If your site runs on WordPress, you might be asking why you should get managed WordPress hosting as opposed to ordinary shared hosting.
Since I started using WordPress in 2008, I have used many different hosting companies. Sometimes they were my hosting accounts, and sometimes they were the hosting accounts of long-term clients. I’ll list some of the ones I’ve used.
- Blue Host
- Media Temple
- A Small Orange
This Is My Take On Hosting
My husband is one of those people who can run bare bones servers. For years he has run our servers and locked them down hard to deter hackers. He has also made code edits to other people’s WordPress plugins if he considered them a considered security risk. The way he runs hosting takes a lot of technical skill. OK if you have it.
Whenever I have a hosting issue I ask him to sort it out. I therefore have sites on low-cost shared hosts, and un-managed VPS – and he regularly handles any technical issues I have on any of those platforms. I just have to ask.
But our business has changed and my husband no longer has the time to deal with this for me. It’s a waste of money. Time is limited and he would rather use it to relax or earn a lot more doing something much more useful than impressing me with his server management skills.
In order to free him of this technical part-time job, I went looking for somewhere to offload all my sites. I wanted a reliable, fast, secure host that maybe started off as shared but could scale when necessary.
So Where Have I Been Hosting
For small sites and those that are just experimental, I advise using SiteGround. SiteGround are pretty secure, but they cannot prevent denial of service attacks or brute force attacks, nor apparently explain any random hacks when they happen. And of course they cannot prevent you from being hacked.
If you are unable to fix the hack yourself they are not going to help you. They might pass you onto a third party security company but you’ll have to pay them extra for help. If you suffer a denial of service attack, they definitely won’t help you.
We ended up moving all our sites away from SiteGround because we suffered a series of hacks that we could not explain. They appeared to have been compromised from within the SiteGround network, but we could not prove it and when we asked them, they naturally said it was nothing to do with them.
My frustration was that when things got seriously difficult they did not help. That is not to say they were not furiously trying to resolve the issue behind the scenes.
That doesn’t mean you should not use them. It may not happen to you. And if we were correct in our belief that it was a Siteground issue, they are bound to have fixed it by now.
No matter where you host, something will happen. It is how it is dealt with that will decide if you stay.
Where Am I Hosting Now
I moved all my sites to WP Engine. So far, the experience has been very good.
If you’re a geek you probably love the sight of a naked, full-frontal cPanel interface. Personally, I can’t stand it and the fact that WP Engine gives me a much cleaner, less cluttered interface suits me just fine.
If I need to change say, my .htaccess file, I can start a chat and the WP Engine engineers will do it for me.
Now don’t get me wrong. You can’t be completely clueless to work with WP Engine. Their support engineers are just people like you and me and sometimes they will answer a question in such a way as to not give you the whole picture.
You have to know enough to know when you haven’t got the answer you need. You may have to dig a little and do a bit of research before you ask them something. Especially if it’s a complex question.
That said, the advantages of WP Engine are many. The only disadvantage I can think of is the extra charge you’d have to pay should your traffic spike or start to exceed your plan. There are steps you can take to minimize this however, or of course upgrade.
Here are the advantages I see by hosting at WP Engine.
- Spend no time whatsoever worrying about hackers
- Free un-hacking in the event is it needed
- 24/7 support via chat
- 24/7 support via phone
- Help desk ticket support
- Fast hosting which means you will have a fast site and if it can be made faster, by doing something at your end, WP Engine have page performance monitoring system to help you identify any issues you can address.
- No requirement to install caching plugins. All caching is automatic and at the server.
- Secure – minor versions of WordPress auto applied
- Real time security threat detection including DDoS and brute force, these are no longer your problem.
- Instant backups
- Staging site – so you can easily test a plugin or a new setting without hurting or affecting your live site.
- WordPress only hosting – so they care about little else.
If you pay for a year of hosting up front, WP Engine give you two months off the yearly price. They have also given me a discount coupon for a further 20% discount off your first payment.
This means that if you pay for a year of hosting up front you get two months off. But using my coupon will give you a further two months off, making a total of 4 months off the yearly price in the first year.