. I run several sites and Ive been looking to upgrade my webhosting to another hosting provider. One of which was WPEngine.
I come from an IT background so I’m not a newbie to WordPress or webservers and I’m pretty shocked by your experience with WPEngine. I will now definitely be staying away.
It sounds like the classic corporate mistake that so many businesses make. After building and running a great business, the original owner and founder then sells out, takes the money and runs, and the newcomers take over. Namely corporate investors who can’t see further than the profit and loss account and the balance sheet.
Quality and service then get diluted and run down, the assets get sweated and squeezed and the end result: a whole heap of problems and dissatisfied customers.
The delays and daft or non-existent answers to the problems and issues you have since had with WPEngine are classic corporate phenomena. No-one wants to stick their neck out, everything has to be “approved” – or else just ignored.
Result: the whole business just goes down the pan. It happens so many times.
As for ending support at 5pm, that is just plain daft for a hosting provider. You might as well run a restaurant and close for lunch. Hosting is a 24×7 service business.
I will be staying with Hostgator, at least for the near future. So far they have been pretty good and they don’t overcharge either.
Yeah they got a phat stack of venture capital funding and the owner checked out which only ever goes 1 way.
My company and I are (or were) on the verge of moving our website to WPEngine as we’re experiencing tremendous growth. We just had a conference call with them and, after reading your post, I can definitely see how it all correlates, particularly from reading your correspondence with them.
Safe to say, you’ve just saved me from making one of the biggest mistakes I could’ve ever made! THANK YOU FOR THAT!!!
Now I’m thinking of seriously looking at DreamHost. I’ve read great things about them but would love to hear any experience you (or anyone else) has had with them.
Thanks Davey – glad it helped you out!
Did you ask them about this post?
DreamHost are more of a budget/shared host I wouldn’t recommend them but it really depends on your requirements
Hi Matthew: Sorry to read about your total nightmare with WPEngine. In fact, I edited an article of mine that featured WPEngine because of your negative experience with them: http://www.rightblogtips.com/2014/07/why-premium-web-hosting-is-the-secret-ingredient.html
In it, I now link to this article of yours so my readers can see the stress that WPEngine caused you, not to mention all the lost revenue! In my experience with hosting, one guy you can really rely on is Dave Zhang over at HostAwesome. He has provided me with STELLAR customer service and has NEVER let me down. Btw, even their free hosting account is excellent, which would be ideal for any newbie bloggers who are just starting out and aren’t serious enough yet to spend money on hosting.
Thanks Michael that is very kind of you
They offer a very attractive affiliate commission so the internet is flooded with fake reviews of them!
by Matthew Woodward:
“… feature of WPEngine there is no denying that, but again you can do that yourself with a subdomain and a free plugin called WPClone – ok that will take 2 clicks to create the staging area vs WPEngines 1 click but its not difficult.”
Mother Facker! Seriously???
I just left Traffic Planet to go to Wpengine because of the ‘Lack of a Staging Environment at Traffic Planet Hosting”.
I brought this to Traffic Planet hosting as the reason for requesting the balance of the one year hosting refund (aprox 6 months) to them, to which the reply via email was:
Sorry to see you going and we appreciate your feedback.
153.04 USD refunded to your PP account.
I’m surprised that they didn’t bring this wpclone solution to my attention in order to retain my account!
If you’re in contact with them, bring it to their attention man. Seriously, I loved Traffic Planet, hosting and support.
The lack of a staging environment is THE ONLY reason that I left, everthing else over there was to my 100% satisfaction.
Now I’m very sad, and will go have a glass of wine to console myself… Knowing that I left Traffic Planet to Wpengine…
Thanks for the great write up Mr. Woodward.
Oh dear I’m sorry to hear that, good luck with WPEngine – the staging area is not worth the rest of the bullshit and now your site is with them, they have already injected lots of wpengine specific code which means if you want to move it back, your going to have a really hard time.
You might want to get a couple of bottles of wine in reserve :)
Wow. That’s more than enough time to get things fixed and I am amazed to see your patience. I would never allow that much time to fix a mere database issue which keeps killing my business. I was considering about WP Engine for my next project but thanks to Greg Daniels who shared link to your post in AWP Facebook group which saved me from a possible disaster. I already heard about WP Engine system is not developer friendly but now I can see it’s not user friendly either.
Glad it helped you out :)
What is the AWP Facebook group?
It is https://www.facebook.com/groups/advancedwp/ and it’s official website http://www.advancedwp.org/
While I know that TPH does have nice speeds, I would watch out with them in terms of downtime and malware. I have cleaned up some super ugly hacks with them in the past year.
The most absurd thing about WP Engine is that their support cuts out at 5 pm in whatever time zone they are in. Like what, my site is only open during business hours? Had a few clients with teleseminars and such that were going at night, massive problems, and no one there to fix them.
I have all my own personal sites on LiquidWeb VPS. They also have a new managed service that is optimized for Wordpress and it’s pretty amazing. Plus their support is so good … man, I could have totally married those guys for the number of times they have saved my bacon lol.
99.9% of malware comes in through vulnerabilities in plugins, every week there is a new emergency zero day exploit – Yoast SEO had one recently as has Visual Composer and a bunch of other big plugins that are used by millions of sites making them all vulnerable regardless of hosting.
I am about to release my new website online.
I was going to get a subscription at WPEngine as I already worked with them in the past (following your advice) and I wanted to do so again, because I was satisfied with my previous experience.
I visited your website in order to book the subscription via one of your affiliate links and ended up on this article… the question is: is it still up to date ?
(A bit out-of-topic here: I find it a bit annoying not to be able to have the actual date of articles on your website, this one is dated 2015 and all screen shot go back to 2013/2014)
Which hosting service do you use/recommand nowadays ?
BTW, feel free to provide me with an affiliate link or a coupon or whatever, I blindly follow your advice ;)
The date on the articles is when they were last updated :)
But yes this post still holds true and you will see from other comments that people are still having problems. But I am still using TrafficPlanetHosting myself
Cheers Matt !
I contacted TPH support team to have more info about their service and I think that WPEngine still offers features that are better than TPH and that justifies the price difference.
Mainly, with WPE, there is also a very convinient staging area (a test domain), there is a CDN (not included in the 1-domain offer) and all the back-up, security and cache are native and you don’t need an extra plug-in (for me, W3 Total Cache was a total nightmare – although I have to be fair to TPH, they offered to tune it themselves should I become on of their clients).
What do you think about that ? How do you cope with it with TPH ?
I am really esitating because I had a great experience with WPE (I stopped using their service in May) but I really value your opinion, so I’m in for quite a headache hear ^^
Thank’s again for all your help !
Yes WPEngine does have some extra value stuff, but the CDN they include is just a white labelled version of MaxCDN that you can pick up for around $5 per month. The staging area is a great feature of WPEngine there is no denying that, but again you can do that yourself with a subndomain and a free plugin called WPClone – ok that will take 2 clicks to create the staging area vs WPEngines 1 click but its not difficult.
The caching system that WPEngine uses is absolutely awful and I had countless problems with it. Not only that but WPEngine makes significant changes to your base wordpress files for them to be compatible with their custom caching system, this means that if you were to ever move away you would need to hire a developer to remove all the extra/changed code they put into your install (TPH did this for me free during the migration but they were disgusted by how far reaching the changes were).
I agree that the extra features do justify the extra price. However given how bad the service is and how bad the support is and reading some of the more recent comments here, it makes those extra features useless. If WPEngine actually delivered on the claims they make across their site, this post wouldn’t exist :)
Great article Matthew :) never considered Linode before. I personally prefer Australian based hosting as I am in Australia.
Levation Hosting have great quality VPS plans too :) http://www.levation.com.au/vps-hosting/
Yeah if your in Australia, for sure you are better sticking off with Australian based hosts over any other.
O mine, I also used there services in past and yes they were really good now I am with some other company. But I saw this post and it shocked me really as I saw very good reviews about them in past at this time I don’t know any other review I will now defiantly check the updated review on internet about them as you mentioned in this post. Thank you .
I hope it helps your business :)
Good to see you also recommending TPH – we tested out a bunch of hosts before getting behind Terry and what he’s building over there.
I moved a site over, and here’s how Google reacted to site load times in Webmaster Tools:- http://thrivethemes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/tph-google-webmaster-2.png
The “before” host is a top quality host aswell.
Let’s see if Terry and TPH can manage to scale in a better way.
Yeah the TrafficPlanetHosting service is superb!
Great article (novel?)
.. you gave WPEngine way too much rope – and they (unbelievably) resorted to repeatedly wrapping it around their necks over and over.
