Hosting from within the WordPress Community
Over the years, the strength of WordPress has been the WP community: the many people who contribute by not only developing WordPress itself, but by building themes, frameworks and the thousands of plugins and tools we use every day. And there are those brilliant people who solve our problems on forums and blogs. Well now, finally, out of this community, we have our own dedicated WordPress host at WP Engine.
Why is this important?
Well, think of all the things you want, as a WP user, from a web host and then think of all the things on that list that you don’t get from the non-specialist host you are currently with.
Whilst WordPress is undoubtedly one of the best ways to build fantastic websites, the hosting issues we get can be detrimental to your site doing so well. Poor site speed? Customer service personnel who can’t tell a web app from a widget? Old versions of PHP giving you limited functionality? Limited database sizes? Hacked sites? Frequent crashes? Sound familiar?
WP Engine are WordPress specialists
Their entire business is focused around serving the needs of the WP community and as such, their business is aimed at solving all the problems that WP users encounter. In fact, they state on their website that their staff consists entirely of WordPress experts.
What’s the result of this expertise? Well, customer service is obviously one area where they have the advantage. Several times, I’ve had issues with previous web hosts where the response has been, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s because you’re using WordPress, I’m not sure about that, I’ll get someone to contact you back.’ You won’t get that at WP Engine.
Warp Factor 2, Mr Sulu
Site speed is another important factor. We all know that poor site speed can have massive impact on your business. Since 2010 Google have used it as a criteria for ranking websites and a poorly loading page can soon cause someone to hit the back button.
WP Engine positively boast about the speed at which they can get your site loaded – as do many of the testimonials they have on their homepage. Their hosting architecture is hand-tuned to deliver you the fastest WordPress hosting around. They use a custom-built and scaleable caching system to do this so the bigger and busier you get doesn’t mean slowing down.
One of the weaknesses of WordPress, or to put it more frankly one of the weaknesses of many WP users, is to leave their site vulnerable to hacking. WP Engine have advanced, WP dedicated protection systems on place to help prevent this. But as we all know, there are some very clever hackers out there. So, should your site ever get hacked, WP Engine will fix your hacked site for you, for free!
No More Maintenance Mode (They Know Us So Well)
WP users, especially those of us who build our own websites are tinkerers. We can’t help it. ‘Oh, I wonder what this theme will look like live?’ , ‘I’ll just try that plugin’, ‘This line of CSS should do the trick!’, ‘Yeah, I’m pretty sure this is where I paste that of piece of PHP!’ Fatal Error. White screen of death.
Learning the back-end of WordPress is a slow process we develop over the years and on numerous occasions we make errors that crash the site, cause plugin conflicts, corrupt our databases or just make what’s visible to the visitor look awful and amateurish. If we’ve not been clever enough to use maintenance mode whilst we make the changes, we certainly learn to use it whilst we trawl the forums and blogs looking for the benign superheros who will rectify our errors.
No more! WP Engine have created a feature called the Staging Area. Basically, this is a complete copy of your website set up in a separate, safe area where tinkerers like us can play around to our heart’s content without affecting the live site at all. Only when you’re ready to make it go live do you update your main site. For me, as a constant tinkerer, ever trying to improve the user experience of my website, this is an awesome feature.
There are even more features that they offer, assistance with choosing the best plugins, coding assistance, you name it. WP Engine, really is the all in one solution to WordPress hosting. They will even help you transfer your domain over to them!