Page.ly Review – Is It Worth It?

Page.ly is a managed WordPress host that first began in 2006, but relaunched in 2009. As a managed WordPress hosting solution, Page.ly is definitely a much better provider than shared hosting. What follows is my recommendation based on general information and my experience with Page.ly during the managed WordPress hosting speed test case study.

What Page.ly Does Well

As I said above, if you have having issues with your host being slow or your host not being able to keep up… Then Page.ly is a great solution. With Page.ly you can expect automatic core updates, increased security, amazing speed, and better than average customer support. Page.ly also does automatic backups which can be a lifesaver if your site gets hacked, or you accidentally nuke your website. I’ve done that before…

Page.ly Screenshot

Page.ly also has the advantage of having several top-notch clients such as Vonage, Texas A&M, New Relic, and others. Page.ly is definitely doing something right. We can back this up as our websites also saw speed increase to about 4 seconds per page load on average and did not have any security issues.

Page.ly also backed up their service with super quick customer support. I usually received responses to my support requests within about 20-30 minutes, which is perfectly fine with me. Although, one time they did seem to get a bit short with me.

Where Page.ly falls Short

Page.ly Not Hacker Proof

I have to agree that Page.ly has great security. They run their infrastructure on Firehost, which is arguably the best when it comes to secure cloud hosting.

That being said, I would like to see Page.ly offer some sort of guarantee about the security of their website. This could be something similar to WP Engine’s guarantee that they will un-hack your website for free, or it could simply be a slight discount when there is downtime.

Joshua Strebel has already responding to this suggestion on managed WordPress hosting compared.

One other thing that truly irritated me was that I had to pay $5 to get FTP access. Why would I want to pay $5 extra for FTP when I’m already paying for top of the line hosting? When I asked Page.ly on twitter why they do this, they responded with “to save inexperienced users from themselves.” This irks me, and is one of the reasons that I would not personally recommend Page.ly as a managed WordPress host.

Bottom Line

Page.ly is a good choice for a web host, especially if you are currently on a shared host and having issues. You will definitely notice your website is faster and better customer support than most hosts. I would like to see them add some kind of security guarantee and change the $5 FTP fee. If those are minor inconveniences for you, then go ahead and give Page.ly a try.

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Written by Eric Binnion

Eric Binnion is a computer science student at Midwestern State University. When Eric is not online, he is usually volunteering in his community or enjoying time with his family. You can find Eric on Twitter.

Comments

  • I agree 100% I rate the hosts WPEngine, ZippyKid, Page.ly and I have not tryed Synthesis but will soon. You are dead on. Pluse page ly has added hack fix but the cost if you want a CDN is $20 on top of the base $50 just to have the right to use a CDN on there system. thats and as of sep1 blocking the MX from there DNS this is a cheap way to not. Pay for DNS I had a cllint that had not put his site up but payed when Page.ly sill let people use MX they told me “sorry we can’t change it” ok you want me to send people to you? Or trust you can’t turn on DYN’s MX that’s a lie (sorry the best word for it)
    FireHost is great but not the best. The $5 for SFTP reason will be the reason I will not send anyone if manged WordPress is only for the the techie page ly missed the point. I will say there nice but the problems are just dumb.

  • I am thinking of either switching to Page.ly or upgrading my CloudFlare account. I am leaning toward the former. Page.ly is more expensive, but it seems like they take care of a lot of things. I just want to focus on content. I am a software engineer, so it’s not hard, but just time consuming to fiddle with these things. The costs are tax deductible, as my website is a product of my LLC.

    My question is — Page.ly sells their accounts based on the number of visitors per month it can handle. What if you have more visitors? Do they throttle you? Do they force you to upgrade?

    My site is 8 months old, and I get between 15,000 – 17,000 page views per month. I am hosting on fatcow, with W3 Total Cache and the free CloudFlare account. So far, so good. Pages load fast enough, and I am nowhere near maxing out bandwidth or disk space.

    I guess I could ask them, but perhaps they won’t disclose every wrinkle…

    • I would to 1st apologize to Pagely as I have spent more time with them. I have realized that they are a good company I spoke in haste and wish to apologize to Josh have a lot of respect for him.

      To answer the ladies question above yes you would be smart to move to Page.ly they are much better than using cloudflare a company that is excellent at securing your blog however terrible as a CDN.
      WP engine is an excellent choice as Zippykid I cannot recommend web synthesis as I found them lacking many things I took for granted on the other managed work press hosting sites.

      Respectfully,
      Thomas

      • Eric Binnion says:

        Hey Thomas,

        Thanks for leaving a comment. I’d like to add that we have had issues with Page.ly, so they are usually not our top choice for managed WordPress hosting. We love the whole team over at WP Engine and have had no issues with them since using WP Engine on some of our projects.

