The glory of WordPress is that it's open source. Unfortunately, that also means you have to go out and find a host for your site.
Sometimes hosts aren't all that transparent, while others provide lackluster support teams.
After our review of WPEngine, it's safe to say that you don't have to worry about the big questions like security, support and scaling up.
In fact, we may just go as far as to say that it's one of the best hosting WordPress hosting solutions out there. The Developer Program gives qualified developers a free Personal Plan for 12 months where they can host one site and stage client sites.
WPEngine and WordPress Scale
Over 74 millions sites use WordPress, but does this mean that a host like WPEngine, combined with WordPress, can handle your business scaling up?
The cool thing about WordPress is that it's always evolving. The opensource platform has tons of developers working on the interface at all times, and you can see that updates come out on a regular basis.
Years back, WordPress was seen as more of a blogging or small business website option. The tools for scaling up were there, but it took far more power and capacity when expecting insane amounts of traffic.
That's not the case anymore, since WordPress is known for handling complex, high-traffic sites, and it doesn't matter if you're running an ecommerce store or a blog with lots of followers.
Combine this with WPEngine and you have the opportunity to scale up rather quickly. Since WordPress is an individual system, you must rely on WPEngine to manage your traffic and support large waves of users clamoring for your goods or services.
So, if you go to the WPEngine website you'll notice that they offer plans ranging from 25K visitors a month to 5 million. Local storage goes all the way up to 400GB, and you can decide to upgrade whenever you want. An Enterprise grade plan is also offered for those who are looking for something more. What's also interesting is that a content delivery network (CDN) comes with most of the plans, meaning that your website gets delivery through a large network of servers all over the world. In short, your website gets served up quickly no matter where the end user resides.
Therefore, scalability is no problem with WPEngine, and since WordPress has seen so many improvements over the years, we don't see any situations arising where a company couldn't expand their business.
We talked a little bit about the CDN support in the section above, but it's worth mentioning again that all plans provide (or at least offer an upgrade for) a CDN. This means that a user in China can load up your website quickly, even if your business resides in Indiana. Location isn't a problem anymore, and you even gain access to a GeoIP service to dynamically serve content to people, regardless of their geographical location.
The LargeFS tool gives you an infinite amount of storage for media, which is a bonus for companies with lots of media. If you've ever worked with a WordPress site in the past, you know that media can drastically slow your site down.
Overall, you have options for shared or dedicated hosting, and the storage goes all the way up to 1TB. Visits can go higher than 5 million per month, so the infrastructure is setup for your site speed to remain impressive.
One of the big questions we get about hosting platforms is, “What's the support like?” It's a valid question, because your hosting is the backbone of your website. If it goes down, you often can't do anything about it until you speak with a representative. We also like it when we see hosting companies with support for tasks like migrations, database tweaking and more.
So, how does WPEngine stack up?
The team is available 24/7 , and it offers telephone support and a solid knowledge base for searching for topics that are common with users. For example, they have an article in the knowledge base on how to make your site faster, which is a common question that arises with webmasters.
The blog keeps people updated with new happenings at the company, and you get information through social media if you follow WPEngine on places like Facebook and Twitter.
You have to login to the system in order to contact the support team, but once there, a email ticketing form is available for more immediate needs.
WPEngine Flexibility and Development Tools
When you're looking into a hosting solution for your website, it's important to see exactly what types of flexibility you have. Is your hosting platform designed to only help out beginner webmasters, or does it have some development tools to assist those with more advanced skills?
When we checked into WPEngine, it became clear that it's much more than a hosting platform. The company is all about its development tools, for things like staging, migrations and copying sites.
To start, WPEngine has an automated migration plugin that works wonders for those who are trying to move from another host. You can work on other projects while the plugin does the job, and you won't have to worry about SEO or multiple sites.
The staging environment sets up a clone of your website, allowing you to test out plugins, themes and custom code. It's called a staging area because it doesn't affect the live website. Rather, you get a realistic looking design without the need to screw around with your current source code.
The copy site tool manages those instances where a developer needs to duplicate databases for multiple websites, while the standard WPEngine user portal has everything from monthly reports to DNS information.
The final discussion with hosting generally brings security into the question. Although it seems like quite a few measures are put in place for security at WPEngine, we're going to cover some of the most important. The first is the disk write limitation, which logs each time a bot or person tries to write to the disk. This detects malicious code, while also combining with the managed patching and updates to minimize security loopholes. The real-time security threat detection supposedly keeps out millions of threats each day, and it leaves you to your work, instead of forcing you to complete manual checks.
Along with an enterprise grade infrastructure, security audits, code reviews and free repairs for hacked sites, the security at WPEngine looks promising.
WPEngine is just another reason to bring your website to WordPress. It carries companies that would like to scale up, and it has a strong focus on the WordPress platform, giving you security, a quality support team and hosting that you won't have to think about all the time.