I’m curious about one thing, as TPH doesn’t cover this .. (perhaps best asked in your forum – heading there next) how do you cover malware scanning & removal? As a non-developer, I can’t sleep at night unless my sites (over 15 of ’em) aren’t being watched by malware-removal.
Brute force attacks, spam , these are easy to deal with, but a tiny bit of malicious code – for a non-developer can be a nightmare!
Would appreciate your thoughts ..
Lastly – in fairness, I joined WPEngine two months ago, and have had a good experience and the 6 sites I host there are zippy – but you raised important concerns, most importantly how they may be changing core WP files making any migration a challenge.
Would appreciate a follow-up on this bit of info – are they doing it, and if so, how to fix this during a migration. I imagine the folks over at TPH might be able to share some insight here.
((sorry for the lengthy comment)) love your work!
Hahaha its not the longest post I’ve written ( https://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/blogging/how-to-start-blog-and-make-money/ )
TPH alert you to this, then push you to Sucuri to get a full report and then they take care of it. They also have daily backups (always take your own as well though)
In terms of the file changes it was that long ago now I couldn’t tell you, but I know the TPH team had a hard time migrating my site because of it – and these guys actually understand technical things.
Just reiterating what Keith asked as I did see any reply. Does TPH protect against malware scanning & virus removal? What about DDOS and other threats. Do their servers offer any protection and are their any other hosts that offer good security. Appreciated. thanks
Yes they do, you can read about it on their site
Hey Matt, I am planning to trafficplanethosting, do you have any affiliate link? I have 5 sites, do you think I should stick to business or pro plan.?
Sure you can hit this TrafficPlanetHosting link.
If you only have 5 sites stick to the basic plan
Reading this post after 1+ year after being published I’d like to know how are you doing with your new hosting.
I also would like to read an epic post about how to choose a hosting company. I’m a beginner in this SEO thing and I’m hosting in JustHost (the cheapest option), like you recommended in other post. But if I want to upgrade what should I look for? There are so many technical terms and words that I need a glossary to know where to move.
Well, I’m still using it and don’t have any complaints so far so good :) They are the perfect upgrade from JustHost
Thank you for the great post! Matthew we are facing similar issues with WP Engine. After being so tired of running my own dedicated server because of the increase of hacking, especially on WordPress sites.
Now I have decided I’m currently looking to move my nonprofit organization to a better host — better than the current BlueHost VPS setup I have going right now.
But well thats about how relevant their solutions were! about WP Engine.
I’m not sure what you are trying to say sorry
I am just trying to say in simple way which hosting company is best for my small business except WP Engine
That would be TrafficPlanetHosting
Did you end up having issues with WP Engine files after the transfer?
The TPH transfer go seamless ?
Well it seems that WPEngine make a lot of modifications to the core WP files which makes migrating away from them a nightmare, bit of a scam imo.
Do you know how much is the CDN service at trafficplanet?Thank you
Its included with the hosting I think
Hi.I want to create a site in wordpress using Genesis framwork+theme.
I’m searching for 2 weeks now a good hosting company.My site will be minimalist and simple.Max 3000 visitor per month.Best option will be bluehost.com.BUT,I heard a lot of complains,now I have read your post about WPengine.
I’m from Romania(an East-European country).Which company do you recommend?Max 30$ per month(without hidden costs)
Any help will be appreciated.Thank you in advance.
You could go with TrafficPlanetHosting
Wow this is quite the post. I’ve seen WPEngine advertised quite a bit, but as I noted in another comment I just left you I happen to be good friends with the CEO of a large colocation farm.
What’s also interesting is how a lot of these companies just “source” their servers from other companies.
In my case I’m literally talking to the owner who not only maintains the servers himself he actually owns them and sets up everything from scratch. I’m not going through hoops trying to understand what exactly I’m getting and where it’s coming from.
When I first started out I used Bluehost (Went through Pat Flynn) and it was soo unreal how slow it was, I was probably sitting on a shared box with god knows how many other sites.
Now I’m getting it free with 10x the speed and direct access to the person who manages everything and It’s free to boot, simply because we are friends :)
I can’t believe how much crap you put up with for months, I would have abandoned them a lot sooner.
Yes I’m pretty sure they use https://www.digitalocean.com/ or similar on the backend but I’m not sure, but it would explain a lot.
Thank you for the great post! I wish I found it before we signed on with WP Engine. Stability has been a definite problem. In fact we are just coming off a 5 hour outage due to a power loss! My previous $12/month provider was rock solid in comparison. there is no excuse for this. Power loss should not be an issue in a well designed datacenter.
Another big surprise with WP Engine is when you learn they do not offer email services or dns hosting. I will definitelly be looking for an alternative.
Sorry to hear that after all this time things haven’t improved. I had the same opinion about my $1/month (at the time) hosting with StableHost
I should of read this article before moving to WP engine. Shocking tech support. Everything you said about tech support is coming true. Going to leave after only two days.
Very sorry to hear that Bert =\
I have to say, I was thisclose to going with WPEngine before reading your post, but after seeing how they react/respond to customers, I think I’m going to pass. You can really tell a lot about a person/company by their responses, and I didn’t like what I was reading from them. It’s like with eBay…I’m not as concerned with the genuine negative feedback as I am with how the seller responds to them. (Take ownership, apologize, and fix or attack and deflect)
I’m still in need of a non-shared host with good security though. I’ve set up tests on AWS and DigitalOcean and can configure most things myself, but security is where I am lacking, and why I was almost wooed to WPEngine. Maybe I just need to start reading up on linux hardening and give it a shot myself. I know the risk of hacking is always lurking, but I just want to do all I can to prevent that, and this is why I know I need help in that area.
You could always hire someone to take care of that kind of thing for you
A so long and and helpful post Matt – I’m sure the WPEngine board are cringing!
I have a good relationship with 1 of the higher level staff at WPEngine, who politely informed me I am not well liked within the company :)
Hi Matt. Great post. I have a reseller account at hostgator with a lot of sites, but I was starting to get paranoid with everyone saying I could experience problems. I haven’t had any so far, but as I start getting more and more traffic, I don’t even want to test how safe it is! People were recommending Digital Ocean, but not being a developer, I looked over the site and didn’t understand 25% of the terminology! So I was going to switch to WP-Engine and found this page. You saved me a lot of headaches. Gonna try TrafficPlanet. I’d rather focus on web design and SEO than have to learn ubuntu, linux and other fun stuff!
Yes digitalocean is a good solution if you know how to setup cpanel/whm etc – but if you don’t its not that difficult but then you are 100% responsiable for any and all hosting problems – you are your support team.
TPH has been very good to me so far and I am still with them, navigate around the blog and take a look for yourself :) Plus they have 24 hour support =D
I was going to sign up for them just now.
Lucky for me, I found this site.
I use to be with Hostgator till they got bought out by EIG.
I then tried out Westhost which was better, but still not really good enough.
That is when I decided to use WP-Engine. I had heard good things about them in the past, but their price was a bit steep for me at the time. Then I decided to shell out the extra cash to get better server performance.
Thanks again for documenting this. I am looking into Traffic Planet instead.
No problem I hope you find a good home for your sites :) This blog is still with TrafficPlanet to give you an idea on performance (and I have nearly 60 plugins running)
Thank you for writing this post. Although it’s a year later, may I ask if you still stand by things written in this post, or do you know if things have changed?
I’m currently looking to move my nonprofit organization to a better host — better than the current BlueHost VPS setup I have going right now.
Do you still recommend TrafficPlanning Hosting over WP Engine and Synthesis?
Are YOU still hosting with TrafficPlanning?
I’m less concerned about comments and al that, and more concerned with just better speed. All my sites are WordPress (including my nonprofit), and I’m quite experienced at how to handle on-page things and site speed.
All of my sites are A-ranked (90%+) in just about every speed testing tool imaginable, but the page load times always add 2-4 seconds to the total time. So pages that should load in 1.5-2.5 seconds take 4-7 seconds to load, due to that server response time / first byte.
All of my sites (7 of ’em) run on Genesis and a Genesis child theme.
If you’re still following this post, any updates on what you’re doing would be greatly appreciated!
Yes the site is still running on TPH with nearly 60 plugins, have a browse around and you can get a feel for how it performs yourself rather than relying on opinion.
While I can’t speak from personal experience on how WPEngine perform right now, what I can tell you is I get endless streams of people approaching me at conferences sharing the same frustrations.
Thanks Matt! I’m ditching BlueHost and their VPS after this latest 49 hour blackout (they said they “forgot to turn your server back on after the interruption” verbatim).
I’ve narrowed my hosting preferences down to PowerUp (probably not), and either TPH or SiteGround GoGeek (shared plan).
I guess I’ll just have to heuristically determine which is best for my nonprofit organization’s multisite installation, although I surely don’t want to get in the habit of host-jumping every month or two.
