I had heard a lot about WP Engine so thought I would test it out. The benefits I had heard were:
- It is a dedicated WordPress hosting company so WP Engine takes care of many of the WordPress features like updating.
- WP Engine handles caching to improve the performance of WordPress.
- WP Engine allows you to handle a lot more traffic then a shared web hosting company.
- WP Engine includes daily backups and security monitoring.
- WP Engine includes a number of WordPress theme based on the Genesis Framework.
The biggest reason I wanted to try WP Engine was for the speed improvements without having to spend a lot of time figuring out how to tweak WordPress and related performance plugins. The downside was WP Engine cost more at around $35 a month though you could reduce that by purchasing an annual plan. Some shared hosting plan could be $10 to $20 a month but if for a business website, the additional price isn’t that bad.
The initial setup of WP Engine was very easy. You just purchase an account. WP Engine uses the concept of “environments” to describe the web “sites” you are hosting with them. I only signed up for the 1 site plan but that includes a number of environments. These environments are production, staging and development. Since just testing, I went with a production environment right away.
A very cool feature is a built-in tool to migrate an existing WordPress website. But, to start with, you are given an URL like environment.wpengine.com.
To go live with your website on WP Engine, these are the steps:
- Add domain name
- This is done in the WP Engine User Portal in Sites -> your site -> Domains -> Add domain
- Change WordPress URL Settings
- In the WordPress Dashboard go to Settings -> General and change the WordPress Address and Site Address
- Change your DNS servers to point to WP Engine. See more information at https://wpengine.com/support/wordpress-best-practice-configuring-dns-for-wp-engine/.
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