Six Reasons Why WordPress Bloggers Should Switch to WP Engine Website Hosting

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After reading the title of this blog post, you correctly assumed that this blog and website is hosted using WP Engine (WPE). After going through four different website hosting services, Maximize Social Business made a strategic switch to WPE – and we haven’t looked back! I wouldn’t want to recommend a service as vital as website hosting without having some experience under my belt – as well as reasons to provide you – so now that it has been six months since the switch, it’s the right time to report back to you all on my experiences.

If you’ve ever had someone mention to you they couldn’t access your website because there was some “error establishing database connection,” your website host is not providing you the service that you deserve. For each of the previous four website hosting services I used, and there is no need to name them, but each one failed me by not providing me the 99.9% uptime that is normally guaranteed. There were lots of excuses: My code wasn’t optimized and thus it was creating too many “cycles” on their servers, I was using too many plugins, I was receiving too much website traffic, etc. etc. The funny thing is that usually moving the exact same code from one website host to another solved the problem! Then there was an issue where a DNS outage at a particular website hosting provider brought this site down for 48 hours. “Enough is enough,” I thought. But who to switch to?

If your website, or blog, is like this site’s, WordPress is a technology that you’ve already made a strategic investment in by developing code based on its infrastructure. Therefore, don’t you want to use website hosting services that are also strategically invested in WordPress to host your website? This is what I thought, and after some research I decided on WPE. Over the past six months, I have had nothing but smooth sailing with quicker website performance, quicker support, and not noticeable outages. Doesn’t that sound like a great thing?

There are more reasons to utilize to WPE, so here are the six reasons why every WordPress blogger should consider switching to WP Engine:

1) True and Recognized WordPress Expertise


Every single website hosted by WPE are based on WordPress. This means that servers are optimized for WordPress. It also means that every single employee is also well-versed in WordPress, meaning that support questions get responded to more professionally and quicker. Did you know that the company behind WordPress, Automattic, made a strategic investment in WP Engine? That alone is incredible recognition. WPE is also the only website host that I know of that goes out of their way not only to ban certain WordPress plugins which could slow down their servers, but they also have a curated shortlist of WordPress plugins for which they guarantee support for. Isn’t that refreshing? And did I mention that WPE will also upgrade WordPress cores on your behalf when there is a new version released? That’s secure WordPress hosting on auto pilot!

2) Time Machine Functionality


So you’re playing around with your WordPress code and then your site breaks. Don’t you wish your WordPress installation had some sort of Time Machine like Macs have, where you could literally turn back the clock to a previously saved version? WP Engine recently announced a similar Checkpoint and Restore functionality that allows you to create a checkpoint and be able to restore back to it at any time. In fact, before installing or activating a new plugin, WPE will actually prompt you to create a new checkpoint. Time Machine for WordPress? That’s sheer WordPress Innovation!

3) Caching (and CDN) Included


Most WordPress experts will recommend using a caching plugin to accelerate the performance of your website. Unfortunately, a lot of plugins have conflicting issues with many caching plugins. What do the experts at WPE do about this? They create their own server-side caching technology, called Tachy Cache, so that you don’t even need to install a caching plugin (they’re all prohibited, anyway ;-). This means one less headache – and potential conflicting plugin – to worry about. I would also tend to believe that any server-side caching is going to bring faster performance than any individual plugin because of the potential server-side resources available. Speaking of performance, while not available on the cheapest Personal level, free CDN is available on Professional packages and above, ensuring that static content be delivered faster.

4) Easy Blog Staging Area


Let’s say you wanted to try out changes in your plugins or CSS and preview what they would like without going live. WPE gives you the ability to do this by allowing you to easily create a blog staging area where you can experiment at will without affecting your live WordPress code. Pretty cool, huh?

5) Everything Accessible within Your WordPress Dashboard


One thing that annoyed me about all of my previous website hosting solution providers is that their cPanel or comparable website management dashboard was always at a completely separate URL from my WordPress dashboard. This meant another URL and password that I needed to remember and another website to visit, bringing my efficiency down. Not so the case with WPE: All of the above functionality, in addition to their support system, is all accessible directly from inside your WordPress dashboard. This is an extreme timesaver!!!

6) WPE Just Got Cheaper

WordPress hosting provided by the WordPress experts at WPE is not the cheapest website hosting solution available. But just this week WPE announced this:

PRE-PAY FOR WP ENGINE HOSTING FOR 1 YEAR AND GET 2 MONTHS FREE!

If price has been keeping you off from switching, this is the perfect time to make the change! And if you needed a second opinion, check out this other blogger’s experiences switching to WP Engine.

