Recently we decided to experiment with moving our hosting from a reasonably expensive unmanaged dedicated server with Pound Host, to WP Engine, a WordPress hosting specialist.
While the Pound Host server has been excellent we use it for other sites and it has started to slow down over time, especially as Mighty Gadget is constantly growing. Because the site is growing we also wanted a more reliable and secure solution, and this is one of the main reasons why we have been experimenting with WP Engine.
WP Engine works out to be quite expensive, even compared to a dedicated server however they offer several features a dedicated server doesn’t typically offer which include:
- Daily Backups
- Managed Updates
- A decent SLA
- A Firewall
- Malware Scanning
- No need for caching plugins (they use their own caching technology)
- An optional CDN
- GIT Version Control
- One Click Restore Points
- One Click Staging Area
These features do not come cheap though and pricing starts at $29 per month for sites with under 25k visitors, or $99 for sites under 100k visitors. However we think the high price can be justified with the peace of mind you get from daily backups, a firewall, malware scanning, and restore points. While we still have to worry about getting hacked there is considerably less risk and fixing potential problems should be considerably easier.
The terms of service actually offer a guaranteed 100% uptime and for every downtime hour customers may experience, a credit of 5% of their monthly bill would be assured.
Unlike most hosting companies you will not get access to cPanel or Plesk but most admin is done via WordPress itself or via their own control panel where you manage your installs and backups.
Performance wise we found the service to be pretty good. The admin of our site is still slightly slower than we would like but we have reduced load times from a quite poor 5 seconds to under 2.5 seconds. We could probably improve this a lot by cutting the bloat from our site, but for now we are happy.
If you would like to try WP Engine they offer a 60 day money back policy. If you buy it today you can get 4 months free hosting with the code cyberhostspecial13
For smaller businesses managing their own website the Personal Plan is a great option. It is £20 per month, which is less than most mobile phone contracts, and all your worries are taken away. Yes it is considerably more expensive than shared hosting that your current web developer may offer you, but how much does downtime or slow loading websites lose you sales.
Last but not lease they offer an excellent affiliate program and receive a minimum of $150 per referral!