You have probably googled it 50 times. You may have even gone back in time to Askjeeves or Webcrawler. What is the WordPress host you were looking for? Who is the fastest web host for the best price? There are 25.7 million results, and you probably found yourself on page 34. Found your answer yet? Probably not…
I can tell you one thing: that I have worked with AWS, Godaddy, Hostgator, Liquidweb, Bluehost, WordPress.com and a few others that I don’t care to recall. Some of them started offering specialized hosting and managed hosting for WordPress. Others utilize your typical cpanel setup. Here, I am going to focus on WPengine and why I recommend WPengine to everyone I speak to as a great managed WordPress hosting provider.
So let’s see those top 5 reasons why WPEngine is the best WordPress host
1. Speed. Fast. Wow.
Let’s not talk about WordPress optimization by compressing images, removing whitespace, preloading and caching that comes with optimizing a site. Instead, I will only focus on the SPEED alone. I have migrated over 20 sites in 2020 (Covid made everyone take a really hard look at their website), and every single site that was migrated off of an existing platform saw a substantial speed increase.
Half of the sites I run into are hosted on Hostgator or Godaddy. Sure, it’s easy to just go buy a domain and the one stop shop, one bill, one point of place. But, did you ever think about speed? Quality of service? The moment you migrate to WPEngine, you will see a night and day difference.
Say goodbye to overcrowded servers. There aren’t 100,000 sites on a single piece server. You are in a shared setup, yes, but not shared with an entire state. Did I mention it’s great? You can do a speed test with Pingdom or GTMetrix at 2AM or 2PM, and it is fairly the same results.
Speed is important not just for you to be able to check the speed and smile, but also for the users and their interaction. Let’s not forget, SEO. This is one of the FIRST things I recommend you do when you look at your site. Make it fast. Google does not care for slow loading sites.
Are there other faster hosts? YES, BUT WHO CARES? Who cares if another host is .25 seconds faster at loading your site. Even if it was 2 seconds faster. Does it matter? Maybe. That’s for you to decide. I will tell you this, I am not going to move a site of mine for a 2 seconds savings, because that is probably going to result in a more costlier service with even costlier packages for increased traffic. Also, going from 8-15 seconds down to under 5 is already a huge accomplishment.
Its 12:30AM on a Friday night and you are working on your site and need some support. You go to the chat support, you send a message and the bot responses with HEY BOB, SEND ME YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS AND WE WILL CONTACT YOU MONDAY MORNING. Not only will the tech reach out to you Monday evening because they are swamped with the entire weekend full of issues, but it’s too long, you can’t wait. Or, you get in the chat queue, and you have to wait… 84 minutes, with 34 people in front of you.
That’s not WPEngine.
With WPEngine you go into the support portal, which is the same as your WordPress management and click support. Then wait….maybe 2 minutes. Lindsey answers and she’s helping you right away. How awesome is that? Barely a wait.
Even the best WordPress users need support once every so often. In the managed WordPress environment, there are certain things you cannot access. After all, it is a shared setup, and you have neighbors. I’ve used the support many times, sometimes because I am pure lazy, and I don’t like looking into something. But guess what, WPEngine support is so flipping responsive that by the time I do bring up Askjeeves, the staff already has a solution.
3. Your Neighbors Are Not Naughty
This whole shared environment means you are on a server with multiple people and sites. Not 1000000s where you are fighting for resources, but, you have neighbors. They don’t have to be on the same server to be your neighbor. For example, maybe it is the same IP block but on another server.
So why is this important?
Naughty neighbors can take your site down. They can make Google look at you funny. Google could flag an ip or whole subnet of addresses as bad. Now Chrome is warning you when you try to load it. Your customers see that and say WTF no thanks.
Say the site is promoting a topic in question. There are providers that say ok no problem, pay and I’ll host it. There are other providers that will say nope, see ya. Now, by naughty, I don’t necessarily mean only porn, or sheeps and goats, but even things such as gambling may fall in this category. Don’t ask why, but I hope you get my point. But other questionable sites are spam sites, or sites that may attempt to trick individuals.
These things can have a negative impact on your site and could even impact SEO, and worse, may prevent your site from being accessed or loaded.
WPEngine is selective on their neighbors. For all the sites supported, and migrated to them, I have never once had a problem with bad neighbors.
That is not to say there may not have been a bad neighbor at any point of time. That’s WPengine catching those types of sites and quickly eliminating it from their platform.
4. Content Delivery Network
The base speedy service that WPEngine offers ALSO includes a content delivery network or CDN. WHAT. Not only do you get a great speed site but now they include a CDN for you. One stop shop.
At the time of this writing, they are using MAXCDN, who I use for many other sites, and love! What’s even better? You do not need to setup a separate record in your DNS settings. The same initial settings you use to setup direction of your site from domain to WPEngine, works for the CDN. Enabling the CDN is a click and a sneeze, and your site starts serving via the CDN in minutes.
For other hosts that do not offer a CDN, here’s how the setup looks. You have your site at the host, and now you want to enable the CDN. Googling gives you the CDN companies out there, like MAXCDN, Cloudflare, AWS Cloudfront, and determine which one you are going to use, again, after scouring 24 pages. You setup an account there, put in your credit card, and they send you over some DNS entries. Now you have to plan a night to do the DNS change.
Have a problem? My point 2 stands. Just go to the support, and they will help you. No need to go to another provider. Tell me, convinced that WPEngine is the best WordPress host yet?
5. A FREE SSL for You and You and You
SSL is important for every site, even if you aren’t dealing with credit cards. SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer, and is a security protocol for encrypting information between web server and your internet browser. This way, information is only viewable to the user.
You can buy SSL certificates, of varying types and for various uses and protection, from many online retailers including Godaddy, Namecheap, and Comodo. It’s a very tedious process, but required for many reasons.
Every year you have to renew your SSL certificate when you buy it manually and do it yourself. You can install Let’s Encrypt yourself but then there’s the headache if the cron job ran to auto renew it every few months. The process of getting a certificate is multi stepped. This includes generating a certificate signing request, sending it to the place of purchase, authenticating yourself/domain by DNS or email, and then finally getting the private and public key.
Oh no, you’re not done.
You have to then take that key, and apply it to the server. Once applied, then the server will have SSL ready to rock. These steps can be cumbersome, and it is required, in my view. So how does WPEngine handle SSL certificates?
You have to pay them $299 and they will do it for you. What? Just Kidding (that’s like a year of great hosting)!
Say hello to free SSL, or included SSL with all WPEngine plans.
You are going to see me as a broken record, but I’ll say it again. Just like site speed, SSL is also important for SEO. If you aren’t using a ssl certificate on your site, don’t even bother thinking or trying to rank with google. Having a secure site is a must.
Try the Best WordPress Host and See For Yourself
To conclude, there are 100s, errr, 1000s of hosting companies out there that help their clients with websites. Are you still wondering which is the best wordpress host available today? Many of them may have the same offerings as WPEngine, but do they do it as great as WPEngine?
Probably not, but after you get a headache from trying the other hosts, send me a message so we can both get a good laugh and high five for our sites on WPEngine.