And Best of British, mate!
After being so tired of running my own dedicated server because of the increase of hacking, especially on Wordpress sites – I am moving all my new website clients to WP Engine. Read your post ages ago, and it looks like you really have had a terrible time with them.
So far, I have nothing but praise for WP Engine. A company that I really respect, WP Curve, who offer quick support for Wordpress problems, highly recommended them, so I gave them a try. WP Engine’s support has been exceptional… have had probably a couple of dozen phone calls to them over the last few months, and every time they have stuck with me until my issues are resolved – it has been a breath of fresh air!
One great thing is that I don’t have to worry about security. Previously I was using WordFence, until 20 of my sites running got hacked, even though they all had WordFence. Running iThemes Security helped, but there was still the threat of DDOS. Anyhow – I don’t worry about any of that now, and because WP Engine take daily backups, I could do a one-click restore to many restore points in the past.
The only question mark I have at the moment is sending emails from my Wordpress site. They are fine if I only have like 100 emails per day, but I may run in to trouble if a site needs a higher volume than that. Perhaps I’ll just use an SMTP plugin in that case, as most of my clients have average web traffic.
Anyhow – just thought I’d write about my experience so far!! As I see you mentioned above… give them time. We’ll see how it goes!
Great to see hear and yes you are right about the problems of running your own dedicated server although Wordpress is vulnerable in most environments. I assume you didn’t have a fully managed dedicated server?
With your emails you can look at someone like postmark for example who have a Wordpress plugin.
Thanks for the reviews!
No problem :)
I just moved both of my sites, http://sitehostingoptions.com and http://tipsmakemoney.com to WPEngine hosting. I upgraded from shared GoDaddy hosting and I had to practically hold onto my desk because my sites were so fast. That combined with the built in CDN, $99 a month is pretty worth it in my opinion!
Yup – you have the exact same experience as every other person that moves to WPEngine. Give it time :)
$99 for shared hosting is ridicolous.
I’ve used WPEngine for years and absolutely love it. Never a single issue.
So I moved my site from Hostgator to WP Engine yesterday and so far I have not seen any speed improvements at all. I was 79/100 speed on Google PageSpeed Insight and now I am around 75/100 on WP Engine. Nothing has changed on my site or plugins. I actually have less plugins when I moved to WP Engine. I talked to their live chat support and he suggested that I add a plugin to help improvement. I asked him why should I add something when WP Engine advertises that they are fastest and charges more for it? Shouldn’t be an improvement without changing anything? If I wanted to add something I would add it on Hostgator and pay less. Funny thing is, the chat window somehow magically crashed. I have been with their chat for last 2 days and it never crashed before but this time when I pushed the guy, it did.
This is purely down to your misunderstanding of what the Google Pagespeed tool actually does vs what WPEngine actuall does.
The Pagespeed tool purely looks at your site, how it is coded, whether it has the right standards to be ‘fast’ – it has next to nothing to do with your host and is 98% down to your theme and the plugins you use.
For example you could have 100/100 pagespeed score, but if its hosted on a junky server with lots of sites on a crappy internet connection – it will still take 60 seconds to load.
Equally if a site has 0/100 pagespeed score but is hosted on a super mega wow wow fast server – it could load in less than a second.
I’m looking into Traffic Planet. Bulgaria based support chat and email only. That’s a deal breaker for me, I think…
The support is 24 hours a day and always quick to respond and I have them all on Skype as well
Good read, MW!
It sounds WPEngine got funding to grow and had to do some hasty short term hires to meet support demands. In my experience, all web hosting support are trained to not accept blame and try to divert blame elsewhere (there’s simply no professional benefit to openly admitting fault). Most customers aren’t as knowledgable as you, so they buy the reasoning and stay on. I’m sure WPEngine will eventually get back on top of things or maybe they are on top today. Afterall, it’s not easy training a person to be sound with WP, because it entails knowledge of WP itself, LAMP, plugins/3rd party items, htaccess, security/malware, etc.
So what company did you migrate your webhosting to?
Yeah and the head honcho jumped shipped at that point I believe as well.
The professional benefit to admitting fault is your customers trust you and don’t publish things like this.
I’m with TrafficPlanetHosting
Yeh I’d agree with this. I think you nailed it when you said they got way too big, too fast and tried to cover it up. When you’re hosting thousands of sites, you can’t give each one personalized attention so they give canned answers. When I first heard of them, I looked at their offerings and came across their list of disallowed plugins, I knew they would be a bad fit—at least for me and my clients.
As someone who builds and hosts websites for clients, I can see fault on both sides here—but more so with WP Engine—for stringing the client along for so long. Matthew gave them ample time to make good, which is more than I would have given them if been in the same situation.
Every website usually has some unique requirements. It’s good to hear that TPH understands that. It seems to me they fit the mold of what he’s looking for—a “semi-managed” host for someone just enough to be dangerous. That’s more or less what I do with my clients—we take care of their hosting and CMS updates so they don’t have to. If the site gets slow, we look at caching pieces here and there. If you have a lot of dynamic content, it’s harder (read more expensive) to stay fast when you have a lot of traffic—that’s just the nature of the web—but it is possible. There’s no way WPE can take into account every variable and every plugin so they lock it down, like any shared host would do but that flies in the face of what WP is capable.
I find it really interesting they’re allowing (and even parsing?) .htaccess files. Allowing .htaccess files in a server config are performance killers, especially for what you were doing it it. The www vs non code needs to go in the server block, not .htaccess; even shared hosts have that as an option in the control panel and that’s not something you want to be doing in .htaccess. So WPE wasn’t really wrong for suggesting it but they really didn’t go into detail about why.
TBH I thought Apache wasn’t even in the mix at WPEngine but it must be in some way if that redirect was working for you. I know they run nginx which doesn’t even use .htaccess files so they must be proxying back Apache. Hard to say but it sounds like their caching layer wasn’t really working for whatever reason.
Not just us then, good to know :)
Apart from not getting critical updates in a timely fashion (>3 weeks!) their IPs are blacklisted with SpamRats, causing our emails to get flagged as Spam even when they’re sent through a different service.
Sorry to hear that, I guess they haven’t really gotten any better =/
Thanks to your deeetailed post, now Trafic planet is the top in my referral list.
Awesome to hear :)
Thanks for a great intensive review..saved me joining up !! I did find out that they pay minimum 200 dollars for each new customer to their affiliates..hence they are growing by false recommendations..
so looking for somebody else to host my new web site ..which will be in wordpress..
Yup and they are hedging their bets with that kind of payout. I’m using TrafficPlanetHosting right now.
I came across the review when starting to evaluate dedicated WP hosting plans for a UK site. The detailed analysis is much appreciated!
No problem at all :)
Wow. I just spent forever reading this. I would never mess with you. All this stuff is Chinese to me, and yet I’m one of those annoying people who have to crosscheck and research everything before I buy. You are like the Kung Fu of the internet world. Everyone duck. Anyway, all I have are some articles written and a style of a template I want to use. The only thing I’ve bought is the domain through HellDaddy. Don’t hate… I’m an old school Wix user, done tons of those drag and drop websites for people, which requires no skill, and finally stepping into 2015. I want to go with a host you recommend. Do you think the trafficplanet is too detailed and advanced for a dummy like me? God help me. Can you point me in the right direction for someone with not a fraction of your knowledge? I’m such a beginner that even beginners would laugh. I’m in sales and marketing, and have all the creativity and ideas I need to make a go of a blog. I just don’t have the tech knowledge. Do I need it if I’m just starting out? Be gentle, eh? :)
Thanks man. It’s very helpful. I have exactly same experience with WPengine and spent a lot of time on searching for other WP hosting companies. Thanks for the recommendation, I’m migrating my site to Traffic Planet now ;)
Sorry to hear that hope you work things out!
Funnily enough, I came across this post by Googling “wp engine infrastructure,” which probably goes to show how unavailable they make actual tech specs about their servers. I’m currently researching various managed WordPress hosting companies for work and had been leaning toward recommending WP Engine to my supervisor, until I read this post and one other sharing a horrible experience (which came up in the same search, hah). Thank you for sharing!
Glad it helped you out!
Thank you for the review!! This review did it. You saved me from spending more money, time and hassle with these guys. I am truly grateful. I have given WPEngine a try as per certain recommendation but now, I will be migrating. I do not know what they do in manipulating data or functions (or else) but it certainly destroyed some AJAX functions of a theme. I tested out the theme on a low-cost test server and it is absolutely fine, working as designed without a hassle. Funny thing is, the imported data from WPEngine caused the same issue on the test server, initially, until I erased them all. Of course, the tech support didn’t help much as they blamed it on theme even after showing them a live working sample. Now, after reading your post I am certain that it had something to do with WPEngine. Very glad I found your site, and thank you again.
