WordPress Hosting Showdown – Who is better?

WordPress has become a major driving force on the web  – it has become a full blown content management system as well as a web application interface.  All of that muscle requires a great amount of resources.  If you are going to be using the full power of wordpress, you may eventually want to update to a wordpress specific host.

What is a wordpress specific host?

If you want to host a simple wordpress site, there are literally hundreds of choices.  However, there are certain hosting companies that are designed specifically to host wordpress sites.  This article will compare/contrast four of these wordpress hosting options.  WP Engine , Flywheel, Pressable, and Pagely.

Full Disclosure:  I receive an affiliate commission from two of these companies, however I will still provide an objective review based on information current as of this posting.

Why would you want a host that specializes in WordPress Sites?

Since wordpress uses open source technology, and serves up content based on database queries, there are some things that wordpress sites need in order to run optimally.  A few of the things that a wordpress specific host can offer that might be a cut above non wordpress hosts are:

  • Enhanced wordpress security –
    • Many web hosts tout security, but a wordpress host is constantly looking out for threats that endanger wordpress sites specifically.  Additionally, they warn site owners more quickly about potential security threats, but can roll out changes immediately.
  • Plugin restrictions –
    • WordPress extends its functionality through plugins, which may or may not be written in a way that improves site performance.  Additionally, even if wordpress itself is rock solid code wise, a plugin that a user installs may cause an issue that brings down your site.  Most WP hosts actually restrict certain plugins that may produce either security issues, or degrade website performance.  This provides a better experience for everyone.
  • Automatic Backup/Restore/Sandbox –
    • Nothing is worse than losing site data with no backup.  Most wp hosts provide backup and restore capabilities right from their control panel, which eliminates the need to have backup plugins, etc.  Also some hosts provide a “sandbox” that allows you to test out a change to your site before you make it live – all without changing the experience for your users.  That feature alone is worth the hosting fee because if you are testing a new plugin or configuration, you can do it without affecting your current users or inadvertently crashing your site.
  • Enhanced response times –
    • Because of the slightly higher hosting fees, managed wp hosts can actually provide REAL support that is actually helpful.  They tend to answer calls, and are more familiar with wordpress than the average run of the mill host.  So when you talk about a plugin and how it adversely affected your site, they are more effective because they “speak the language”.

 

Part 1 of this post will focus on WP Engine

Wordpress Hosting

WP Engine

WP Engine is one of the most well known wordpress hosts out there.  It can be stated that they actually started the wordpress specific hosting space.  WP engine currently has 4 levels of wp hosting, personal, professional, business, and enterprise.  The plans are priced according to the following criteria:

  1. Number of WordPress Sites that can be installed
  2. Number of Visits Per Month
  3. Amount of Data Transfer
  4. GB of local storage on the host.

One of the best things about WP Engine is their customized control panel.  It is much different than the standard CPanel control panel that many of the generic web hosts use.  It has a clean layout with minimal distractions.  There is an interactive help module that will actually move a cursor around to the different parts of your control panel and show you exactly what to do.  Consider it a help module on steroids.  This is especially helpful for those who are looking to get a better wordpress hosting experience

WP Engine has extremely helpful support that will work with you on specific issues.  They tend to try to get the problem fixed without pointing fingers at the developer, designer, etc.  They also will follow up with you in a timely manner.

WP Engine has live chat that is answered by one of their techs in real time.  The downside is that there are only certain hours that live access is available.  WP engine also employs alot of training videos and documentation such as this one on migrating your wordpress site from another host.

Positives

WP Engine Provides Great one click access to create a restore point, version control, and even back copy your site to a staging area to allow you to test out new plugins/designs before making them live.  It’s just a better wordpress hosting experience overall than the generic CPanel experience that many other hosts provide.

Downsides

There are a couple of downsides to WP Engine wordpress hosting.  While the plugin restriction policy is very understandable, it can be very frustrating to have to check their list of restricted plugins to make sure that you aren’t using a banned plugin on your website.  If a plugin is installed that is banned, you will receive an email stating that within 7 days that particular plugin(s) will be automatically deleted from your site.  That is a little disheartening after you spend 2 hours finding the right plugin and then being told that it is not allowed on your web host.  This of course can be overcome by a little due diligence.

 What if this is too much for me? – Is there a cheaper alternative?

Okay, okay,  there are some people reading this post who don’t need full blown dedicated wordpress hosting.  For those persons, I highly recommend Ipage.com  They are reliable, inexpensive, and host wordpress sites for a very modest fee.

 Benefits of WordPress Specific Hosts

Need Help Changing to WordPress Hosting?  WP Tutoring.Com will assist you in moving your site to one of the above hosts for a low flat fee.


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