On the fence about actually paying real money for premium WordPress hosting? Perhaps you chose an affordable hosting option (let me guess, rhymes with MoBaddy or GlueToast?) when you first got your domain or someone told you where to find dirt cheap hosting for “like $5 bucks” and you figured, “Why pay more? I’ll use my monies to buy fancy stuff like themes and what not”, right? Perhaps you’ve experienced what shared hosting is like with random outages, falling behind on updates, slow page loads, can’t seem to get a page ranked in Google for your life, horrendous bonce rates because your visitors hate waiting for content to load, can’t log in for some random reason and customer support takes days, not hours to get your issues resolved…if they even respond. WPEngine’s premium WordPress hosting will blow you away if this is your experience. If you’re just getting your WordPress site up and running and not sure where to host it, then you’re lucky you haven’t had a bad experience with terrible hosting yet. Oh the headaches it can cause! Those headaches can be avoided.
If you have a WordPress website and it’s important, valuable and needs to work, then pay attention. Here are 13 power packed reasons why we use WPEngine premium WordPress hosting for all of our WordPress sites and you should too!
- They’re WordPress Experts, Gurus and Geeks
- On demand site backs
- Automatic nightly backups
- Auto updating of WordPress Core
- Automatic backup before WordPress core update
- Phenomenal Customer Service
- Faster page speeds for better Google Rankings (SEO)
- Faster page loads for better User Experience
- Cheaper CPC ads on major search engines
- Sand Box Testing Environment
- Protection against Brute Force attacks
- Protection from dangerous, poor quality and questionable plugins
- Money Back Guarantee
1. They’re WordPress Experts, Gurus and Geeks
WPEngine isn’t just another website hosting company that offers sausage hosting with a one –size fits all offering. They are WordPress junkies. Real, down to earth, website loving people who eat, sleep, breathe and even run marathons around WordPress. That’s all they do. Period. If you need WordPress hosting, then it’s a perfect match. Have a Joomla site? Sad. Double sad. They can’t help you. Time to look elsewhere. However if you’re a diehard WordPress junkie or you’re launching your first ever WordPress site, WPEngine will be your partner for success. This post is as much about the benefits of WPEngine as it is about premium WordPress hosting in general. However there are some crystal clear advantages to WPEngine and we’ll be sure to point them out along the way. In some small way I guess you could call this a WPEngine Premium WordPress Hosting Review, but that’s more about SEO so you could find this post in the first place. 🙂
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2. On demand site backups
What is a backup? Think like taking a complete copy of your site at a moment in time and saving that as a point of reference. If something goes wrong, restore the site from the copy and you’ll have lost little if no damage.
If you run WordPress as youre CMS, you should be demanding. Especially with backups. WordPress is a complex software and it has issues just like any other software. Backups are your life saver in case of some ghost issue that happens out of nowhere. If you’re reading this I’m assuming you’re the webmaster of some kind or another whether you administrate your own WordPress site(s) or manage WordPress sites for others then you’ll greatly appreciate the ability to do entire site backups ON DEMAND. With WPengine premium WordPress hositing you simply click a button, wait for the email notification and you’re set to go! The moment you install a shiny new plug in from the WordPress repository and everything comes crashing down you will appreciate having copies of your site to restore. Most of our WordPress sites complete the backup in less than 5 minutes, but a larger content have site may take a bit longer. A minor inconvenience! Whether you’re adding functionality like a new theme, plugin or testing some new content, being able to backup your site immediately before making any changes is worth its weight in gold. If something goes wrong with the update, revert back and there is virtually no interruption for your visitors. With the click of a button WPEngine can backup the front end WordPress content, back end php databases or both for each of your WordPress sites. Never have an upgrade, plugin or theme break your WordPress site again! Only a fool would operate such a complex and vital tool like a website without the ability to backup on demand.
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3. Automatic Nightly backups
Every single night your site is completely backed up without you having to lift a finger. That’s the power of premium WordPress hosting already taking work off your plate. If you self-administrate your wordpress site(s) you already are busy managing content and other matters. Use time wisely and get on board with a reputable premium wordpress hosting company that will manage these pesky, but incredibly important details.
Why are automatic backups important? You might think , “I rarely work on my site at night and if I can backup on demand I’ll just backup my site before I make any big changes.” Wise thinking! However there are many more threats to your WordPress site than just your wild clicking and many of these threats happen at random, unpredictable times. See Brute Force Attacks, Phishing Attacks, iFrame attacks for more reasons why you want every backup you can get of your site.