No problem sorry to hear you had similar problems
I just wanted to say thank you for your post. I’m on the lookout for a new hosting service and was on the brink of signing up with these guys. Luckily I decided to do a bit of due diligence and look through some reviews. Your post was the first I read – it looks like you’ve helped me dodge a bullet.
No problem at all!
Good post. Very detailed with the hardware and getting to the root of the problem. I checked pcmag for the best web hosting services and bluehost is a top ten host for 5.99 a month. Go daddy is also a top 10 host with the same ratings and goes for 2.99 a month. Which one is better to start out with? Also down the road is it easy to switch hosting? Are there things I should know now for later if I switch?
You can go with either of those, I tend to launch new sites with Justhost then move them later if needs be which is easy to do.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, Matthew!
It took 2 hours for me to read your posting. Didn’t want to miss a word. Kekeke. I would not read yours if you didn’t attach any proofs, yeah it could be business competitors of affiliate business things.
I am new blogger with a big zero about hosting, coding, etc. So, I am using wordpress.com but planning to have a self hosting soon. I am looking for the managed wordpress hosting for days already. Your article really help me.
Before I finished to read the comments, I started a chat with the live support of TPH. Awesome. Fast response and patient (since I said in my way about my need and problems, not using the MySQL or PHP language!)
The great thing is they will do much technical things for me without any additional fee. Another one is they only sell domain and wordpress hosting. No shared hosting, no VPS. It make me think:
“Great! They will really watch my website!”
“They are not business oriented guys!”
“They are absolutely expert on wordpress since they focus on it!”
After finished with the THP, I backed to your blog, read all the comments. Aaand find that you still using THP! It’s really assure me. Hahaha.
I am planning to move to THP next month!
Hahaha great to hear you are having a positive experience with them – I will stay with them for a long time to come :)
Maximizing the profit for the shareholders, greed, that is the main cause of the problem. We experience this in every part of our daily lives these days. Consolidation of companies, price matching cause once good companies to go down the toilet. They either get bought by larger companies or go bankrupt.
Unfortunately it pushes us to the big players like Amazon. At least their service level is something which is predictable. Of course it is much more technical to have a good Wordpress setup especially on their (first year free) micro instances but at least you are the captain of your boat. I’ve published my own configuration of how I use Amazon at http://purdox.com maybe it will help you in your future projects.
Handy link thank you :)
WHOA! It is a sad thing that WPEngine is “pretending” about infrastructure. I work for a hosting platform and we put it in bold words that we are using Amazon and DigitalOcean for our services.
I think it would strengthen their offering if they said so
Thanks a ton for taking the time to write all this and detail your journey of pain. :)
I’m currently looking for new hosting for my clients who use WordPress and it’s a challenge as the landscape is forever shifting. Of course, that’s par for the course, but still; whew!
As an aside, I was taking a look at the TPH folks as an alternative and they look great. I also noticed that it looks like you’ve switched your hosting over to Steadfast in Chicago. Did you finally end up getting a dedicated server? How are the folks at Steadfast? Your site certainly loads fast (GTMEtrix gives you an A for page speed, grats! :) )
Thanks again for all taking the 16+ hours to write this post!
I’m still with TrafficPlanetHosting :)
Thanks Matthew for the detailed review , I have had the exact same problems. Today was the last straw as I had random https/http duplicate content issues with WPEngine. Random server changes f*** up.
Im currently working with the trafficplanethosting team to move all my sites. Thanks again
Sorry to hear that, the TPH guys will look after you though :)
I think you should update the article slightly Matthew. I have fully moved but sadly are going to lose 2160 links from forums and websites hotlinking to the image on the CDN wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/ they cant do anything about that as they say “You are not a hosted customer anymore so we can’t do anything about it”. They said it will return a 404 error ofcourse with links pointing to their website. :(
Yes that is true but they could fix it with a redirect if they wanted to
Matt, I’m really glad I found this post as I have been looking into WPEngine to host an ecommerce site I’ve been working on.
Thanks for providing such an in-depth report on the problems you had and thereby saving myself and doubtlessly many other people a whole sh*tstorm of problems.
I’m now looking into Amazon EC2 or even Linode cloud hosting.
Best regards from sunny Thailand :-)
No worrys good luck finding a home for your project!
I was considering employment with WP Engine until I read this post. Thank you very much for sharing your experience!
Matthew thank you for sharing your experience with WPEngine. I found your blog article from WHT https://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1416967 and found the article an eye opener as I always had the impression from the outside that WPEngine were at the top of their game.
No worrys – yeah they look very professional, but my experience is very different
It seems you can add “Scummy host” to your list…
i’m one of their victims, check it out its unbelievable
Looks like they continue to take a tanking!
Following are some cons that I experienced with WPengine
I am pretty experience in WordPress, and have tons of experience on Hosting companies… wpengine is just not right hosting company for experience users.
– slow ftp upload speed (i am using 11mbps internet upload speed ISP, so i know)
– site migration (nightmare and confusing)
– not 24/7 customer support
– limited control and options in dashboard.
– display their ads on people ‘s website without permission…
Yeah the FTP was terrible for me as well, I guess that is partially down to SFTP
I was looking for a fast host and after your recommendation i went with trafficplanethosting
Everything great,speed,support etc.
However i am noticing my site to be very slow everyday now about 1h+ around 8 to 9 PM ET.
On average my landing pages load in max 2 sec but during this time it takes up to 40 sec for a simple landing page to load.
Do you have any related issue?
I was happy with traficplanet hosting ,however with this slow down i can’t continue because i send paid traffic to my landing pages and i see visitors leaving quickly during the slow down.
Oh ,another thing to mention , i talked to their live support about this issue and they replied with irony that i am the first person to have problem with their site speed and after 2 messages ,they didn’t respond anymore.
Sorry if it has already been asked, but where did you migrate to?
Do you have a WP managed host you recommend now?
Thanks for any insight.
I guess you should read the post :)
lol I did! A few times. Will slow my scanning down and try again.
Trafficplanethosting.com – Outstanding service!! I highly recommend. Thank You!
No worrys :)
I just signup with TPH, after complete all the payment can’t access to my Dashboard. After gain back the access its damm slow and keep stated unable to connect. Ha ha ha they unable to managed their own website, how I expect they can handle my website
I was on WPEngine never had this problem for last two years. Wanted to try after reading this articles. I guest your articles and comment is not reliable at all.
Still unable to access my dashboard after completed writing this comment. Its totally not good for those depending with website to earn money and support the family.
Have you spoken to support/terry directly?
Have you raised a ticket Anuar with our 24/7 support team? Don’t see any ticket on this issue.
Anuar, your admin panel and website are loading perfectly right now with this Pingdom Tools score: http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/#!/cRmqbm/http://www.wegowithanuar.com/ (Faster than 93% of sites tested on Pingdom and a 90 Performance Grade there).
[Update 12 Sept, 2014]
After bad first impression experienced, I almost hit Request Cancellation Button on my Dashboard but decided to give a try.
Migrating Experience – super easy and efficient compare with WPEngine. All done by Traffic Planet Hosting support staff.
Testing Traffic Planet Hosting support staff question regarding SSL and CDN. SURPRISING….
1. They reply all the answer less in one hour.
2. TPH support staff recommended the priority step to setup SSL and CDN
2. They willing to help me setup my WordPress with SSL and CDN (bonus point that I don’t get from my previous hosting. I been forced to buy CDN service from them that much more expensive, upgrade my plan and get a specific SSL certificate. TPH staff personally recommended a good and cheap certificate that works.
3. SSL installation was done less than 45 minutes from the point I purchased the license, provide CRS request code, install the license. I like to do it in Malaysia time to make sure they really 24 hours on standby.
4. SSl install problem and troubleshoot done in 30 minutes.
If you have very less skill about WordPress technical issue, I really recommended try Traffic Planet Hosting. Their have superb support staff that willing to help in very short time.
Surprising my WordPress ranking have some immediately improvement after move to TPH. Not sure the main cause of significant improvement of ranking. I believed because……. read again my comment you will get the hint :-)
And thats why I <3 Terry Kyle & his team (shout out to George)!
I’m blown away.
I was just discussing wpengine with someone and was entertaining the idea of signing up with them to host a new site I’m going to be launching soon.
I’m glad I googled till I found this!
I’ll be bouncing on over to Terry Kyles place now :)
Ahhh well, glad to be of service :)
I appreciate the time it took to write this post, even though I can’t help but noticed that it ultimately does end up leading to another monetary opportunity for the author that could end up the same way for people following the new advice. I can support that, though it has to be taken into account because when one is being paid for anything one can never truly be objective, no matter what your intentions [Also, for the record, I love Terry Kyle’s stuff and have been his customer a few times in the past. Top notch guy, but know nothing of his hosting and will leave the vetting of that to other who enjoy being on the front lines lol]
Really, all of this is just life in the economic cycle and “character arc” of any successful business, hosting or otherwise.