Have you tried WP Engine? What do you think of the above reasons? Are you still happy with your current WordPress hosting solution? Would love to hear about your experience and opinions so that we can all benefit! Thanks!

About the Author:

Neal Schaffer, Founder and Editor-In-Chief

The Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Maximize Social Business, Neal Schaffer is a leader in helping businesses and professional strategically maximize their use of social media. Neal is the author of three social media books, including the recently published definitive social media strategy book Maximize Your Social. Forbes lists him as a Top 35 Social Media Power Influencer and AdAge lists his blog, Maximize Social Business (formerly known as Windmill Networking), as a top 100 global marketing blog. Neal provides social media strategy consulting and coaching, having worked with Fortune 500 companies and a Grammy-award winning musician. He has presented worldwide on social media at more than 150 events and also teaches social media marketing at Rutgers University. +Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer
The Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Maximize Social Business, Neal Schaffer is a leader in helping businesses and professional strategically maximize their use of social media. Neal is the author of three social media books, including the recently published definitive social media strategy book Maximize Your Social. Forbes lists him as a Top 35 Social Media Power Influencer and AdAge lists his blog, Maximize Social Business (formerly known as Windmill Networking), as a top 100 global marketing blog. Neal provides social media strategy consulting and coaching, having worked with Fortune 500 companies and a Grammy-award winning musician. He has presented worldwide on social media at more than 150 events and also teaches social media marketing at Rutgers University. +Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer
PeopleLinx

Comments

  1. says

    Hey Neal,

    Thanks for the awesome write-up!  It’s been a pleasure to host your site, and it’s kinda hard to believe it’s already been 6 months. Here’s to the next year and more.

    *Quick Note,* The name of our Caching is actually EverCache. The details about TachyCache are here: wpengine.com/get-tachy.

    Thanks again! 

  2. Mark says

    Couldn’t disagree more. WP Engine is over hyped, over blown and my experience was very specifically very poor support. The support documentation is -at best- poor.

    My site is not fast, and the WPMU setup is a different animal if you’re used to wordpress. My experience with it both trying myself and using a more expert team to run the site is a fail.

    No axe to grind… my 2 experiences have convinced me to never use WPEngine. Ever.

    • says

      Mark, I am really sad to hear your experience. I would love to help you in this regard. Why not you come to Cloudways. I bet that you will love our steady support (we will never leave you alone until your issues are resolved — we believe in better experience & we promise to deliver it at any cost), speed and security.

  3. says

    Hey, Neal…thanks for this…fabulous and informative. Just curious, are you an affiliate or just a happy customer?! 

    Because  you mention “code” so much for your blog, apparently you write your own. Is this host appropriate for bloggers who can’t write their own code but need a developer to do it? 

    • says

      Hi Jayme,

      To answer your questions:

      I am first and foremost a happy customer. Everything I blogged about is authentic and based on my experiences. After becoming a user and having positive experiences for several months, WP Engine released an affiliate program which I joined. The objective of this post, though, is to show WordPress bloggers what they are missing out on, including links to WP Engine blog posts which are not affiliate links. I hope this satisfied your curiosity.

      As for your question about coding, it is appropriate for everyone, newbies and geeks. When I say “code” it could mean merely changing a WordPress plugin, which changes the “code” of the site and could mess things up because of compatibility issues. That’s why the Staging Area they provide you is for perfect for everyone.

      Thanks again for your comment and appreciate your reading Windmill Networking!

  4. says

    Hey Mark, I really appreciate your input and sharing your experience with us. I am not a WP Engine employee by any means and was only writing from my own experience, but I suppose everyone’s experience will be different.

    I’m surprised that you found their Customer Support to fail – they have been very helpful to me. But, in analyzing your comments, I am curious as to why your experience is so different than mine. Could it be because of:

    1) This happened to you several months ago and WP Engine support has improved recently?

    2) WPMU is not your typical WP infrastructure and has plugins that can take over your dashboard. Was there some conflict between WPMU’s infrastructure and that of WP Engine? If this is the case, perhaps only WPMU users should stay away from WP Engine as it won’t effect non-WPMU users?

    3) Are you technically advanced to the point where you don’t need any hand-holding, and thus the extra functionality that WP Engine provides is a nuisance?

    I’m just thinking out loud but would love your feedback to try to ascertain what the issues were and if you had any special circumstances or not.

    Thanks Mark!

