WP Engine WordPress Hosting – What you need to know…

by Joe Chapuis – Editor & Publisher, WebHostingCheapskate.com ~ July 30, 2015
Looking for a good home for your WordPress website?

Jason Cohen - WP Engine Founder & CEOThen let me tell you a little bit about a company called WP Engine.

Founded in 2010 by serial internet entrepreneur, Jason Cohen, WP Engine is the internet’s premier managed WordPress hosting company. Because of WordPress’s exploding popularity, nearly 1 out of every 5 websites now run on this powerful content management platform. And that’s exactly why Jason created WP Engine — to help:

  1. Meet the needs of this ever-growing WordPress user base; and,
  2. Take the hassle out of running and maintaining a WordPress powered site.

Last year, I’d grown tired of running my own dedicated servers for over a decade. That’s when I went looking for an alternative. I wanted something that would make it easier and less time-consuming to manage our WordPress sites. And soon as I’d discovered WP Engine and gave them a try, I knew the search was over.

If you don’t use WordPress, then this isn’t the host for you. But if you do power your site with WordPress (or plan to), then here are:

10 reasons why you should seriously consider joining the 30,000+ customers who currently trust WP Engine to host their websites…
1

Ridiculously Fast & Easy WordPress Website Creation

There is no hosting company in the business (at least that I’m aware of) that makes it easier for you to start a new WordPress website. Here are the steps you’ll need to take to create a new WordPress site in less than 60 seconds with WP Engine:

Step 1. Create an Account with WP Engine

Provide your basic account information. For “account name,” just use something that’s short and easy for you to remember. This is NOT the same as your domain name, and NOT what people will use to access your site. You can link a domain name to your site later. You can even do this after your new website is finished and ready for launch…

WP Engine Managed WordPress Hosting - Discount Promo Code Sign-up Form

You’ll want to use a WP Engine coupon or promo code if you have one. This can help you save some money when you create a new web hosting account. The coupon code in the above example is SUMMERSAVE15, which takes an additional 15% off the total cost when signing up for at least one year of WP Engine hosting service.

Here is the latest Web Hosting Cheapskate promo coupon code you can use for WP Engine:

Once you’ve completed the sign-up form, press the “Create My Site” button at the bottom of the sign-up page:

Create WordPress site on WP Engine

Step 2. There is no Step 2

That’s it… you’re done!

By this point, your WordPress site and WP Engine account have both been created. Check your email for more information on how to login to your new account and WordPress website. You’re now ready to add a WordPress theme, plugins, start customizing your site, etc.

(See… I told you it was fast.)

2

Fast and reliable WordPress hosting

WP Engine - WordPress Managed HostingThe WP Engine team consists of a full-time team of engineers and professionals who live and breath one thing and one thing only: WordPress hosting. Hosting with WP Engine is like having an elite team of WordPress experts dedicated to optimizing your site’s performance in all areas.

In addition, WP Engine’s best-in-class architecture and highly redundant systems help keep WordPress sites fast and secure. I know it sounds a bit melodramatic, but this really is the bleeding edge of WordPress technology. 

To help ensure your site is always running the most current (safest) version of WordPress, they automatically upgrade your WordPress installations whenever patches are released. And when a major WordPress update is released, WP Engine thoroughly tests it first, before making the simple one-click upgrade available.

3

Rock-solid website security

WP Engine: Secure WordPress website hostingWP Engine’s enterprise-grade security helps keeps your website and sensitive data safe. All of their hosting plans include:

  • Multiple, powerful firewalls between your data and outside threats
  • Proactive detection and elimination of dangerous malware
  • The ability to easily enable SSL across all site

Remember: security matters. A secure hosting environment protects you and your visitors from data loss and embarrassing hack attacks.  In addition, properly secured sites are faster, since bogus traffic and requests aren’t gobbling up all of your resources.

But despite the best efforts of talented programmers and security professionals, web sites can sometimes still get hacked. It’s just a fact of life. While some consultants charge thousands of dollars for emergency “unhacking” services, WP Engine’s got you covered — at no additional charge.

No, you didn’t hear me wrong. If your WP Engine hosted website ever gets hacked… they’ll fix it – for free.