Map your experiences with any band you’ve ever liked, or girlfriend you had that turned into your wife later (or perhaps didn’t). Goes something like this:
Host: “Man these guys are awesome. They have it all going on… speed, convenience, customer service, value pricing.. i have finally found Nirvana and they are the one… I am so lucky!”
G/F: “Man this girl is smoking hot. She has it all going on.. body that won’t quit, smart, not psycho, can hang with the guys, lets me play golf.. I have finally found chick Nirvana..she is the one I am so lucky!”
Band: “These guys are freaking awesome. Awesome guitars, great drummer, unique musical style, intelligent lyrics. So cool that I know about them and no one else does.. I found my ultimate band with whom I can associate myself fully!”
Host: “Hmm these guys seem to have some serious flaws. Customer service guys are deleting my data and changing IP addresses without telling me. Tons of downtime lately and my customers are pissed. Seems like everyone and their brother is moving to this host now and the cat’s out of the bag. Maybe it’s just a phase, not gonna stress on it”
G/F: “Hmm this chick is kinda psycho sometimes. Wants to hang out all the time and freaks if I don’t call her for like 12 hrs. Not getting friend time like I used to w/the guys. Ah well, probably just a phase, not gonna stress on it.”
Band: “Hmm this second album sucks donkey balls. And now everyone knows about them and they seem to be selling out.. not special when I go to see them anymore. What the hell happened to my band? Meh, probably just a sophomore struggle and a phase, gonna keep listening to it and can’t wait for the next album when they get back to their roots”
Host: “F_ck this s_it I cannot even run my business anymore. People are freaking out and I am losing money. Customer service doesn’t seem to give a crap and I don’t even recognize these guys anymore. I am f_cking outta here.”
G/F: “F_ck this s_it I don’t even have a life anymore. Haven’t had a beer with the guys or played golf in 6 months.. My friends have given up on me and this girl is clearly psycho. Now she wants to move in together and get married, and I’m ready to chew my own arm off to get away from her”
Band: “F_ck this band they suck. This 3rd album is even worst than the 2nd. WTF is a pan flute doing on a rock band’s album anyway?? Can’t even get an overpriced ticket to one of their shows as they’re sold out and every 12 year old is humming the lately craptastic tune from this album.”
Phase 4: “I’m F_cking outta here!”
Phase 5: “Whoa, that new girl/band/host is looking freaking hot/sounding freaking rad/looking freaking perfect..” (insert repeat of cycle here)
Anyhow, point being is that IF your hosting company is good, and they have aspirations of financial success, there is a great chance they will follow the VC money / slaves to money / screw the customers cycle that is the death of good quality everywhere. Precious few companies even maintain the “nirvana” state for more than a year or two. I’m not excusing it because it’s always lame and unacceptable and pisses me off, but then again so does the fact that people I love die and my tax bill every year. Some things are just realities of life.
It’s hard not to get attached to the awesome years (or months), but it’s probably a better idea to grow up and realize that you’re going to be going through the same growing pains with a host you will with your own biz, your g/f, your wife, your fav band, or any other entity. Sometimes you’ll work it out in the end, sometimes you won’t. Sometimes you’ll get divorced, sometimes you’ll go through therapy together and have the strongest relationship you ever dreamed of and be happy.
Trick is knowing when to cut bait and fish. Just don’t deceive yourself that the good times are going to last. key thing with hosts and chicks is having good communication to work out the issues, and hopefully some giving of a s_it on their part to work it out. [Btw your band doesn’t give a shit about you and if you try to communicate with them they’ll probably just laugh at you or consider you a stalker ;-)]
Oh btw, for full disclosure purposes, I am a 14 month WPEngine customer with a dedicated $500/month account and over 100 sites hosted on their platform. I have twice had total meltdowns with them, both of which involved ridiculous downtime, some annoyances with having our IPs changed without warning and having to edit like 100 DNS zone files to resolve issues, and black eyes with some of my affected customers. In one case I found out they were sharing my supposedly dedicated server for 5 months with other customers! However, they admitted the problem when they found it, and refunded a huge amount of money to me.. I think it was $1500 to $2000 refunded. So, they kept me as a customer.
I’ve noticed the downturn in the average skill of a support person but honestly most of the time our s_it just works and works well, which is ABOVE ALL what I want and need from a hosting relationship because I simply don’t have the time to deal with hosting problems.
Yes, I pay a lot of money for their service. And frankly, if I didn’t and had a $99/mo account, my guess is I probably wouldn’t be as happy and may not even be with them any more. But yes, I am also happy with them (for now). However, I hear their 3rd album is coming out.. and they’re telling me it might be better for me not to play so much golf during the week.. so I’m also really nervous ;-)
PS. For those particularly interested in the finding of a non psycho marriage quality woman, this is required watching: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKWmFWRVLlU
Yes I agree any service that anyone recommends can always go downhill. Although I wasn’t paid to do that – Terry Kyle literally came to my rescue on a weekend.
I like how you break that down with the different scenarios haha you could turn that into a blog post =D
If there is anything I have learnt about hosting, finding a reliable one that stands the test of time is tough, very tough.
A couple of days ago I was chatting with sales at WPengine. I was negotiating prices and when I asked for better pricing, they told me this:
“If you just want to save a few bucks you shouldn´t be here”
Talking about customer service? ha ha…this guys are a joke!
You should have replied with a link to this post :)
LOL…The incident happened before I read this post.
I agree that the response could have been delivered better but what exactly were you expecting? Why do you assume a web host is going to negotiate pricing with you? Will Amazon negotiate AWS pricing with you? Will Apple negotiate iCloud pricing with you? I’m the co-founder of a highly successful product and our pricing is what it is, it’s not a negotiation. That is how most web hosts, SaaS and online services work.
Great and thorough article. I think anyone who drinks the marketing koolaid that WP Engine did initially should read thru all the negative reviews as well. I fell for it a while back as well.
My biggest complaints – tech support. Its spotty, sometimes they respond quickly, sometimes it takes forever. My questions were always answered with links to the FAQs or whatever, which if the support had actually read my question, would realize its not something listed in any of those docs, and I am not that tech retarded – so bullshit there.
Second – their pricing is ridiculous. Its pretty obvious they nickel and dime on bandwidth and only want to host sites that get very little traffic. They have no pricing structure that grows, its either some low use fixed priced or, shudders, sell your newborn child to pay for the month if you get a slightly modest traffic hit which, as you stated, most budget shared hosts seem to handle no problem.
Overall, beware of drinking the WP Engine koolaid. I suspect the company experienced very fast growth and was not internally setup to handle it, nor did they know how to manage it properly and are experiencing some kind of company implosion. I’ve seen and worked with companies where this same thing happened and it smells of this.
Sorry to hear your bad experience :(
Wow I didn’t have quite the same issues you did w/ WP Engine, but was still left frustrated by some of their systems.
The biggest issue was the extra charges for excessive traffic — and I’ll echo what others have said: if they’re targeting a non-technical client-base, our only understanding of “traffic” is what Google Analytics shows us. So when we see 25,000 visits are included, and we have less than that every month in GA, we understand we’re good to go.
Then we get sticker shock when they report a figure 4x higher and charge you for it.
Their support team was generally good to me — did not have the same issues as you — but in one instance they recommended a plugin that actually rendered the site inaccessible to everyone who wasn’t logged in. Thankfully some people emailed and tweeted me up about it pretty quickly.
I just made the transition to TPH last week (w/ your affiliate link so hopefully you get credit for that). Thanks again for the detailed post and recommending an alternative. Will keep an eye on the performance numbers and see how it goes the next few weeks!
Yeah the traffic thing is a problem and immediately call’s them into question as a new customer! Not sure why they cap it on visits, seems daft to me!
Let me know how you get on with TPH will be interesting to hear your feedback!
Was getting ready to fire off a nasty email to WPengine and then I found this post. Figured it be a waste of time. The one thing that pissed me off the most was the way they count “visitors”. It’s not explained on their home page the “bots” are part of the count. Classic Bait-and-Switch if you ask me. Someone needs to start a class action lawsuit. I’m sure that will get there attention. I just don’t have time (or money) to fight WPengine.
So, I moved on (after only with them for 3 days). I signed up with TPH last night. Had a few questions and to my surprise they were answered (in less then 15 minutes) before I went to bed (1 a.m. Eastern). I woke up this morning (8 a.m.) and found my site had already been migrated! In fact, it was done in a couple of hours. Just waiting for the site to propagate. WPengine took me 5 days to get it migrated.
