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WP Engine Review: 30% More Expensive, 400% Better?
If you’ve been involved in the WordPress community at all over the past year or so, you’ve undoubtedly at least heard of WP Engine. You might have even visited their website, seen that their cheapest hosting package is $30, then ran for the hills. Well, after using WP Engine for about 6 months, I’d like to give you an inside review, and explain to you why I think WP Engine is worth every penny they charge.
Also, WP Engine has agreed to give all Art of Blog readers a special offer when they create a new account! So read on to find out more about WP Engine.
If this review of WPEngine isn’t enough to make you want to switch hosts, then maybe this is. For all Art of Blog readers, WP Engine is going to give you hosting for $4 per months for 3 months!
Why WP Engine?
WP Engine is a fully managed WordPress host that aims to take care of 3 main issues with WordPress: Speed, Security, and Scalability (The three S’s). As a bonus, WP Engine does those 3 things with amazing customer support. Sure, if you’re just getting started blogging, it may be hard to justify spending at least $29 per month on a hosting account. But, if you run a small business or do any marketing online WP Engine can help you increase your traffic and revenue.
A quick look at the WP Engine reviews will show that WP Engine users experience significant speed increases for their websites. This is important because Google began including site speed into their ranking algorithm in 2010. On top of this, there are other case studies that have tied site speed to revenue online.
- Amazon concluded that they increase revenue by 1% for every 100 milliseconds they decrease their loading time.
- Yahoo increased traffic 9% for every 400 milliseconds of improvement.
Bottom line, if your website is slow, this can drastically affect your website’s revenue and traffic. But WP Engine can also help you run a better website by making it more reliable. Downtime for your website leads to decreased revenue. With WP Engine’s scalability and security, you won’t have to worry about your website going down at the wrong time.
My Experience with WP Engine
I moved one of my websites over to WP Engine in January. When I first logged into my WP Engine admin area, I noticed a few things that really grabbed my attention.
In the admin area, you can simply push a button to create a staging area in no time at all. This staging area is very useful for testing out new themes or design changes. I found it very useful for making edits to the PHP in my theme. Sometimes all it takes to bring your website down is leaving off one single character. This is not a mistake I like to make on a live website… The staging area lets me test code changes on a site copy, then move them over to my live site when ready. Pretty nice, huh?
Also, I noticed that WP Engine does not let you use your own caching plugin. This is because WP Engine automatically caches everything. Now, I love WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache as much as anybody else. But, to be honest, those plugins can be a pain to really tweak just right. WP Engine does all of the caching automatically for you!
I also wanted to do a speed test of my website before and after I moved to WP Engine. With my old shared host, I was getting about 10 seconds for a page load. Just by switching to WP Engine I noticed my page loading time go down to about 4 seconds! Yea, I’ll take that ;)
But, I have to say the best part about moving to WP Engine is the customer support that I get. That’s honestly what you’re paying for when you move to WP Engine – Great people and experience. Anytime I have had a question about WordPress I have been able to get a quick answer through twitter and email. The only time I ever had an issue was when WP Engine changed their pricing structure. I ended up emailing support, somewhat irritated I should add, and found out that the pricing plans were in my favor. DOH!
Wrapping it Up
If you run a small to medium sized website, then I think WP Engine is the perfect host for you. In the 6 months that I’ve had WP Engine, I’ve only had two gripes. The first is that there is no SSH access. The second is that WP Engine does not take care of email. But there are very minor gripes. Email can be taken care of through 3rd party services like Google for free, and WP Engine doesn’t allow SSH for security reasons. I can live with that.
After all is said and done, WP Engine is a solid host, and now my host of choice for any new web development projects I have. Don’t forget to check out our special WPEngine Coupon Code.
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