(full disclosure: There are affiliate links in this article, but I have extensively used and endorse this product for WordPress Hosting)
Why I switched to dedicated WordPress Hosting
WP Site Speed
I finally had to switch my site from cheaper WordPress Hosting to a new dedicated WordPress Host. One of the main reasons I did this was because the speed of the site was not where I wanted it to be. When you have a mass host that holds a lot of sites,(WordPress and non-WordPress) for $2.99/month – the host tends to pack their servers with a lot of sites. This, in turn, slows everyone down on the server and provides a less than optimal experience. Certain hosts are providing special “WordPress Hosting Essential” style packages for an additional fee,(approx. 5 or so dollars more per month), but there are still a lot of sites hosted on a server. I actually heard in a WordPress podcast that some hosts place up to 1,000 sites on one server- that is way too many to keep your site speedy and performant.
In working with clients for years, I found that WP Engine was the best WordPress host that I’ve ever worked with, which made it my choice for my own site. Of course there were some things that I needed to change on my end as well, but if you are serious about getting good performance out of your WordPress site, you must start with hosting. Let’s discuss some of the pros and cons of WordPress Hosting with WP Engine.
Better WordPress Security
With managed WordPress Hosting, automatic updates are par for the course – but WP Engine really does a great job of making sure that you are notified when updates are needed and should occur on your site. Much of the issue with site security is not updating WordPress core and plugins consistently. WP Engine does a great job at making sure you are on top of your game in the WordPress Core department.
If you are serious about getting good performance out of your WordPress site, you must start with hosting.
Do YOU actually need dedicated WordPress Hosting?
There are some things that you need to ask yourself before looking at dedicated WP Hosting whether you’re using WP Engine or not. Here are some things to ask yourself:
- Am I seeing substantial site slowdown? This could be due to poor theme or plugin coding, but can also be due to your site becoming larger and needing more resources.
- Do I expect to scale my business due to more exposure, or added services? Managed WordPress Hosting actually scales as your WP site grows because they have other larger WordPress installations and have more experience working with WP’s scalability
- Will you be utilizing some of the newer features of WordPress such as WP-JSON API? If you want to use some of the whiz-bang features of WordPress, it’s much better on a WP specific host. In WP Engine’s case, they have written multiple articles on the new API features, and are leaders in promoting it to the community.
Why I actually chose to host with WP Engine
I have been teaching, designing, and developing on WordPress for nearly five years now and many of my clients have had to progress to dedicated WordPress Hosting versus the generic hosting that they start with. Generic Hosting is fine for basic websites, but for serious businesses, dedicated WordPress Hosting is the way to go.
Great WordPress Support
Technicians with WP Engine do about seven weeks of training on WordPress before they even get cut loose to start helping people in the support chatrooms etc… That means that you will receive a well trained WordPress support person who understands things like multisite, plugin conflicts, databases, etc… For me, that means that I won’t have to worry about having to explain WordPress to the technician and try to have him understand it. Additionally, they are well versed on how WordPress works in the WP Engine environment.
The next reason I’m totally hooked on their service is that they don’t automatically blame the site developer or the plugin developer and shove you off to them. They will make a full attempt at trying to help you solve any problem on your site and if they do recommend you speak to your theme or plugin developer, they actually will try to help you and show you where the issue is first. This is something that many cheaper hosts will not do, they are trying to just shove you off to another person so they can get to the next person in their queue. I have had many solutions proposed to me by their team to help me troubleshoot client sites.
They are consistently adding new features to their WP Hosting offerings
WP Engine continuously adds new USEFUL features to their WordPress Hosting. Such as their site migration plugin, that will automatically transfer your WordPress site from another host to their hosting platform. The plugin is free of charge and it works like a charm. You only have to plug in 4 items of information, and you can get some coffee while your site is being transferred without any sweat on your part. Sweet!!!
Generic Hosting is fine for basic websites, but for serious businesses, dedicated WordPress Hosting is the way to go.
With the rising popularity of WordPress and ever evolving security and website performance requirements it will be harder and harder to justify NOT having dedicated WordPress Hosting.
I’ll let them explain their offerings themselves here:
WP Engine Cons
Just like any other service, WP Engine is not the ultimate fit for everyone. Without a doubt, WP Engine is a remarkable platform to work on. However, it is expedient to understand the associated pros and cons before delving in to use it. Aside from their awesome features like awesome speed, security, and an excellent customer support, here are some cons.
Unlike the traditional cPanel, achieving speed, security, and scalability, as promised, WP Engine does do things a bit differently. For newbies, this could be a bit complicated. Although the backend setup is cleaner and better, this doesn’t change the fact that it is a custom build in contrast to cPanel which cheaper hosts tend to use. WP Engine doesn’t provide DNS or
Email support which many other non-dedicated hosts provide. When you sign on with WP Engine, you will need to have your domain name purchased and an email solution already in mind.
They also ban certain plugins and admin behaviors. Although this is good in a way, it limits versatility and experimentation on your site. An example of this is “Yet Another Related Post” plugin, which is quite common and resourceful but not allowed on WP Engine. Because of the database resources that this particular plugin requires, it is not allowed on their platform. To be fair, however, based on the tens of thousands of plugins that WordPress has, the list of disallowed plugins on their platform is pretty small. Additionally, they give you alternative plugins that you might use that provide the same functionality, but will work with their platform. You can see the list of disallowed plugins here.
One of the first things people consider when opting in for a product or service is its price. With WP Engine, you are generally paying for performance without having to worry about maintenance, security, or speed. Because of the high quality and plethora of features, WP Engine actually has one of the highest price tags for dedicated WordPress Hosting. In looking at that, I realized that in order to have a great WordPress business, I need to have a great WordPress Host.
Currently, WP Engine hosting starts at $29.00 per month. Click here for WP Engine current plans and pricing.
If you are running a serious WordPress business, dedicated WordPress Hosting should be part of your plan. Your business is important enough to get the best hosting you can afford.
One of the main features that help speed up global traffic (CDN) comes only in Professional Plan and above.
Should you use WP Engine? This is not a question I can answer for you. Like I said earlier on, WP Engine is not for everyone. The great part about it is that they are offering a 60 day trial so you can see if they are a good fit. As for me, I won’t be leaving them anytime soon.
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