Again, new questions this morning for TPH. Again, answered in less then 15 minutes! Hope this is how they continue to run their business during the “growing” years.
Also, I’m wondering why TPH doesn’t point out the “visitor” count as a benefit? I have very few visitors per month at the moment. On Statcounter.com, I had a total of 1 visitor in 3 days. However, per WPengine I had 178!!! Anyways, I’m looking forward to seeing my site on TPH.
Thanks for the info Matt!
Sorry to hear about your problems with WPEngine but at least you have it all dealt with now and you see why I am trusting TrafficPlanetHosting with my site!
Great Post Matthew, well documented to show the issues. I have a client who wanted to use them about a year ago. When he signed up for their service I checked them out and found that you are so limited in what is allowed that running his site was not possible on their platform. Plus their promised support and speed where not up to the hype at the time.
Glad to see someone document and spread the word about poor support ect.. This I am sure this has and still is costing them clients since I only found this article today 3 months after it was posted. I don’t imagine they have done anything to address the issues you raised for any of their clients still with them ..
Will continue to spread this news..
WP Plugins A to Z
Sorry to hear you had a poor experience with them as well :(
WOW! I actually read through this entire post. It’s a damn good thing I did! I was getting ready to purchase a business plan for $249 a month to host some of my sites. Thanks for this honest write up. I’ll look elsewhere now.
No worrys :)
I was curious to your thoughts on dedicated servers. As mentioned, I almost pulled the plug and invested $250 a month for WPEngine to host only two of my niche sites. (I was still talking to the sales rep as I read this post.) They told me if I added a third it would run $600.00 a month due to website traffic. (The first two sites was going to be a test before adding more of my sites.) Now again, I will admit reading your post probably saved me a fortune. I would lose a ton of money if my experiences turned out like yours. Again, thank you. With that being said, I’m thinking of going with dedicated servers instead. I’m getting ready to launch my own product and I know the traffic will increase to the servers I’m already using (shared hosting). This is why I’m on the prowl for new solutions as I do not want to do a product launch only to have servers crash or end up with individuals not knowing Wordpress :P. Your thoughts on dedicated servers? The good, bad and ugly.
Dedicated servers are well, dedicated so you avoid a lot of the problems of shared hosting. However you are fully in charge of managing/maintaining/fixing any problems that came up.
Although there are comments on this post that have alluded to some simple solutions with that!
Have you had any additional downtime with TPH since your last update? I cant afford any downtime on my sites so would be interested to hear if you still recommend them….thanks!
If you literally cannot afford any downtime you need to invest a solid 4-5 figures per month in a serious managed host like rackspace with fail overs etc
I will write a post about it this month :)
I’ve read a number of items that compare the Synthesis WordPress hosting platform to WPEngine (in a positive way) regarding performance.
WebSynthesis is run by the CopyBlogger people. Just curious if you (or anyone else here) have had any experience with them.
I haven’t tried them personally!
Hey man sorry to hear this about a hosting company. I do have to ask, WTF did you wait so long to change host? After their first Fup, I would of sh*t canned their butts. Good luck man wow
I’m pretty patient with things and sometimes there are teething problems, then I thought the CEO had control of it and time went on =/
Read the entire post, geez that reminds me of some of the hosting nightmares that I’ve dealt with in the past. One hosting company had 3 days of fucking downtime, totally unacceptable.
What has worked out well for me is learning Linux and the command line and setting up my own servers on vendors I found on LowEndBox. I only run Nginx + PHP FPM instead of Apache. Whatever I do, I cannot get fucking Apache to feel very responsive. Nginx on the other hand is the tits!
Highly recommend you use a highly rated LowEndBox vendor, Amazon AWS, Linode, Digital Ocean, or something similar. If I ever have any hosting problems I can order a new server, completely set one up from scratch, and transfer my domains in the matter of a few hours (I have 10+ sites).
Look up the Tuxlite script for setting up web servers. It’s literally idiot proof (I’m a certified idiot and I learned how to use it). Web hosting is so important to an internet marketers business that it really makes sense to just suck it up and learn how to admin your own servers. All I do now is restart my servers every once in awhile, takes 2 minutes. I’ve been setting up my own servers for 2 or 3 years now and feel like web hosting problems are a thing of the past. Highly suggest people reading this to start watching Youtube videos on SSH, linux commands, etc.. Took me a few weeks to really pick it up. I have a server that can handle 10 million visits per day and it’s less than $20/month
Looks like a cool little script thanks for the advice!
Thanks Matthew for this superb article. I took a chance on Traffic Planet Hosting after reading this post. It has been impressive right from the start. Blazing speed, responsive support desk. I took the 5-sites deal. Value for money really. TPH migration was pain-free and no downtime.
At the same time, I signed up with another hosting company to host my private blog network and non-money sites that I’m building. In contrast – that has been a terrible start. My sites are still down after more than 24 hours as I write this post, still no updates. Their complimentary migration service sucks. I would have done it faster armed with nothing else but BackupBuddy plugin and FTP. Sigh.
Sorry to hear about that – it is always hard to find reliable, cheap hosts for blog networks =/
“When you move your site over to WPEngine they make serious WPEngine specific changes to core WordPress files.
They don’t tell you what they have changed or which files they have made those changes in.
But what this means is when you try to move your site away from WPEngine, you are going to have a hard time getting it to work properly on another host.”
THIS explains why I had issues when I migrated my personal site from WPE to Pagely… The support team kept me in the loop and kept having to remove WPE remnants before my site performed properly. Honestly, I thought it may have been either incompetence on my part during migration or Pagely’s services, but it makes sense now.
Don’t mean to assume here but too many pieces adding up and the evidence is building. We (EF) have been having speed and hosting issues for a while now. Had a site speed pro “audit” our site as well and he hasn’t had 100% positive things to say about WPE either. Hm…
Yeah that sucks, I think it would be helpful to publish a list of what those changes are. I might do something :)
Did you ever tried something like Amazon Web Services? I mean if you spend all this time just because of speed, you might want to give a try to have a custom dedicated system to deliver to your clients the best experience possible.
I talk from experience on that field, I had a server with about 400k unique visitors in peak hours, I mean when I got links on http://globo.com/ to the site I was managing.
The thing is, the only solution the was able to hold that amount of traffic was AWS with a custom made server.
I hope you find your golden gun to solve this problem for sure, because no VPS or single machine hosting will do it the way it should be done.
my Best Regards,
Yes I’ve used AWS before which requires a whole bunch of technical setup/config/management and when things go wrong there isn’t any level of support other than ‘reimage your server’
Somehow I’m not surprised at all… Hosting companies are probably among the most shady kinds of businesses of them all.
For instance, Host Gator once installed a spam forum on my domain. And they didn’t care to remove it. More info under my name link.
Looks like your site got hacked rather than an issue with hostgator
Not exactly. Apart from my site, there were 10s of thousands other domains with the exact spam forum on them. Someone breached the servers, not the individual domains, and then placed the forum under https.
How do you know the breached servers and not a common plugin/wordpress exploit?
As far as I remember, when I searched for similar domains on the web, not all of them run WordPress on the main http protocol (the forum was on https).
It may be a common exploit, but every infected site I checked was running on Gator.
But they could be using a common library like timthumb
May you should check out server pilot. It will spin up a VPS and install everything you need…And, if you want you can always SSH into your server if you need to.
Looks pretty handy thanks!
My original comment is below. I thankfully copied it to my clipboard before clicking to post since I had been on your page awhile, otherwise it would have been lost… as unfortunately, your website was down. As I tried to comment or reload the page, I kept getting the “Failed to open page” saying the server is down. (Terry, can you speak to this? I was considering up with your company after reading this post… the first time I noticed the site was down tonight was 5:41pm US/Central Time; it was still down an hour later as I updated this draft offline. Not a great first impression, but willing to ask to see if I should move forward anyway, knowing no hosting company is perfect. Thanks.)
First, just want to chime in with my thanks. I was about to sign-up with WPE (my first shared hosting company) when I launch a new site in June, but while reading their blog yesterday I noticed someone in the comments mentioned you by name as having a bad experience. Entered your name in Google and thankfully I found this comprehensive post and will now find a new provider instead.