4

Easy website back-up and restore

This feature is my personal favorite

WP Engine makes it a breeze to instantly backup and restore your website with their “Snapshot Backups” system. Backup points are just like saving your progress in a game or using Apple’s Time Machine. The system takes a daily snapshot of your website and files, and bundles it into a single, easily downloadable zip file. It also gives you the option to take a snapshot at any time. It’s easy to take a snapshot backup of your site. Here’s what you do:

When logged into your the admin area for your WordPress site, click on “User Portal” in the top left:

WP Engine - website backup and restore - user portal

From within the WP Engine user portal, you’ll then have access to additional tools and services. Next, click on “backup points” for more options:

WP Engine WordPress website backup points

To select a backup, hit “Restore” to restore your site to a previous version instantly. To create a new backup point (e.g., before you make site changes or install a new plugin), click on “Back Up Now”. You can also download .zip files of your backups for safe keeping offline:

WP Engine - Create site backup

Any time you install or update a plugin or theme, you’re courting disaster. Plugins are especially notorious for wreaking havoc on a smooth-running site. So before you make any major changes to your site, just take a quick snapshot which you can then revert back to in the event things don’t go as planned. I can’t tell you how many times the WP Engine snapshot feature has saved my butt, not to mention hours of frustration.

Trust me: You’re just going to love WP Engine’s website snapshot tool.

5

Built-in Page Caching

Caching refers to the storing of data so future requests for that data can be served faster. Without caching, WordPress websites are slow and clunky, taking forever to load and respond. But with proper caching, a WordPress site will load quickly and smoothly.Fast websites save time and money

That’s why WP Engine developed “EverCache” – a proprietary caching technology to help maximize website speed and scalability (the ability to accommodate growth). It’s one of the most scalable and powerful WordPress caching systems available today.

And the best part: EverCache is fully integrated into your WordPress installation so you don’t need to install and stumble through the clumsy and challenging set-up of any third-party caching plugins.

No muss. No fuss. Your site’s cache is intelligently and automatically refreshed as needed, and you can always clear your cache at any time. Fast. Easy. Automatic. Nice.

6

Private Development “Staging” Site

WP Engine has an exclusive feature called “staging” that enables you to instantly create a copy (staging site) of your website for private testing and development work.

Your staging site is an independent clone of your live production site. This is where you can test plugins, themes, and custom code without having to worry about any changes taking effect on your live site. When you like the new changes, simply copy the staging site to the live site.

To work on your staging site, click on staging in your WP Engine dashboard:

WP Engine - how to create a staging site

…then click press the blue “Copy Site from Live to Staging Button”:

WP Engine - Create test staging site

You will then be given a special link where you can access your staging site and WordPress admin area. When you’re done working on your staging site, you can then make it your new live one with the click of a button:

WP Engine - Copy staging site to live site

Staging is another great tool for keeping your data safe, and letting you easily customize and experiment with your WordPress website — in total privacy.

7

Helpful Support and Free Website Migration

wp-engine-wordpress-hosting-customer-supportWP Engine offers 24/7 technical support from US-based WordPress experts. Live chat support is available from 8am-8pm CST, and telephone support is available for all packages above the Personal Plan level. The few times I’ve needed help, I never had to wait more than a few minutes (for chat support), and my issues were always solved quickly and professionally.

In addition, WP Engine now offers all new Personal, Professional, and Business plan clients free incoming site migrations via their new Automated Migration system. This is a special plugin that WP Engine has made available to users to allow the migration of existing WordPress sites to the WP Engine platform for free.

This means you can now painlessly move an existing WordPress site to WP Engine quickly and easily – with just a few steps and clicks.

8

60 Day Risk-Free Money Back Guarantee

Most web hosting companies let you try their services for 30 days. But WP Engine gives you two months.

If you’re not pleased with their services, just send a cancellation request via their support system within 60 days of your initial sign-up, and they’ll refund all hosting related charges.

I actually did have to do this for a client. It was fast, easy and painless. WP Engine was true to their word.

9

You’re in some pretty good company…

More than 30,000 customers now trust WP Engine to host their WordPress websites. Included among this ever-growing clientbase are some high profile companies and organizations including:

  • The Gap
  • SoundCloud
  • New Relic
  • Williams-Sonoma
  • Foursquare
  • Allstate
  • AMD
  • Asana
  • GeekWire
  • VentureBeat
  • New York University
  • Harvard University, and of course…
  • The Web Hosting Cheapskate

But you don’t have to be a multinational corporation or Ivy League college to benefit from WP Engine. Their users also include well known bloggers and successful small businesses. So if they all trust WP Engine to host their WordPress websites, maybe you should, too.

