Strattic vs. WPEngine : Who is Faster?

Strattic is an innovative WordPress WebOps platform that is also a static site generator. We compare its capabilities with WPEngine in this post. We also migrate a website from WPEngine to Strattic and compare site performance between these platforms.

Executive Summary

Strattic is an innovative WordPress WebOps platform that is also a static site generator. We compare its capabilities with WPEngine in this post. We also migrate a website from WPEngine to Strattic and compare site performance between these platforms.

The WordPress WebOps Platforms

In an earlier post, we had covered the importance of effective DevOps for managing enterprise websites.  The TL;DR version is that you need modern WebOps platforms to have marketing agility — to make quick content changes, launch new templates, create landing pages etc. Hosting the site on a simple server — AWS or Azure or Google Cloud — is not sufficient any longer. They are too slow and cumbersome.

There are several good WebOps platforms that specialize in WordPress such as:

  • Pantheon
  • WPEngine
  • Kinsta
  • Siteground
  • Bluehost etc


If you’d like to learn more about them, you can go to our earlier posts, where we compared Siteground vs. WPEngine , Acquia Cloud with WPEngine and Kinsta with WPEngine

The Static Site Generation Revolution

Static Site Generation of websites is a mega-trend in the world of website development. The idea is very simple : you pre-generate the entire site (HTML, CSS, JS) in advance and move the pages (along with associated assets) to a cached hosting environment. When a user requests the page, these pre-generated pages are served up, which makes the site blazing fast.

Reference : Netlify

This trend combines with another major trend — Headless CMS — to form the next-generation of web development technologies. If you’d like to know more about how these are evolving, you can read our posts on  Building sites with a Headless CMS and modern JS frameworks, Building Sites with Headless AEM and Gatsby, and Component Design in a Headless CMS

Strattic is an innovative product that lies at the intersection of these two trends. First, it can take a regular WordPress site and convert it into a static site (with some limitations). Second, it is able to deploy this static site and offer convenient WebOps features for managing the site (with some limitations as well).

Strattic vs. WPEngine : Comparing Features

There are quite a few differences between Strattic and WPEngine because they work on such fundamentally different architectures. 

The WPEngine Dashboard is shown below :

The Strattic dashboard is shown below : 

Redirect Rules

Setting up redirect rules in WPEngine is much faster than setting it up in WordPress, because these redirects are executed at the underlying nginx web server level.

Strattic doesn’t have any inbuilt redirection functionality. So you would need to use WordPress redirect plugins supported by Strattic such as Redirection.

Error Logs

WPEngine provides access to rolling 24-hours logs. These are quite useful to debug any underlying WordPress server issues or identify unusual traffic patterns.

 We can also access the logs from the WordPress Wpengine plugin.

Strattic doesn’t have this capability. We will have to depend on the wordpress logging features, although this would be severely limited as well, due to the static site nature of Strattic. 

Git-based Code Management

Wpengine has an inbuilt Git-based code management system. Each environment (dev, stage and prod) has a uniquely associated git repo, that multiple users can access with their SSH keys. It also provides the ability to connect external Git tools such as Bitbucket All these features are extremely crucial to a robust CI/CD process. See our article on Effective DevOps for Enterprise Websites.

Strattic doesn’t have any inbuilt Git system. As you will see in the section on migration below, we are dependent on SFTP pushes or using migration plugins such as WP All-in-one Migration or MigrateGuru.

Backup and Restore

Both products offer the ability to backup and restore versions of the site. However, we noticed that restoring a site is much easier in WPEngine than in Strattic. 

DNS Settings

Both products offer the ability to configure DNS settings, although WPEngine is more robust in its abilities here. Their “Domain Connect” is an open source tool that allows WP Engine to update DNS records on your behalf when using a supported DNS provider.

Domain Connect is an open source tool that allows WP Engine to update DNS records on your behalf when using a supported DNS provider. This tool makes it easy to configure your DNS records to point to WP Engine! If you add a domain registered with a supported provider

CDN (Content Delivery Network)

 Strattic is a static site generator which means that the entire page (HTML, CSS, JS, Images) is cached and published on the CDN. This is quite different from WPEngine that will cache only static assets such as images, CSS, JS and deploy to the CDN. The main HTML however, is dynamically rendered by WordPress. 

In WPEngine, you have an option to Enable the CDN for an additional price. This comes in-built with Strattic.

Migrating our website from WPEngine to Strattic

Our website www.exemplifi.io runs on WPEngine and we migrated this to Strattic.

In WPEngine, Go Plugins > Add New and search for the Migrate Guru plugin and then click the “Install Now” button.

Activate the plugin, go to the settings, fill in the mail address and click migrate site.

On the next screen, select “FTP”

Fill in the SFTP migration details for the Strattic server in the next screen.

You can get the SFTP detail on your Strattic dashboard.

After filling in the details, click the Migrate button. MigrateGuru will then show you the progress of your migration and send you an email when it is finished. To see your migrated site, log into Strattic and click on the “Edit in WordPress” button.

Performance Comparison

After migrating the site from WPEngine to Strattic, we ensured a 100% parity between the two sites. The tech stack was exactly the same : WP Version, Plugins, Versions, Page builder and Theme. We then compared the site performance over several days using Google’s Pagespeed Insights. If you’d like to learn more about this process, you can read our post on how to use the Google Toolset for site performance analysis.

The results are below:

Strattic showed modest improvements over WPEngine on mobile performance and was slightly slower on the desktop.

Summary

Strattic is an innovative WordPress WebOps platform that is also a static site generator. We compared its capabilities with WPEngine in this post. We also migrated a website from WPEngine to Strattic and compared site performance between these platforms.

References

  • Effective DevOps for enterprise websites : Link
  • Siteground vs. WPEngine : Link
  • Acquia Cloud vs. WPEngine : Link
  • Kinsta vs. WPEngine : Link
  • Building Sites with Headless AEM and Gatsby : Link
  • Component Design in a Headless CMS : Link
  • Building sites with a Headless CMS and modern JS frameworks : Link

 

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