First, a little disclaimer, to keep my conscience clear. There are some links to WP Engine below, and they are affiliate links – meaning if you click on one and you end up buying hosting, I get a little bit of cash for referring you. But please don’t let that deter you – if you like what you see and would prefer not to give me the kickback, you can just go to WPEngine without clicking on my links, and I will really be just as happy.
Why? Because I just plain love WP Engine hosting. In my dream world, all of my clients would be hosted by them.
What is WP Engine, anyway?
WP Engine is fully-managed WordPress hosting. They host WordPress sites. That’s it. That’s all they do, and because of their focus, they do it really REALLY well. It costs more than your typical shared hosting, but it is well worth it.
I used to have a group of web hosts I recommended to clients, all under $10 per month, and they were pretty reliable, had pretty good tech support, and were relatively easy to use. Over time, most of those hosts were purchased by huge hosting conglomerates, their servers were all moved to one data center, and I saw speed, reliability, and support go downhill. They are all still . . . fine. If your budget is really tight and you just can’t swing more than $10 per month, and your site does not get a huge amount of traffic, then sticking with the low-cost hosts is not a disaster waiting to happen.
BUT, if you can swing a little more, there are good reasons why I switched my own site and those of several clients to WP Engine last year:
Sites on WP Engine are fast. They use top-of-the-line server technology and aggressive caching, among other things, to serve up websites at lightning speed. I was seriously stunned when I saw how much faster my site was when I switched.
Even if you have a sudden surge in traffic, your site will not slow down. I have seen other hosts take sites down when they get too much traffic — when more traffic is what you want! WP Engine scales right along with you and keeps your site up and moving.
I have been so impressed with the lengths WP Engine goes to to keep sites secure. If you have ever had a website hacked, you know what a nightmare it can be.
WP Engine makes it incredibly difficult for hackers to exploit and infect your site. They also run scans constantly for vulnerabilities and fix anything they find. They are also incredibly transparent – if a new vulnerability is found, they will tell you about it and tell you what they are doing to fix it. I have never seen another host do this.
The best part? If, despite everything they do to secure websites, one gets hacked – they fix it for free. My experience with other hosts has been that they want to blame everything but their own vulnerabilities (without even looking into the issue), and will do little to nothing to help, mostly because they seem to have no idea what to do. WP Engine takes care of everything.
WP Engine does automatic daily backups of all files and databases every single day for free. You can also do a backup yourself at any time with the click of a button. If you accidentally make a change on your site that breaks something badly — in one click you can restore the site to the last backup.
This might not be exciting to you, but it is my favorite feature. Let’s say you need to make some changes to your site, but you aren’t exactly positive if they will look good or work well. Just click a button and you can create a copy of your site in a staging area, where you can make your changes and make sure you like them first. If all goes well, then click a button and the staging site becomes your live site! But if you don’t like the changes, no harm has been done to your live site.
Because WP Engine only does WordPress hosting, their excellent support staff actually knows WordPress! This might not seem like a big deal, but I am always pretty stunned at how little so many hosts’ support teams know about the most popular web platform in the world.
WP Engine support is friendly, helpful, based in Austin, Texas, and available 24/7/365.
Did that sound like a sales pitch?
I’m afraid it did. I will work with any host that has the minimum system requirements required for WordPress (with a few exceptions). But I really do feel pretty passionate about using great hosting, now that I have experienced it myself.
WP Engine does cost more – around $30 per month for a personal plan. I am working to get more spots on my account so that I can offer their hosting at a discounted rate – please contact me if you are interested!