10

Awesome Return on Investment

WP Engine promo codes and reviewWhen it comes to web hosting, you get what you pay for — if you’re lucky. WP Engine is one of those rare cases where the investment is worth every cent. Fortunately, there are two ways you can bring your costs down:

  1. You automatically get two months free just for signing up for one year of WP Engine hosting; and,
  2. WP Engine frequently runs special offers and promotions for new customers.
    The latest WP Engine promo code or coupon for WP Engine can be found in this box below:

 

A few last things you should know about WP Engine…

The WP Engine Personal Plan is their entry level plan ($29/month without coupon), and should be sufficient for most beginners, bloggers and small businesses. The next level up is their $99/month Professional Plan. You’ll want to keep these things in mind about their plans and services before you sign-up for WP Engine:

Visitor Limits

Pricing is partially based on the number of monthly visits to your site, and each of WP Engine’s hosting plans has a limit to the number of “visitors” per month. Here’s how they calculate visitors:

We take the number of unique IP addresses seen in a 24-hour period as the number of “visits” to the site during that period. The number of “visits” in a given month is the sum of those daily visits during that month.

The Personal Plan gives you an allowance of 25,000 “visits” per month. If you go over your monthly limit, WP Engine then applies overage charges of $1 for every 1,000 visitors over your plan. But if you do go over your 25k limit, well, that’s a good problem to have. This means your traffic is growing. And hopefully, your revenue is growing along with it.

Built-in CDN

A content delivery network (CDN) is a large distributed system of servers set up in multiple data centers across the internet, with the end goal being faster websites and higher performance. WP Engine includes a built-in CDN for their Professional Plan and higher, but they charge $19.99/month extra if you want to use their CDN with the Personal Plan.

A CDN isn’t necessary for most beginner and low-traffic sites, so I understand why it isn’t included with the Personal Plan. But $19.99 seems a bit excessive. If you need a CDN and don’t want to spend an extra twenty bucks per month, you can easily take the do-it-yourself approach and integrate the MaxCDN service into a Personal Plan website for about $5/month using the free “CDN Linker” plugin (as explained here).

Telephone Support

Personal Plan clients have access to WP Engine’s 24/7 support system, but telephone support is only available to Professional Plan users and higher. Personally, I’ve only ever used their online chat system and have always found their customer service reps to be professional and helpful during these chat sessions. But if you think you’ll need to actually talk to someone on a regular basis, then consider going with the Professional Plan.

Websites Per Account

If you sign-up for a WP Engine Personal Plan, you’ll be given one WordPress website installation. Additional WordPress installs are $14.95/month each. If you’re looking to host multiple WordPress sites with the same company, consider their Professional Plan, which gives you 10 installs for $99/month. But if you only need to host one or two websites, the Personal Plan should be more than adequate.

WP Engine Hosting Review – Summary

There is no one hosting company that’s perfect for every person, business or website. Even the top web hosts sometimes have a bad day, resulting in occasional website slowdowns and down-time for their hosting clients.

What’s most important is how well your hosting company responds when things go wrong, and the steps they take to ensure it doesn’t happen again. So when it comes to web hosting, there really are just three things you need in a hosting partner. You want a web host who consistently:

  1. Offers great value at a fair price,
  2. Is there for you when you have questions or if trouble arises, and;
  3. Helps you sleep better at night because you know your website is in good hands.

That’s why after running my own dedicated servers for over a decade, I now host my WordPress sites with WP Engine. I love not having to worry about things like:wp-engine-managed-wordpress-hosting-discount-coupon-codes-2

  • Site back-ups
  • Hackers and security updates
  • Server management and maintenance
  • Complicated caching and CDN set-ups

(And don’t forget all the time and money you save not having to deal with these things.)

If you’re like me and your websites are a critical part of your business, then you may also be willing to pay a bit extra for the peace of mind that comes from knowing your WordPress sites are fast, stable and secure.

When it comes to WordPress hosting, WP Engine isn’t the cheapest. But they very well may be the best. But the only way to know if they’re right for you is to give them a risk-free try for 60 days and find out for yourself.

Well… I hope this information has helped point you in the right direction for finding the best web host for your WordPress site. (BTW: We may be able to help you out if you’re looking to start a new WordPress website but you don’t want to spend a fortune – see our WordPress “Site Builder Special”.)

Good luck in your host hunting, and feel free to contact me with any questions and I’ll do my best to help you find the web host that’s right for you! -Joe

WP Engine WordPress Hosting – What you need to know…
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