  5. says

    Hey…Neal. Excellent post and I never read about WPE before and after reading this post I feel to have a go with it in future. Thanks for sharing great information :-) 

  6. Denise Sonnenberg says

    Thanks for the overview Neal. Been wondering about switching after being at WCOC a couple months ago. I will definitely be considering WPEngine now.

  7. says

    I’m with Mark 100% — WPEngine is overblown and has extremely poor service. Almost all the positive stuff you see about WPEngine is posted by affiliates. Don’t fall for it. Unfortunately, I bought into all the hype and glowing reviews. Ugh… it was one of the worst mistakes I’ve ever made. Headache after headache. Hour upon hour of productivity lost wrangling through issues triggered by WPEngine and tangling with their support people. Nothing but downtime, frustration and stress. Their customer service flat out sucks — it is an utter nightmare.  All in all, I couldn’t recommend WPEngine to anyone, under any circumstances.

    • says

      I’m sorry to hear about your poor experiences.

      I, on the other hand, have been using WP Engine to host Windmill Networking for the last several months and have been VERY happy with their customer support. The only explanation that I can offer is that their customer support has changed since you worked with them.

      What do I like about their Customer Support? The minute they see issues about sites being down they proactively contact their customers. I knew about the GoDaddy issue yesterday before many people because WP Engine kept me in the loop.

      I have also had other issues dealing with their support through email, and on almost every occasion I received same-day treatment.

      Everyone’s experience might be different, but it’s hard to believe that you and I are both talking about the same support people!

      • Frank Falcone says

        Their support people could not be nicer. Unfortunately, if you want to get anything done, you’ll spend half your life talking to them. There is too much mystery when it come to using various plugins. They refuse to update their list of banned plugins, for which I have absolutely no explanation, but it is a huge disservice to any potential customer. No one likes to be shocked, AFTER they pay their $100+.

        Like most hosting companies, once they have you and you’ve started a major project, you’re stuck with them.

        While I may be stuck there until I figure out an escape path, I originally told all of my clients that I was going to move them to my 10 WP install package, but I have changed my mind and will not move one of them. I feel I will only be creating problems for myself and my clients, where none exist now. I’ll probably just keep one site there and reduce my package to a single install. I refuse to pay absolute top dollar WITHOUT getting top-dollar service and capabilities. I don’t appreciate having a monkey wrench thrown at me every time I want to do something my way, NOT their way. You pay me $100+ a month and we’ll do it your way. Ridiculous.

        Again, very nice people and a good product, but the way it’s presented is amateurish at best and very dishonest at worst. All it takes is a willingness to be as upfront and transparent as possible. On this count these folks fall woefully and miserably short.

        Additionally, regardless of anyone’s credibility, I would never take a referral from anyone making $150 a pop for each one. Sorry. I’m an old man and know better. Seriously. :-)

        Thanks for listening. – Frank

        P.S. I also find it very illuminating that the only time the visitor from WPE comments is when someone praises WPE, but not a word when the comment is critical. That says a lot, especially when done so brazenly, right in front of everyone. At least learn to fake your concern for those not singing your praises and that might actually have legitimate problems with the way you conduct business,

        Keep catering to those that kiss butt. It’s the people that you neglect to engage that will spread negativity, far and wide and negate the singing of your praises by those making money from doing so.

        Oh, I can spare a few hours a week if you’d like to have me whip the operation intio shape, but I don;t think you could afford me – even at the prices you charge. lol.

        • says

          Hi Frank – thanks for your comment. I have always had good support from them and actually appreciate their having a list of banned plugins and replying to me whenever I ask for suggestions on new ones. I have a few installations with them, and compared with the B.S. I got at GoDaddy, Bluehost, and HostGator, it has been smooth sailing. Now, I am not a techie, and if you want more control over your site, WPEngine might not be the best solution. But the unique features they have, like their “Time Machine,” have saved me from my own errors.

          As for your point on the product being presented as amateurish and dishonest … well, don’t know what to say. It sounds like you are a true expert in the field. Like I said, for those less technically inclined, I can’t fault them…

          As for the referral, well, the objective of that post wasn’t to promote WPEngine in order to monetize a relationship with them. I do get asked a lot about which web hosting service I use, and since this blog is about social media and WordPress is a category we cover, I did want to share my experiences in complete transparency with everyone. As I mention in my Disclaimer page, I tell the readers to assume that every link on this blog is an affiliate one. As you know, WPEngine hosting isn’t cheap, so all of this helps pay for our infrastructure which helps support the flow of content…

          Anyways, I always appreciate opposite opinions, so I thank you for spending the time to write such a thoughtful comment. Either way, good luck on your web hosting situation!

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