Since finding your site, I’ve spent hours reading your posts, and appreciate the wealth of information. The only thing that didn’t sit well with me as a potential subscriber here is that when you asked WPEngine to refund your affiliates, I thought the next sentence might be you stating that you were asking them to follow your lead as you might be giving your WPE commissions away, perhaps to a charity of your choice, a giveaway, or some creative way to give back the profits made during the time period you were experiencing bad service but your blog continued to recommend their services. With the nature of affiliate marketing it is hard to trust your profiting off them during the entire 8-month ordeal knowing they were not the awesomeness that was published on the blog at that time. Unlike the commenter above, I understand the new affiliate link as you partner with Terry as the nature of marketing and your blog. It’s just at some point during the 8-month period, there reached a point when things were unraveling but you were continuing to profit by recommending a company you knew to be dysfunctional – that is what is a little hard to fully trust as a new reader. I like to give back to bloggers with my click (in this case by clicking on to Terry’s company as thanks for your time and efforts in sparing my making a mistake with WPE), but having some pause given the circumstances. [Update: And now having a lot of pause when I tried to publish this comment but your website server was down for over an hour.]
All that said, you do have my thanks for helping readers avoid issues with WPE. I am not as tech savvy as you (by a long shot) so such mistakes on their end would be even more difficult for me to manage. I wish you all the best with the new host and I look forward to reading about your experience with them.
Sorry about that but nice to see im not the only person that copies form content before submitting it ‘just in case’ lol The data center had a power failure which led to a bunch of corrupt databases, I have updated the post.
While I was having problems with them during that period lots of other people didn’t, it really is only since publishing this post it has come to light just how wide spread the problems are. Plus I had truly put my faith into them after speaking to them directly at affiliate summit but you have to give people a chance to investigate and resolve issues before hanging them.
They just used that chance to hang themselves =/
We moved on trafficplanet recently.
The support is fast and reliable. Today the server went done for several hours. We hope this will not happen again.
NOTE: phpSOAP seems not activated by default
Yeah the entire data centre went out =/
Just drop them a mail!
especially to Ryan, from the above post,
no matter what commission you get from any affiliate links a subscriber list or site daily traffic of 100-150 thousand people is worth 1000 times more than crappy affiliate payments, its worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, even though Yoast was offered 150 dollars per hosting sign up, he refused because he knew each visitor is probably worth around 10-20 thousand over the customer life cycle,
just cause you have some link doesn’t mean they can deliberately and on purpose ruin your business, there to lazy and don’t want real customers , i had same problem with https://ventraip.com.au/ in Australia, but they closed the account and stole all my content and files without warning, so now the police are involved and the owner is being charged with theft. Mathew should bill them for the link on his site im sure its worth at least 10k
Actaully its an affiliate link I take commission on
I read the full post when you published it and come back to read the comments.
Fortunately I didn’t move to WPE when you made your first review and I’m still with the Gator (CloudFare improved dramatically the pages speed but the TTFB is still high).
I ‘know’ Terry for years and I’m quite confident about his integrity.
When he launched TPH a few months I could not believe such features so I decided to ‘wait and see’.
The Alexa rank of TPH is still high so I guess he doesn’t have much clients but this should be changing with your post.
I read somewhere in the post or in the comments that you were using Amazon Cloudfront CDN.
Doest it mean the CDN is included in TPH so no need to use another one?
My biz and clients are based in Asia so I would prefer an IP there.
The only thing for which I am reluctant to move to Terry’s solution for my M websites is his background in the SEO industry. Do you remember the ads here ‘the man who… Mat Cutts’?
It’s nice to have a SEO expert at the head but you see what I mean…
mediatemple and siteground look interesting too… I should take my decision shortly.
I can’t believe after all the time you spent being patient and communicating, they terminated your account and charged you the next day. Your experience just sounds unbelievable. At one point, I thought about moving over to WP Engine, but now I know.
Yeah that was rookie
Wow! Unreal that everyone here is acting as if your the victim. Does anyone see this racket??
This is one of the reasons why you can not trust blogs that do affiliate marketing. Matt jumped on board something that looked good and paid big money for him to endorse it, then while he waits 8 months to “fix” this problem with WP Engine, did he stop recommending people to WP Engine? Nope he kept on profiting. from readers.
Now as WP Engine crashes and burns and leave Matt with only 3 days to get his site on a new site, his buddy Terry save the day, who of course he has looked up to for years. Well if he was so great why didn’t Matt talk to him in the first place and go with someone who you had looked up to for such a long period of time.
Then the final kicker, all you readers kiss Matt’s ass about how amazing of a post this is (and it was well written) and then click on his NEW affiliate link to all jump on that train and pay him more money.
No one else going to see this for what it is? Matt FUCKED up and then wants you to jump ship to his new affiliate site, join them and make money.
I am not saying that Matt planned this to happen. But jesus guys, he isn’t a martyr he fucked up and profited handsomely off of it!
Good job Matt! I’m unsubscribing.
Actually I was under the impression this was an isolated case rather than a global issue with the company, it was only when I spoke to other people and published this post I saw how wide spread it was.
Yes I have looked up to Terry for years, ever since he did the forum profile link building case study on WarriorForm, then I was a very active member on his backlinksforum which then turned into the traffic planet forum. Go and take a look at some of my first income reports.
Do your research before you talk :)
My point is still valid. You made money off the last link, you’ll make money off the new one.
My point with Terry is if his product was so much better then WP Engine (by close to 20% faster) and you knew him for so long from years ago, why not try him in the beginning….probably cause the affiliate money from WP Engine is better is my guess.
The fact is your credibility is only as good as the amount of money you get from the affiliate link. Then, when shit hits the fan, jump to a new one.
Which of course you have a nice new affiliate link for Traffic Planet or whatever it is called.
Terry only launched the hosting a few months back and we were working on a case study cloning the site over to http://mattwoodwardblogtest.com/ and speed testing it, but then I had to shelve that because moving country took up a bunch more time than I expected.
Then WPEngine forced my hand and I had no option but to find time & move immediately.
I will continue to use affiliate links where I can, that’s what affiliate marketing is. The same as poker players play poker and basketball players use basket balls.
What other wordpress optimized hosts do people use? I’m looking for someone else. I’ve had enough of WPengine’s games and lies!
Have a read through the comments, personally im using TrafficPlanetHosting
This is Tony, I came to your Wpengine review literally 6 months ago and bought the professional Wpengine Vps hosting (like the one you had).
I have been getting a lot of downtime without notices & slow customer support. I’m making the move as typing this comment
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming you or anything, I just like to let you know that We’re on the same page and I understand you pain dealing with Wpengine service & support!
Yeah sorry about that, they were awesome when I first started using them but well =/
i was with wpengine, but didnt renew past the 3 month period myself, I do have a server with linode, cheaper than wpengine, im a sys admin myself, so its not hard to maintain/keepup.
I usally stay away from shared hosting because one person on a server could ruin it for someone else with insecure scripts, etc, but I wanted to give wpengine a go.
Siteground is another host worth looking at.
I suppose if your happy with Linode that’s all you need!
I had some of the same problems that you had with my hosting provider, Hosting24.com.
Each time I write to them with a problem, they always come back to me with some generic response!
99% uptime? Forget it. Downtime happens every freaking day and a few hours at that! And this only for my basic Wordpress site with only several posts.
I think there should be regulator that penalizes these so-called hosting providers. Monitor them and close them down if necessary if they don’t buck up.
Sounds like you need to move away!
I did. Keeping my fingers crossed with the new one!
Thanks Matt. Keep blogging the great stuff!
Sometimes its the sale you recover (after it goes pear shaped) rather than the easy sale that gives the most satisfaction. But its clear in this case that your persistence and patience was never going to recover anything. Even though they showed you the door (or in their words… not a good fit)… all you can do in file it away as a bad experience and get on with great content. And … it looks like you scored a better host anyway. Thanks for the post. Damon
No worrys :) Hopefully things are better with TPH!
Very brave and helpful post Matt – I’m sure the WPEngine board are cringing!
Haha I could have done a lot worse we’ll see what they do!
Great write-up. A very disappointing response from them, especially after a face to face chat with the co-founder. It’s poor form to promise something to someone’s face and just blank them.
Well they are good at talking the talk!
Yea, its hard because were slow too. I actually didn’t know about wpengine until you mentioned something and everyone was saying the same exact thing you was. “holy shit, my site is faster”
The problem with us – a woo commerce site with a size of 20+GB of files. Most of them are images of course but needless to say I feel it will be nearly impossible to move the site and we’re at the $250 dollar plan. To be honest it seems that wpengine just rents a bunch of servers of of https://www.linode.com anyways. I feel the issue is that they try to maximize the profit for each customer.
20GB isn’t a lot of data to move in this day and age, just takes a bit more time :)
What makes you think they just linonde? Perhaps worth further investigation
You’re right. Of course but when you can’t ssh into this – tar && bzip then scp to remote server to move it does become a pain in the ass. When the only way you need to get all these images is downloading them one by one with sftp. So yes – I do feel like they are holding us hostage when I cannot even goto phpmyadmin to do a SQL dump because its so big and times-out. “Oh we can’t change the php execution time because its a shared server” – oh screw you. So what do I need to do – create a ticket.
take a look at this: https://www.linode.com/welcome/ram-offer/ and look at the footer. I don’t think this slowness has anything to do with linode though but entirely that wpengine wants to maximize the profit per shared machine.
