Why I recommend WPEngine WordPress Hosting to customers

WPEngine is a service I became fond off that truly delivers and just works out of the box. I have used numerous hosting environments and companies over the years. Hosted some website myself for clients.

WPEngine has crafted a hosting platform geared towards WordPress websites that delivers good results in the hosting space. It’s WordPress optimized for the WordPress file system and database system, so off course its going to be a bit better than the rest. Not only that, they only specialize on WordPress platforms which kind of says they are WordPress Hosting Experts. Again, this is not what sold me as I usually play the “cat in the tree scenario” and first test out a service for a while before I can recommend a client to a service.

What sold me is actually a couple of services they offered that I am going to explain below.

 

Link: Get 4 total months free off WP Engine this Summer with coupon code: summersavings20. Expires end of July!

Includes: Free SSL Certificate | Firewall | Caching Service | Thread Detection | Daily Backups | Staging Environment with a click of a button to test Updates and New Features.

Stability & Reliability

Its good, really, really good. Not once did a site crashed on me or service interrupted because of a server that was not configured properly. I don’t say it can’t happen, its just that I never experienced it with them and I work with allot of WPEngine hosted clients running online stores. These guys really goes out there way to make sure there servers are configured 120% and you don’t have to take my word for it, but their servers does purr like a kitten.

Support

Always available for a chat and you can see they actually know what they talk about. Yes I had some pretty weird experiences with other hosts where the support technician on call don’t even know the basics and just paste in pre-written snippets. I had some good “pull the hair out of my head times” where I wanted to scream just give me the server login details so I can perform the setup myself if you don’t want to, with some hosts. WPEngine also has a very high level of professionalism that you can pickup very early in the way they assist you. On a couple of times these guys gone out there way to assist with a issue. Yes we as Software / Website developers, but sometimes need a second set of eyes to pinpoint a problem that we missed.

Speed

I got to hand it to them, the optimization of their servers is on the next level. Every customer I migrated first response was, what did you do to the website? Nothing! You see you can only make so much software adjustments to a site in little increments. If your server is not up to spec and configured properly you will never harness the true power of a well configured server. Making speed improvements on a site can take days or weeks depending on the complexity of a site and it only increase the speed about 10-15%. That does not include a CDN (content delivery network) type services where WPEngine actually offers these services to duplicate your site across regions all over the world so that your users can access your site faster.

Backups & Security

WPEngine takes daily backups of a server so that your data is always secured in the case of a meltdown. On numerous occasions we had to restore a instance of a site and we always got a working copy. This is not true with some hosts, especially in the fine print where we where told.: “sorry the backup is corrupted or deleted in a maintenance session.” Yes it happened, but through the years you learned the hard way to always have a second backup service in tandem with your primary one, just to make 100% sure there is always a copy to fall back onto.

WPEngine offers a firewall service on all their packages. This helps adding that additional barrier against hackers or dirty software trying to steal information from your site. Any kind of extra security is just a plus and knowing its configured by world class server experts just adds another layer to protect your investment. Just a quick one on that. It really takes a expert to setup a firewall and its not just a piece of software you can install and have running out of the box. You need up to date knowledge to properly configure a firewall and it also needs to be constantly monitored with human interaction.

Cloning of website for updates and test out new features!

This is my favorite part. With WPEngine you can clone a exact copy of your site in a matter of minutes without having any technical knowledge. It creates a sub domain called staging for example mysite.wpengine.com. So why do you want something like this? Well do you run a live e-commerce or website that is critical for your business? Then you don’t want that live site to crash on users, because of a bad plugin or update that went wrong. The beauty of a cloned staging site is that you can test new updates or add new features on a staging site without it effecting your live site. This is so important and I try to educate all clients who I assist. “You need to test updates on a staging site first before applying it on your live site!”. I work on crashed sites at least once a week where a update was applied and the whole site came crashing down. Updates does not always bring improvements, but bugs also. It quite normal in the software development world and human errors are plentiful, after all we are all humans and sometimes overlooked a small critical component in the code, but that is not the main reason. Sometimes for example you update WordPress to the latest version, but as it happens, some plugins has not been programmed to take on the new WordPress commands and the program(plugin) freaks out and brings down the whole site known as the “White screen of death”. So again ALWAYS, ALWAYS test updates before you apply them on your live site. Your live will be so much better. Staging environments is not just to test updates, but new features or layouts too. I know you are craving to test out that new plugin or new styling adjustment. Do it on a staging environment! If you mess-up you can always create another one. One thing about WPEngine is that they allow you to migrate a staging site to a live site also, so that you don’t have to redo it on the live site. Just reach out to them if you don’t have a idea of how to perform such a action.

Create a staging site.:

staging creation

 

Staging Ready in 2 minutes!

Free SSL

WPEngine also provides a free SSL certificate even on their basic plans. Use it, its free! It not only encrypts the connection between your site and users browsers, but helps with search engine rankings and showcase that your website is legitimate and secured. It will also prevent hackers stealing your or your user’s login details or any information exchanged between the website or the web browser.

Caching Services & CDN

They also offer a free caching service. What is a caching service? A caching service is a service that renders the page ready to be displayed for a user. What it does is, it caches a website page into memory to be viewable fast. Instead of a user’s browser making another call to the server to render a page from code, the page is already created and just ready to be served. So in other words its like stamping a image on a piece of paper with a stamp, but the physical imprint on the stamp was already created way before. This saves server resources and prevents a server from recreating the same page every time someone visit that page.

CDN adds another layer of speed to your site especially if your visitors is in different regions in the same country or all over the world. What it does is, is to create clone copies of your site and replicate it to servers located in different regions in the same country or around the world so that visitors can access the site at the same speed as local visitors.

Price

One thing I need to note is that WPEngine price is a bit on the premium side, but again you get what you pay for and its as simple as that. Compared to other hosts their pricing is quite fair. If your website is a business component or lets call it a “front door” for first-time-customers, ask yourself this question.: “Do you think a first-time impression matters?” Trust me this is not something you want to skip on. In other words, is the entry to your business a door that gets stuck halfway of opening or does not open at all? Customers will move on, because even the smallest element of your business that has nothing to do with your service has everything to do with the way you operate your business. Heavy words, but then again the shoe maker, like me, does not always have the time for his own shoes 🙂  So in short rather spend the money on a premium host as its going to save you 3 fold the technical costs down the line when the “paw paw” finally hits the fan. Also go look around what a separate SSL certificate will cost you on a yearly basis that is included free with WPEngine hosting. In the end you get much more than what you pay for.

My personal opinion.:

If you have a passion for something and really want to stand out from the rest I will give it to WPEngine. They deserve it.

 

Interested? Check out there latest special below.:

Link: Get 4 total months free off WP Engine this Summer with coupon code: summersavings20. Expires end of July!

Includes: Free SSL Certificate | Firewall | Caching Service | Thread Detection | Daily Backups | Staging Environment with a click of a button to test Updates and New Features.