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4. Auto updating of WordPress core
WordPress is a powerful CMS (content management system) which is being improved on by thousands of developers around the globe every day. Updgrades are inevitable and important. Many improvements are security based and also offer wider variety of available features, improved ease of use on both the front end and back end as well as smoother, more reliable operation. Put simply, you’ll WANT to stay ahead of the curve by keeping updating with the most current WordPress core. If you’re a self-administrator, you might not even know how to go about doing that. If you do, you may have done it in the past and realized it can break your site. Themes stop working. Plugins have conflicts. All hell can break loose. Do you want to manage that or let someone else? Unless you’re just an uber geek and have all the time in the world to fiddle with updating your WordPress site and dealing with the resulting chaos then trust me, LET SOMEONE ELSE handle this! They are experts. So are you. Stick with what you know. A premium WordPress host such as WPEngine will notify you that a core update is coming, they’ll remind you by email a few days ahead and then a few hours ahead, then backup your site just before updating the WordPress core, then complete the core update on your site, immediately run a functionality test and if everything is deemed operational they’ll leave your site updated, if something breaks, they immediately revert your site back to the last functional state and notify you that something went wrong. You then can address it personally and update manually. This takes all the headaches out of WordPress core updates. That alone is worth the price you’ll pay to host your site(s). Only a fool or a professional web host company would want to manage their own WordPress core updates.
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5. Automatic backups before WordPress core updates
Slightly redundant here, but I want to reinforce how critical these small details are. Not only does a premium WordPress host provide automatic core updates, but they will always backup your site before doing so. That way if something by some chance does go haywire with a theme, plugin or other functionality then you’re entire site isn’t shut down until you have time to deal with whatever broke. Totally not worth dealing with! This auto backup right before the auto core updates doesn’t get any easier. Only deal with it if something is deemed an issue, but rest easy knowing your site is still operating as before. Awesome.
You’re using WPEngine right now on Eatsuccess: WPEngine is our premium WordPress hosting service of choice and after nearly 2 years with them we couldn’t be happier. Just happens to be one of those bills I’m actually glad to have on autopay. Oh wait, that’s just another thing I don’t have to hassle with. They have awesome and FAST customer service so even if you’re up late at night working away and have a problem, expect fast service to get the issue taken care of. Worried you can’t make the switch? If WPEngine can’t get your site moved to their hosting without a headache, then NO ONE can. They’ll gladly hold your hand until it’s working perfectly. You’ll wonder why we didn’t tell you about WPEngine premium WordPress hosting sooner.
6. Phenomenal Customer Service
Not all affordable or shared hosting is junk, but when was the last time you had a great customer service experience when you did have a problem? Never? I can’t tell you how many irate people rant on most of the support forums for the affordable hosting services about how terrible their service is, the hosting is and how they can never get their sites to operate. Seriously people. How much stress is your money worth? For less than a handful of coffees you could be getting world class customer service! You’re pinching two nickels to save a penny and getting a free headache to go with it all. WPEngine not only provides amazing premium WordPress hosting services, but have a crystal clear, easy to understand support ticketing system that works FAST and works EVERY TIME. If you happen to have an issue during business owners they offer a FAST live chat service that is just as great. It’s a real person who knows your site, can see what is happening and can get you up and running in no time. They have many times helped me with problems that weren’t even hosting related. For example I’ve had plugins damage my database or cause issues with file permissions and all I have to do is cry for help and they come to my rescue. You can’t even get affordable shared hosting companies to take care of the hosting let along anything beyond. WPEngine has proven to be a strong ally helping us keep our sites running even when the issue isn’t their hosting. We all know good customer service and love it. Why settle for less when it comes to the backbone of your website? Unless you’re running a local scrapbooking club website and could care less if it’s down for a week for repairs, then you’ll love having a powerful, fast and helpful customer service team on your side.