        P.s. – Solid website Thomas :)

        • Hi Eric,
          thank you for the kind words. I had issues in the past with the client and what I found is I was upset about the moment. However I have learned WPEngine Pagely & ZippyKid are the best at managed WordPress press labs I have not tried yet.
          Thank you sincerely for the compliment about the site. If I may say I admire yours quite a bit. You do a lot of gravity forms work? May I get your information I could use somebody that can customize gravity forms. If you have the time.
          Respectfully,
          Thomas

      • “My question is — Page.ly sells their accounts based on the number of visitors per month it can handle. What if you have more visitors? Do they throttle you? Do they force you to upgrade?”

        No they will never throttle you that if something budget hosts do and fat cow might be doing right now.
        As I described you will never have to upgrade unless you’re consistently going over the allotted amount of visitors per a month. The fact that you can write this off because you are an LLC makes it crazy for you to stay with fat cow. Everything you just described about wanting to actually concentrate on your work and let the hosting go to the guys who do hosting well you found what you’re looking for. Write it off and get a host that will care for you and understands WordPress

        believe I can say this without any doubt none of these guys are going to turn off your website because you have exceeded traffic limits especially if it is something you are not aware of or could never have guessed that you would’ve gotten anything like that. In fact I will go farther and say I don’t believe that they will turn off your website based on too much traffic.
        You get a lot more out of hosting with a miniature WordPress host than you ever will with fat cow. I feel sorry honestly for everyone who uses fat cow and Go Daddy they are junk somebody could be running whatever they want on the same IP and server as your website affecting your speeds slowing you down giving your website a bad name if your IP is blacklisted from some spammer. And what do you gain you save money by. Spending $3 a month on hosting I’m not putting that down saving money is a fine thing however if you care about what your hosting you will get a lot more care with a managed WordPress host than you ever will with fat cow.

        I also believe fat cow and a few other hosts who come in number 1 for this best hosts to so because of skillful PPC and search engine optimization.
        Any host that charge to so little and throws in what looks like a carnival had their train took over and you are piled on with junk you should be wary of.

        Cloud flair is a necessity if posting on somebody like fat cow not for the reasons you may be thinking it’s going to make my site fast it’s going to help all the problems that are owing on make it equal to Pagely believe me there’s nothing fat cow can do to make themselves equal to pagely they can throw in a Lamborghini and then I’ll talk to him however until that day happens stay away from fat cow they need the long cachet times afforded to them by cloud flair so when they go down you don’t notice.

        It’s the truth look at cloud flair allows for your website to be cached on their servers for a extremely long time making it accessible during down time. Is this a good thing that fat cow is offering yes for them doesn’t make them as good as a real quality web host God no.

        I hope I have answered your question completely and that I am 100% accurate.
        Sincerely,
        Tom

      • Yeah… I notice FatCow with CloudFlare is not going to cut the mustard. FatCow has too many problems with outages and CloudFlare doesn’t cache all the pages. FatCow has had two major (4+ hour) outages in the past 6 months. But they have small outages all the time and “maintenance” outages. They are not “five nines”. Not even close.

        I’m looking into Page.ly, but will hold off until I see issues with my site’s speed. I know what I have now will not work for hundreds of thousands of page views per month.

        • The first thing I would honestly do is get off of that fat cow website. If you have over 100,000 visitors per a month. I would imagine that means it’s costing you every time fatcow Tips (Goes down ) for over for four hours at a time. Then the choices for me would be and you’re talking about only one website it would still be WP engine is going to cost $99 per month. They are going to give you quite a bit for that money. However zippy kid give you hundred thousand visitors And the content delivery network for $25 a month. If you need 200,000 visitors it is an additional $20 per month. Not bad at all when you’re talking about the amount of visitors you are receiving per month. If you’re talking about that the visitors then websynthesis 2,500 Visitors a day if they still offer this amount per a day and not Per a month which I would check with them would also be an option. websynthesis
          Again it all depends on how much you want to spend on your hosting you want in return. Any of the sites listed including Pagely which may be more expensive for the higher page views are going to be far better than when you’re on now.

