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, Windmill Networking 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:
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!