WP Engine is one of the most popular and most respected premium WordPress hosting services around. Founded by Jason Cohen it was hailed for making reaching sales of $1 Million in less than a year. Along with their hosting, WP Engine provides world-class tech support, managed migrations, managed upgrades, a free CDN on most plans, and an assortment of other features. If you are looking for concierge hosting for your WordPress site, WP Engine is the way to go.
The only negative thing that I have encountered so far is pricing, it is a little high for the average website. The base plan starts at about $30/month, which will be sufficient for the average WordPress site’s traffic and disk space, but can be a little steep for a small business who is just simply trying to establish some web presence. They then have larger plans for 10 sites for $99 per month and 25 sites for $249 per month, with traffic up to 400,000 visits per month. It may seem like a steep cost, but for the advantages that WP Engine gives to any webmaster, it’s worth it.
Setting up a hosting account on WP Engine is extremely simple, you go through their checkout process and create an account, and, within a few minutes you should expect an email confirming that hosting has been set up. Next is the migration from your old hosting to WP Engine.
The first thing that you want to do is log into your hosting, which would be sent to you in email, and get the SFTP login information. The host should look like [your-domain].wpengine.com and you then use the same username and password that you created for your hosting account. Please be aware that WP Engine ONLY allows SFTP access, so you need to use port 22, instead of the regular port 21 for FTP. This is a really good thing, actually, FTP should never be used for data transfer because files are sent insecurely.
Once logged in, the only folder that needs to be transferred from the old site to the new one is the wp-content directory, everything else is a standard WordPress installation’s files. The database then needs to be exported from the old website and imported into the new site, this is most easily accomplished through PHPMyAdmin’s Import/Export Feature.
Once this is done, all that is left to do is point the domain name to WP Engine and the new web hosting should be live!
WP Engine has dozens of features that make managing WordPress simple. I’m going to outline some of my favorite features along with ones that I think are most valuable to anyone with a WordPress site.
One of the huge advantages that WP Engine has is speed. They have fine-tuned their servers and have enabled caching modules natively so the hosting speed of their website is extremely fast. In my benchmarks, protechig.com loaded in fractions of a second, sometimes in as little as 200 milliseconds, and even in Amsterdam, protechig.com was able to load in less than 1.5 seconds. Be aware that the web server is based in Texas, so in the image below, NYC is a few thousand miles away and it still loaded in 217 milliseconds!
WP Engine has also partnered with NetDNA, to provide a CDN to all of their customers subscribed to the Professional tier and above. It is available for $20 per month for the basic tier users as well. I have recently moved this site to the WP Engine CDN, and the performance has been amazing. Just by running a few spot tests, I have seen my site load all across the world in less than a second, from an SEO and User Experience perspective, this is a great advantage, especially if you have a highly trafficked WordPress site.
One of the things that WP Engine boats is that they are extremely focused on security, and i’m inclined to agree. They do regular security screenings of their servers using industry-standard software, which is a step above what most hosting companies do. The real thing that I like about WP Engine is that they will personally fix your site if it has been compromised in any way.
Have you ever wanted to see how a change would look on your site, but you don’t want to do it on the live version Before, the only option was to make another version of your site: either locally or on another domain. Now, with WP Engines staging area, previewing changes is simple. Within your WordPress dashboard, there is an option to “Create a staging area” and in one click, WP Engine will create a staging version of your site that you can make any changes you’d like, and it won’t effect the live site. I use this feature all the time, from plugin upgrades to new themes to test out the functionality before I make it live. The only thing i’d like to see is a way to port over the changes from the test site over to the live one, but for now, i’m very pleased with the feature.
Backup and Restore
WP Engine automatically takes daily backups of your WordPress site, just in case. This alleviation the need for backup plugins. You also have the option to back up your site at any time from within the WP Engine management panel. The other useful feature is their 1-click restore, so in the case that anything goes wrong, it can be rectified almost immediately.
WP Engine Review: Bottom Line
I would recommend WP Engine to anyone who is looking to purchase Premium WordPress hosting without the hastle of other web hosting companies. From reliability to page speed it is clear that WP Engine is one of the best WordPress hosting companies around.
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