          • I made the switch to WPEngine. I really like it. Beyond the speed, their staging environment and instant restore points are really cool. Backups and better security are key advantages. It took me about 4 hours to make the switch, the bulk of the time was spent downloading and uploading files. It was pretty easy, apart from an SQL error, but since I know SQL very well, I was able to fix it. My exported script had a line to create a new db, which I commented out. I think this would stump a newbie. Of course, I’m sure WPEngine’s support would help the newbie user fix it…

            Oh, but the speed is so good. I ran a test in alertra, and from all locations except Singapore, I get a page load of less than half a second. Singapore is 1.3 seconds. When I ran this same test on my Fatcow site, offpeak hours, it was 4-5 seconds per page load. But I know, from my Google Analytics stats, on weekends it can often take 25 seconds for a page to load. I am looking forward to seeing how well WPEngine performs on the weekend. I bet I will get way more page views because people won’t be discouraged by slow page loads.

            Beyond the tests, I see my pages loading super fast when I access them. The WP amin console is ridiculously fast. It’s almost like using a desktop application. I check my jetpack stats frequently (almost addicted to that), and they come up fast. With fatcow, I would often have to take multiple attempts.

            I also saw an immediate bump in SEO. Articles that I had written months ago, and got very little traffic, are suddenly being viewed. Articles that were burried on page 50 of Google search results are now on page 9. Of course, my most popular articles have always been first in results, with the right search terms. I have read that page speed is taken into consderation with SEO. Wow, that’s so true.

            I would recommend anyone who is aiming to succeed with their WordPress site to go for premium hosting. I can only vouge for WPEngine, but your other suggestions may be great also. Just don’t go for the shared hosts — GoDaddy, Fatcow, Hostgator. They are not for serious users. Maybe if you have some local shop and want a website for it, it’s fine. If you plan on developing a site that gets massive ammounts of traffic so you can make money with advertising or whatever, go with a premium host from the get-go. Don’t do what I did — think that FatCow is a good place to start. If you have ambitions, invest the money in a premium host. The greater speed will provide an SEO advantage that will get you more page views.

            I get about 20,000 page views per month, which is not bad for an 8 month old site. If I had a premium host from the start, I have little doubt that I would be getting 50,000 page views by now.

            I don’t mean to completely trash shared hosts. FatCow and others are very good options for people who just want to promote their small business. It’s not the way to go if your business is building a high traffic website.

            I am nothing but pleased with WPEngine. It’s only been a day so far, but I can already see way more hits. Let’s face it — if a web page takes 25 seconds to load, you’re gonna bail. If you do wait, you’re not going to explore. I wouldn’t wait 25 seconds for a page to load.

            I also think it’s great that they push upgrades of WP when they have been tested. That was sometimes a “white knuckle” experience. I had a few scary moments dealing with that… Even with my backups (manual FTP), no one wants their site down for hours. Luckily, I never ran into anything too bad, but with WPEngine, I have no more worries about WP upgrades.

  • Nick S. says:

    Thanks for the informative article. I started hosting my blog on Page.ly a couple weeks ago (the lowest plan, one blog) and I am absolutely loving it.

  • Dylan says:

    Page.ly sucks. I’ve had one client having non-stop errors with their site for the last year. Thank god we have Cloudflare running to handle most of the outages but there’s a few that just take everything down.

    Also, have not received a response from Page.ly support for that last week and just found out that our client has not received any response in the last month.

    I cannot believe I first recommended these guys. Never again.

    • Eric Binnion says:

      Hey Dylan,

      Thanks for the comment about Page.ly. We like to get other’s input.

    • Robb says:

      Dylan, I have 2 sites hosted with Page.ly and they experience constant errors and downtime, from not being able to access parts of the WordPress admin, CSS not loading on the site or in the admin. Their support response has been poor and not timely – often days after submitting a ticket. I am in the process of migrating these sites off of their hosting.

      Conversely, I have several multi-site installations on WPEngine and am extremely happy with them. They are worth the extra expense. Their support team is quick to respond and go the extra mile to get your issue resolved, however I have not needed to contact them much.

      • Kyle says:

        I’m working on a client site right now and am so frustrated by pagely I could not sit here silently and let others sign up for the ‘service’…

        Constant timeout errors, FTP issues, backup problems, plugin blacklisting, need I go on? The client called us to find out what’s wrong with their site – the answer is pagely. The shame is pagely makes it hard to get access to your files (unreliable FTP and have not been able to get MySQL dumps) so now getting rid of them means $1k in fees for me to manually beat the site into submission…

        Don’t do it. There are more options out there

        • Sean O'Brien says:

          Hi Kyle,

          I am sorry to hear about your recent experience with us. Like all hosts, we sometimes experience issues in our datacenters so i apologize for any trouble caused.

          Things are running much more smoothly now and we recently brought in the former director of engineering at StumbleUpon as our new CTO to implement additional monitoring and failover mechanisms, to avoid any future missteps.

          Regards,

          Sean O’Brien
          Director of Marketing
          Pagely®