Looking for the best WordPress hosting to go along with the best WordPress Responsive Theme Framework?
There are a few that I know of but haven’t tried, like ZippyKid and Page.ly, but after extensive research and thorough consideration, I chose WP Engine.
Reasons to love WP Engine:
- They only host WordPress sites. If you are looking for a VPS or something where you can host WordPress and other stuff (e.g. static HTML site, a web app that’s not on a domain using WP, etc.), WP Engine’s not the spot for hosting the other stuff.
- They’re funded by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com (Matt’s company). That means they’ll be around for a while and have a pretty darn good stamp of approval as far as I’m concerned.
- All files and databases are on SSDs (Solid State Drives). If that doesn’t mean anything to you, it’s a major differentiator and speed/resource helper. SSDs are just better – faster, more reliable, no moving parts inside, more resilient and durable.
- They provide every WordPress installation with a staging area, the only host to do so. The staging area is like a temporary but full copy of your website (files and database) to be used for testing purposes. You can do that questionable theme update, try out a new plugin to see if it bloats your database, etc. Then, if you like the way things went, just do the same actions again in the production server. FYI: The production server can copy to staging, but the staging cannot copy back to production — it’s just for testing. If your website is wordpress-website.wpengine.com, your staging site would be wordpress-website.staging.wpengine.com. And, yes, you get SFTP access to it too (a separate SFTP user).
- Automatic nightly backups, plus the ability to zip your own and name it anything you want, all stored for a month with a quick “Restore” button. Yup, one-click Restore. :-)
- Backups are stored on different hard drives than the live site’s. In other words, the worst has happened and your web server is gone (damaged, erased, hit with a hammer, etc.)… If your backup was on the same hard drive as your live site, your backups are gone too. Say it ain’t so! It ain’t, with WP Engine.
- Digg-proof! Site never down because of traffic spikes. Even if you get more traffic than your pricing level allows, they’ll NEVER turn off your website because you reach one of those limitations.
- Hardware, settings, Apache with Nginx, memcache, varnish, and other geeky things – all optimized for WordPress. Plain and simple – what you want and what you don’t want to have to learn or maintain. It’s called managed hosting, but it’s awesomer because it’s just for WordPress. You don’t (and can’t) use W3 Total Cache, because they’ve already got caching on.
- Integrated CDN (Content Delivery Network), with NetDNA’s MaxCDN (the best for small file sizes, all on SSDs and other awesome stuff). Some people use Amazon S3 (slow). And for large files like video, you should just use YouTube, Vimeo, S3 (the DIY approach), or SmugMug (uses Akamai, best for large files and integrates with S3 if you want to use SmugVault for $1/month). Note: CDN not available on the lowest-priced WP Engine plan.
- Oh, did I mention the WP Engine Support team? They’re great because they only host and support WordPress stuff – so if you have a question about a plugin’s compatibility or an error message or something else, just ask!
- They’ll move your site for you for a fee. Now that’s full-service. Or DIY with the WP Engine Support team there if you need them.
- Secure… and if that changes, they’ll fix it for you! Yup, that’s right.
- Only SFTP logins, not FTP (unsecured). Another way they keep things secure.
- They post their uptime and scheduled outages for all to see – Accountability. http://status.wpengine.com/
- WP Engine Portal – a one-stop set of bookmarks to log into all of your WordPress sites, even if not hosted at WP Engine. A secure way to login to your sites without needing your own SSL certificate installed. Also includes links to test each site’s speed and malware. And view WHOIS records and SEO rankings.
- No contracts – just month to month.
- More questions? Browse their pre-sales FAQs at http://wpengine.com/faq/.
If you have generic hosting (e.g. $3-10/month), you don’t have good enough hosting. It might fit your purposes (a not-good-enough website?) today, but if your website has anything to do with providing you hobby income or promoting yourself or your business, you really should get better hosting. Cheap hosting is good until you realize it’s not (e.g. no backups, no good support, not Digg-proof, or a plethora of other reasons).
If you’ve tried doing your own VPS or Dedicated server(s), you’ll still save time/money outsourcing both the actual server and the maintenance. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll do it as well as WP Engine at all, much less for an equivalent price.
Do I really need WP Engine?
If you’re going to have a WordPress.org installation (not WordPress.com), you should use WP Engine.
Sign up for a risk-free 60 day trial today and you’ll never look back (unless you just have to have non-WP sites hosted somewhere else).