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7. Faster page speeds for better Google Rankings (SEO)
If you’ve had a website long enough to get one good page published then you likely have been hit with the realization that a website with no traffic is worthless. Perhaps you’re a veteran WordPress or web guru and know how difficult it is to get traffic of any kind. Why make life harder than you have to with bad hosting? One method the majority of sites use to get traffic is organic search engine results. While there are a multitude of factors which contribute to optimizing a site and a page to be ranked by major search engines, one thing all search engines look at for page rank is the on-page activity of those who visit the sites they display on the results pages. Some metrics include bounce rate, pages per visit, time on page and page load speeds. If a person is using an affordable or shared hosting plan and you’re site gets shoved onto a server with a ton of other sites it will lag to some degree and whenever it suits the server it might not even load your pages at all. That is TERRIBLE user experience in the eyes of every single major search engine. If your site is slow, pages don’t load completely or at all, then expect all major search engines to push your ranking down in to obscurity. Certainly no visitors wants that experience. WPEngine offers lightning fast hosting and they monitor page load speeds automatically. What if a page or site is loading slowly, how would you even know? Sure there are premium services our there which offer site monitoring and check to see that everything is operational, but that’s all included in your WPEngine premium WordPress hosting package! If they observe a site which is loading slowly, they’ll move it to a new server automatically to ensure page load speeds are as fast as possible. If you think your site is loading slowly, they’ll run a speed check for you and offer suggestions on how to speed it up. No extra charge. That is sure to get the attention of all major search engines and give you one more advantage in getting rankings higher so you can get more traffic!
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8. Faster page loads for better User Experience
Let’s assume you’re building great content and winning the SEO battle (or other traffic generation strategy). Now you’re got a user on your site. NICE WORK! Sadly your pages aren’t loading well or when they click on a link it seems to hang, sometime endlessly. Sure some users will put up with this…for a little while, but it will surely negatively impact their experience overall. Getting traffic is hard, but throwing away that traffic to poor user experience is just plain foolish. WPEngine works hard to ensure you AND your users have the best experience possible. Fast page loads is just the beginning while at the same time being one of the first things any webmaster should ensure is in place before embarking on the long road of creating content, getting traffic and developing your web presence. WPEngine premium WordPress hosting is a no brainer when it comes to creating a great foundation for your site to operate at maximum efficiency giving your great content the best impact to your visitor without the interruption of poor hosting.
Actual EatSuccess experience: We had just begun building our www.3dprintinggeeks.com website and found that the pages didn’t seem to load efficiently long before we had any traffic to the site. We ran a page speed checker and found that all of the content was loading quickly once the page was served, but the page wasn’t being served for nearly a second by WPEngine giving the user the feeling of the site hanging. We contacted them right away on the chat service and they ran the same speed check. They agreed our assessment was accurate and gladly moved the site to a new server with more bandwidth right way. Bam! Pages were loading snappy quick and the site has been getting great traffic, long on page times and low bounce rates. Can you tell we love being a WPEngine premium WordPress hosting customer? We hope you’ll do the same!
9. Cheaper CPC ads on major search engines
Better user experiences, CTR (click through rate) and on page metrics like time on page, pages per visit, page load speeds etc. are metrics major search engines use to qualify your ad for placement in their results pages. Many use what is referred to as a quality score which is shows how well they feel your page is performing and likewise affects how much you pay for clicks and how high you appear in ad placement. I don’t want to get into super detail here but here’s the short and skinny. If you’re ad copy is good and results in a reasonably CTR and then your visitors have a good experience (using the metrics mentioned earlier) then your quality score for the keyword you are bidding on goes up. When youre quality score goes up the amount you pay goes down as well as you become more competitive for placement. Even if another bid is higher than yours for a particular keyword, in the end the quality score has influence on who shows first. Major search engines try hard to show the most relevant content to their search users to keep their experience optimal. If your ad performs well and visitors benefit you can pay less exposure and they will often position your ad higher than someone with a lower quality score, but a higher keyword bid. Getting your content right AND having a well operating site is key to getting the lowest cost-per-click on your keywords and paid traffic. Going through all the effort to build a brilliant site and pay good money for ad traffic only to end up with a poor quality score and poor user experience is just plain foolish. Many of our ad campaigns feature a 10/10 quality score which is perfect! Even though we are often outbid on keywords we get great placement and great traffic flow at a much lower cost than our competitors because we don’t just focus on great ads, but on great content and having a fantastic user experience. WPEngine provides a premium WordPress hosting service that is vital to a success site no matter how you get your traffic, but certainly for anyone generating paid traffic.
