Three months ago I changed my host to WP Engine, and I am super pleased I did. Hostgator (my previous host) was great, and there support was amazing, but I had struggled for quite some time to get my WordPress websites to load quickly.
Anyone running a decent sized blog will know just how important it is that your blog and your images load quickly. Even as a blog reader I know that if a website does not load instantly I will move on and find what I was looking for elsewhere.
“Google loses 20% of traffic for each additional 100 milliseconds it takes a page to load.” -Marissa Mayer, Google Executive – 2006 Web 2.0 Summit
So for me personally the main benefit of WP Engine would definitely be site speed, but there are other benefits to hosting your website with WP Engine that makes this host the best in the industry.
Below I have sumarized my experience with WP Engine, the highlights of their hosting platform, and a little more besides.
Why I Joined WP Engine!
As you can see from the image above this website was slow! and that I needed to do something. But I was unsure what more I could do. I had W3 Total Cache installed and configured, I was optimizing my images and had already deleted plugins that were slowing the website down.
I was simply wasting a lot of time on an issue that was easily fixed (though I didn’t know it at the time).
I had read lots about WP Engine, and wanted to use them eventually, but the price was excessive for what was in my mind just another host similar to all the rest.
Drastic times call for drastic measures – I decided to give them a try, and if they did not improve my site I would cash in there 60 day money back guarantee.
Amazing Features of WP Engine
Straight away I was impressed with what they had to offer, but (I have to admit) a little disappointed that they would not personally help me transfer my website due to the “updating of internal transfer policies” whatever that is. This disappointment was however short lived, once I really got to grips with all the features that truly seperate them from the rest.
Faster Loading WordPress Website
WP Engine are true WordPress experts. There hosting service has been specifically configured and optimized for running only WordPress websites. If it does not speed up a WordPress installation it will not be included (unlike other multi-purpose hosts).
They have hand coded their own cache system, so no cache plugins are required.
It is said that you lose 20% of traffic for each additional 100 milliseconds it takes a page to load. If this is true how much are you currently losing?
Daily Backups with One Click Restore
WP Engine automatically saves backup files once a day, though you can manually ask WP Engine to backup your files. For instance, before you install a new plugin WP Engine will ask if you want to backup your website. This is a safety feature that ensures your website is never affected by plugin compatability issues.
In addition to the automatic backups they ensure that restoring your website to a previously saved version is as easy as possible. Simply click the restore point you wish to revert to and click ‘restore’ – simple.
Managed WordPress Upgrades
If you are not already backing up your WordPress website you are playing a game of Russian roullete each and every time you update your WordPress install. Conflicts occur, and occur often – not updating can also have severe security risks.
Luckily WP Engine manage the upgrading process for you. In fact you are not even shown an option to upgrade. Safe, secure and relaxing.
Top Notch Security
WordPress security is of utter most importance, and as you may expect a professional outfit like WP Engine take this very seriously indeed.
I would go through all the details of there backups, and there firewall security in this blog post but this article is about speeding up your wordpress installation – besides I would just be rehashing what they have on their website.
Only true tech geeks will truly understand how they accomplish this, the majority of us just want to know that it has been handled efficiently. Check!
Expert WordPress Support & the Hack Guarantee
WP Engine only employs WordPress experts, so all support you recieve are from verifiable professionals. Any problems that I have run across have been dealt with at lighting fast speed. These professionals seem happy to help you whether your issue is server related or an issue with you install.
The company offers a hack guarantee: they will do everything in their power to ensure a hack never happens, and if it does? well they will fix it for free.
Anyone that knows how it feels to have a website hacked will know just how invaluable this guarantee is.
WP Engine Staging Area
Perhaps one of the best ‘additional’ features that you get with WP Engine is there staging area.
Never again edit a live site, simply set up your staging area, make the changes that you want and once happy with them click to update your live intall. No more “this site is currently under maintenance” signs, be live 100% of the time.
The ability to develop websites from a staging area makes managing customer websites much, much easier.
I have been so impressed by WP Engine that I have managed to convince most of my friends to give them a try with amazing results. I have yet to find a website that WP Engine has not had an overall positive effect on.
If you are serious about your website it should definitely be on your list of services to try. Not only has my page speed increased, Google now crawls my website more than it has ever done in the past. In addition you can be assured that your website is not hosted in a bad neighbourhood – do you know any spammers willing to fork out this amount of money on hosting? I think not!
Seriously, if you want a faster WordPress website give it a try and let me know in the comments section what effect this has had on your website as a whole – you wont be disappointed!