What about the automated backups – they contain a mysql dump in the wp-content folder
Interesting about Linode, will update the article!
Matthew, this is a scary experience. At least you’ve known what was the issue all the time (although it didn’t help you get them solve the problem). I’ve switched hosting recently and was considering WP Engine based on MyTanFeet recommendation. But I went with Websynthesis at the end. So happy now that I made that decision. What’s your opinion on Websynthesis?
I haven’t used them myself =\
I’ve got several different hosting plans with various companies for various websites and businesses I own with the idea that keeping my eggs in separate hosting baskets helps to mitigate my risk.
Continuing that line of thinking I started an account with WPEngine earlier this year and recently upgraded to their $99 a month plan with them (I kept my other dedicated server and other hosting plan). After reading this review I’m contemplating moving a website back off WP Engine that I was going to launch a new software product on and back onto my dedicated server.
I’ve noticed a few of the issues you’ve described such as the connection lost while in a post editor etc. and now I’m worried it’s a sign of worse things to come (especially after reading this review).
The crappy thing about web hosting is that companies that become successful eventually get bought out (and then almost inevitably they suck).
So in the end no matter who you’re with now you won’t be with them for life. The very first dedicated server I bought was with SoftLayer way back in 2007 and I’ve had at least one or more dedicated servers since then. I’ve enjoyed a dedicated server experience far more than any other hosting solution but I thought managed WP would be an even brighter future. Perhaps it’s not.
I ultimately haven’t had enough experience yet with WP Engine to form an opinion other than that I hate how you can’t get yourdomain.com email from WP Engine as well – had to pay for Google Apps for business.
Nice to see you over here :)
Yeah the concept of managed wordpress hosting is great, just the execution of it so far hasn’t been great (well it was but not now) – interesting your seeing similar issues on a site you haven’t even launched yet and I’m guessing isn’t even getting any traffic.
My advice would be to move it before launch – seems you have solid experiences elsewhere!
Wow, Matt. Just…wow.
You went to TOWN on WPEngine with this article. I found myself nodding my head several times while reading this, having gone through some of the same finger pointing ourselves.
We’re currently in the middle of a re-design and we were discussing whether to continue with WPEngine when we launch. We were on the fence, but I’m going to show this post to our team and we likely won’t be continuing with them.
Another excellent review, Matt – keep it up!
Thanks Justin, sorry to hear you have had the same problems woth them!
Damn Matt.. that really sucks. I don’t know how you do it. I would of blew up right away. 7 months is a long ass time. I came over to your blog to look at your post on WP engine because I’ve been thinking of switching my hosting company. Good thing I came at the right time and saw this post lol
Screw WP engine. Can’t believe they would do such a thing. Like what the hell were they thinking? Really though. Especially to a huge IM blog like this one. Bunch of idiots.
I was allowing them time to fix their problems / hang themselves further so I could write about it. They chose the wrong one :P
ahhh I see what your plan was there hahaha
There was a few minutes downtime this morning but all looks good at the moment!
Yes everything is working, i contact the support team, and they did a great job and took care and resolved the issues.
Thats what I like to hear :)
yes everything is working now, the support team took care of the problem
I think it’s time to write an article on this topic too matt “After Wpengine How Traffic Planet Hosting hijacked my Business” Check out the screenshot. I have faced this error 4 times when i visited your blog today at 4PM PST date 25/5/2014. Time to get a VPS dude,, try hoostforweb’s cloud vps server,, they were handling my 36k per day traffic with 0 downtime for 6 months,, i’m monitoring my blogs with my own website monitoring service and get alerts via SMS. You should also use pingdom to monitor yours.
Do you have the screenshot?
Thanks Hammad. That was a one-off mysql issue that was quickly fixed. Matt’s experience with us has been very positive and to suggest that we have hijacked his business like WPEngine is pretty unfair.
Wow! I’ll be sure to avoid WP Engine like the plague. I had a similar experience with Purely Hosting. I paid $100 for an “SEO ready” website but all I got was some piece of crap, cookie-cutter site they obviously spit out for everyone. There was no SEO done and I ended up having to do all of it. And their load times were atrocious and my site would constantly go down. I would email support about it and all they would say is “it looks good to us. Just clear your cache and you should be fine.” I shouldn’t have to keep clearing my cache! But I digress. Thanks for this post Matthew. Cheers.
Sorry to hear, that sounds like an even worse experience than I have had!
Wow. I don’t think I’ve seen such a thorough review (at least not in a long time). And my job is reading web hosting reviews.
It looks like you’ve found a replacement and even did some testing on it too. I’m always happy to see people finding companies they are happy with. Just in case you were still looking around or researching other options, I thought you may find some research I worked on useful http://reviewsignal.com/blog/2014/03/26/managed-wordpress-hosting-showdown-performance-benchmarks/ I was testing a lot of the big WP hosting companies including WPEngine (although not your Traffic Planet). WPEngine didn’t perform great compared to some of the other custom solutions that have popped up. Just thought you might be interested in seeing those results, there are some companies who seem to have the performance component running a lot better (don’t mistake performance benchmarks as full reviews though! We both know there is more to a hosting company than simply performance, like customer support).
Anyways, good luck and hopefully it’s smoother sailing from here.
Thanks will check it out =D
This is the first time I’m reading a negative review on WP Engine. Sad to see you’ve to face issues for so many months. As you said, probably rise in customers over the last few years decreased the quality of their support!
Thanks for sharing this review!
Hope it helps – you should Google around though there a bunch of reviews like this.
Interesting article Matthew – I am glad you are sorted now.
I just moved to their professional plan on $99 a month, before reading this. However, that being said, I am over the moon with them at the moment. Granted, my traffic is like a grain of sand to your beach, but I have had only positive experiences with everything – including their support.
Perhaps it will be a different story if my blog/other sites ever gets any traction or runs into any problems, but for now I will be living by what is happening now and not on ‘perhaps’.
Ask them how many resources they allocate to your site :)
This is very scary reading and I have just signed up with WPEngine too. I haven’t had a good time since moving over but I’m glad its going well with you. I have had no email service for weeks. They do not supply this and its been hell soring out something else since. How did you manage to get around the email issue if you don’t mind sharing. I would appreciate any imput you can give. Thank you
You can use something like Google Apps for business
Jesus!!! I am so sorry that you have experienced all that. Insane.
I have no idea what to do right now myself. I am stuck and have never felt like this before. I just joined WPE. I haven’t been able to set up emails and have my contact forms working since I am been with them. I know they don’t offer email support but I found this out after I joined up. I just cannot find the right provider that can provide the relevant service using the ports 2525 ports that WPE allow.
I have to get away but don’t know where to go. I feel that most of these hosting companies are no good but I have never had this type of trouble. They are not monitored and as a result they offer rubbish service. Do you have any advice? Would be appreciated. Thanks
Great post. What a detailed description, and you showed a lot of patience.
Sorry to hear of your issues Matt. Assuming you can configure your own server I would highly recommend Rackspace Cloud hosting. Been using them for 5 years (and 3 before on a completely dedicated box) and never had any issues.
Thanks for the tips!
You should try LightningBase. I’ve been with them for a year, but never have I experienced those issues mentioned above.
Thanks for sharing!
Great post Matt!
I’ve been looking forward to it after I saw your first tweet when you spotted the link injection.
I hope some good comes of the outing. It certainly helped me with my site up scaling choice. Thank you.
Bet you wish you could automate your answers on all the vps/dedicated recommendations though :)
Hahaha I will find a way :P
Timely comments from http://chrislema.com/future-managed-wordpress-hosting/
Nice link thanks!
This is one of those situations where its so bad you gotta laugh or you’d be smashing stuff up left right and centre. I can’t believe you stuck with them for so long.
Great write up tho. Their founder should hang his head in shame for all the bs and broken promises. I guess he got to the point where he’s banking hard and doesn’t care about his companies or his own reputation anymore. So sad when that happens.
We just moved hosting from BlueHost to Traffic Planet hosting after having some serious problems with Bluehost over the past few months.
They somehow managed to direct the mobile version of our site to some adult dating site. God knows how they managed that. Plus a ton of downtime which looks terrible when you got potential clients worth 1,000s checking you out.
Traffic Planet has been sweet so far, fast, reliable and good support which is all you want from a host really.
Hope the pura vida is treating you well.
Well I’m assuming when the big investment came one of the co-founders just took his payout and ran.
Pura vida mi amigo!