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10. Sand Box Testing Environment
This kind of feature is something you’d expect to get on crazy expensive dedicated hosting, but WPEngine includes in every single one of their premium WordPress hosting packages. Most people who use some shared or affordable hosting service work on their live site. Making tweaks to things on the backend while users are navigating the front end. Ever heard of a site that has “scheduled down time”? Ever notice they do their updates on the weekends at 2 A.M. Eastern? Why is that? Because it causes the least interruption right?!? What if you NEVER HAD AN INTERRUPTION? What if you could do testing, upgrades and tweaks any time of any day on your site and never interrupt users? That’s what the WPEngine Sandbox Testing Environment does. It allows you to take a full copy of your live site and move it into a sandbox so you can work on the site without affecting users who are still using your main site. This all happens with the click of a single button. You can still use SFTP to access your files, upload and download files and run the site just like a live site except it’s not live. If after you’ve done your upgrades, updates or testing you want to push your new site live just click a button and VOILA your site is pushed from the staging servers onto the production servers and your users see the new site instantly. If you have a super high volume site that gets a lot of user comments WPEngine can show you how quickly you can backup the comments, push the staged site out to production and then import the comments right back into the production site that is live so you don’t love even a single comment. Nothing you do in the staging area can harm your production site so you can go crazy trying things like complete site overhauls, complete theme changes, adding plug ins to try and so on. If everything goes as planned, click publish and your changes are pushed out into the live site. This is such a powerful feature for WordPress as we often install a plug in or update a theme and issues happen. Instead of going the backup/restore route you can pull the site into the Sandbox, test the update and if it goes well, push back into production. Simple.
Actual EatSuccess experience: Recently we decided to add some e-commerce to our 3dprintinggeeks.com site and we knew that even the best e-commerce plugin (Woocommerce) can have a lot of settings, potential have some bugs and in general take some time to get set up and polished before we would want our visitors to see it. We moved a copy of our site into the sandbox, installed Woocommerce and a few other plugins and got all the settings dialed in. We did some cross device testing with iPhones, iPads and laptops to ensure good readability and then clicked the publish button to roll it out to production. Some quick testing on the front end and it was running perfectly. This would have been impossible without the Sandbox Testing Environment.
11. Protection against Brute Force attacks
The name says it all. While WordPress is powerful software it is nonetheless software. As WordPress has gained momentum and become the most widely used CMS systems in the world it has also become the target of malicious individuals who seek to bring down sites running on WordPress. These attacks can take many shapes and one that has recently begun causing many sites catastrophic damage is a brute force attack. In short this is an attempt to overwhelm your site with mass visits, mass log in attempts, mass downloads or page calls to find vulnerabilities which can be exploited to gain access to user data such as names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card information and other personal information that could be stored on your site. You certainly would not want this information getting into the wrong hands. If you’re using shared affordable hosting you might as well leave the front door open. WordPress is an amazing software with robust security features, but if running on inferior hardware it can open you up to security vulnerabilities which WordPress alone cannot compensate for. A premium WordPress hosting company like WPEngine monitors site usage and activity for attacks, phishing and other malicious activity and terminates activity which could cause your site harm. In the rare instance that a malicious attack is successful in crashing your site WPEngine guarantees they will restore your site completely, immediately and at no additional cost.
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12. Protection from dangerous, poor quality and questionable plugins
One of the most powerful features of building your site on WordPress is access to the immense repository of both free and premium plugins being developed to fit nearly every need with virtually no coding knowledge. Need social sharing icons? There’s a plugin for that. Need a fancy comment system? You guessed it…plugin. However there is a downside to such a vast array of plugins. Not all plugins are created equally. Some have vulnerabilities, some can have a negative impact on site speed with slow load times and some might not have been widely tested opening the door for internal conflicts and unexpected crashes. No doubt you’ve figured out that WPEngine’s premium WordPress hosting service has a solution for this. They continually monitor plugins you have on your site and known issues to ensure you are aware of any potential issues and can take action as appropriate. If they become aware of an immediate problem with a plugin you have installed they will proactively disable the plugin and contact you to let you know action is required. They maintain a list of both preferred and banned plugins which helps you cut through the clutter and choose quality, reliable and trustworthy plugins to do the things you need done. If you happen to overlook a plugin which is banned they will kindly contact you and ask you to remove the plugin. If you don’t take action they will proactively remove it for you as a protection to your site. While this might seem a little too hands on from a hosting company, WPEngine knows their WordPress and wouldn’t remove something from your site they didn’t think posed an immediately and real threat.
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13. Money Back Guarantee
When looking at premium WordPress hosting options and reviews, you will not find a better option than WPEngine. We gave you real reasons we consider to be no-brainers for anyone who has a real website that has real value. WPEngine will hold your hand through the migration process which is super simple once you have an expert showing you how quick and easy it is. If you get through all of that and you just can’t justify the expense, they will refund your money and knowing these folks, they’ll help you get your site back on an affordable hosting plan. That’s just how good WPEngine is. Why would choose anyone else for your premium WordPress hosting?
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