If your business’ website is built with the WordPress content management system, we recommend that you look at WP Engine as premium hosting service. After some serious issues with other hosting services for our own site and with some of our clients, we determined that premium hosting is well worth the cost. Yes, it will cost a little more than retail hosting service, but if your website performance is critical to your business performance, there are several reasons WP Engine might be the best hosting service for your site.
- Expertise. WP Engine, as its name suggests, only hosts WordPress sites. They know the CMS inside out and how to best manage and maintain WordPress sites. Because WordPress is an open source CMS, getting answers to questions and solving problems can be challenging–you typically have to search user forums and hope someone has solved the issue you’re dealing with. WP Engine has a live, personal support team always standing by.
- Security. You may be familiar with the study by Sophos that found that 30,000 websites are hacked every day. For most businesses, it’s not a question of if you’ll be attacked but when, and whether you’ll have adequate defenses. WP Engine offers server side firewalls and multiple layers of threat protection, as well as active monitoring and threat prevention. WP Engine disallows plugins with known security issues. It also scans for attacks specifically aimed at WordPress sites. Plugins, theme updates, and compatibility issues are a common cause of website failures. WP Engine actively manages WordPress core updates and makes theme and plugin updates easy to ensure security and compatibility.
- Performance. If your business reaches beyond your local markets, you’ll want your hosting service to provide a content delivery network (CDN)–large distributed systems of servers deployed in multiple data centers across the internet–that serve your website content to users with high availability and speed. WP Engine offers an enterprise-class CDN, as well as a proprietary caching system optimized for WordPress that serves media extremely quickly. Site performance is more important than ever since Google started ranking web pages based on user experience, a big part of which is page loading speed.
- Support. As mentioned earlier, getting support from WordPress is difficult. It is also difficult to get live, hands-on support from cut-rate hosting services. When something goes wrong with a website, you want it fixed now! WP Engine offers live chat and phone support 24/7. Remember, you’re not just getting a web hosting expert, you’re getting a WordPress expert.
- Backup and Restore. Backing up and restoring (especially restoring) websites with bargain hosting providers can be complicated and difficult. WP Engine offers “one-click” backup and restores–invaluable if for some reason your site goes down due to internal or external activities. One click and you’re back up and running.
- Staging servers. WP Engine’s staging servers offer a great way to add pages and features and test them thoroughly before pushing the new content live. It also gives you an easy way to test plugin and theme updates in a safe environment.
Plain and simple, premium hosting services like WP Engine cost more than your godaddy.com and hostgator.coms. In our experience, businesses don’t pay attention to hosting providers until something goes wrong, often catastrophically wrong. If your website is critical to your business, we strongly recommend considering a premium hosting service. If your site is built on WordPress, WP Engine may be your best choice.