This may sound weird, but I adore my web hosting provider.
I mean, no one adores a hosting provider. Hosting providers are thick, boring entities full of automatons that fix half your problem while ridiculing you behind your back.
But I really LIKE mine, and it’s actually fun to work out problems with them through Live Chat. Their customer support personnel (whom I often recognize from one call to the next, who smile and ask how I’m doing, who give full and complete answers and who never turn me away and make it “my problem…”).
Even though the service costs me double what I could pay at a [lousy] shared hosting provider, I’ve been moving all clients to WP Engine for the last three years and haven’t looked back.
I used shared hosting providers for several years before making this switch – LunarPages, Go Daddy, BlueHost, etc.). The troubles I had with these shared hosting providers were:
- Long waits on the phone. Sometimes to terrible and never-ending muzak.
- Disinterested support personnel who just want me out of their life
- International support personnel with poor English
- Incomplete problem resolution because our communication was never in real time.
- Uneducated support personnel who were reading from irrelevant script
- Website hacks with little to no support
- Server slow down, or throttling, on some client websites for shadowy reasons we couldn’t control without better support.
- Server slow downs resulting from provider putting too many clients on one server.
- Server slow downs resulting from provider throttling an entire server because another website was getting a jolt of traffic.
At times, I moved up to “Managed Shared Hosting” to get the support I needed to get through a few throttling issues, but I felt like I was paying a lot but still forced to deal half-ass in a fuzzy world.
WP Engine, however, is run by trained WordPress specialists, so they know the ins and outs of WordPress and never suggest a solution that isn’t tailor-made for the platform.
While they don’t troubleshoot custom programming issues or plugins, they DO provide server support, installation support, and other troubleshooting support along the way and there’s only been one problem they couldn’t help me solve. This was a cacheing problem that resided in my theme – a custom issue they may be willing to fix if I paid extra, but instead I worked with my programmer to resolve.
Their user portal is feature rich and easy to use. I have all my installations available from one portal where I can:
- make backups with the click of a button, and restore from backup with another click
- make a full copy of any installation
- track visits
- measure bandwith
- access phpmyadmin
- create a STAGING area, which serves as a playground or sandbox for testing new design and features before transferring to my live site.
- I can also test new WordPress or plugin updates in the STAGING are before going live, as we all know updates can sometimes muck up the works.
- enable a CDN, or content delivery network, to speed up the site
- manage redirects
- start LIVE CHAT – a total life saver
- add other users to the account so my contract programmers can work on sites with me
- access tutorials, and more.
WP Engine is full of fun, happy people who always work with me to find a resolution. They feel more like a web partner, than an annoying company I have to send money to for the privilege of owning a site. We even laugh with each other. Now that’s customer service and a company I’m willing to invest in!
I am confident in WP Engine and as a WP Specialist I don’t use any other hosting service.