WP Engine: A Love Story
We launched our company just over a year ago. In that short time, we evolved our business model from strictly mobile software to state-of-the-art desktop websites adaptable to all devices. As DashCrowd continued to grow and our focus became better tuned to the universal needs of restaurants everywhere, we had to adapt our internal operations significantly.
Too Big for Our Britches
Our first hosting provider was InMotion Hosting. We landed with them after weeks of in-depth research. Not only was their pricing very reasonable, speeds impressive and space generous, but they were favored on many of the hosting review sites as well. They were fast, easy and always available for phone support. Fast forward 6 months, DashCrowd now up to ten live clients. Downtime became a normal part of our day. No matter how much we upgraded our hosting package with InMotion, it was clear we had outgrown the nest, so to speak. Turns out, our WordPress-based content management system was creating havoc on the InMotion Hosting CPU’s. It was a welcome reminder that our modest little company was growing quickly but a stressful period of limbo and uncertainty as we began to shop for new hosts.
To the Cloud!
Being nearly impossible to ignore the buzz about cloud hosting, we investigated the potential of Amazon’s EC2 service. Our developer, Jason (Hi Jason!), built a staging environment using Amazon Elastic Computing and BitNami open source optimization. No two ways around it, it was FAST… something we were severely missing with InMotion. Over the next couple months, we migrated a great deal of our client web instances to Amazon. Not only was this a secure, reputable and extremely affordable hosting solution, but the bragging rights were worth their weight in gold! However, working with the Amazon/BitNami back-end on a daily basis became a bear bigger than all of us. It was eventually obvious that this service was intended for high-end, supremely-experienced IT & Programming professionals. It simply wasn’t simple enough to entrust our business in its hands.
Starting Our Engines
Luckily, by this time, we had formed valuable relationships with a handful of accomplished developers and industry veterans here in New York. As we begged them for guidance in this time of hosting desperation, one name was tossed about consistently–WP Engine. Once we delved into their features & services list, it became clear that our past hosting providers simply were not WordPress-centric. With such a monster of a WordPress instance running our client websites, it is absolutely crucial that we have a host that lives, breathes, eats, sleeps and drinks WordPress 24/7.
We signed-up for WP Engine a few months ago and immediately moved our staging and live environments over. The setup and migration process was simple as pie. The benefit of being on a WordPress-friendly host was immediately apparent in so many ways. We cannot speak highly enough about the speed, reliability, uptime and customer service. It’s as if we spent the past year wearing pants that were 3 sizes too small and now finally slipped into some nice comfy XXL sweats (complete with “Speedy” scrolled across the butt). Being a WP Engine customer feels like we have a true partner in our mission and someone is constantly there holding our hand, reminding us to backup, making sure we’re efficient in our codebase & plugins and investing in our company’s success. The ways in which WordPress hooks seamlessly into WP Engine’s customer portal is astounding. Whether it’s creating a new instance of multi-site or mapping a domain name, WP Engine is on top of it automatically and with a smile. When you find someone who genuinely gets you, you stick with them. In WP Engine, we’ve found our soul mate.
We’re confident our hosting adventure over the past year has concluded with a happy, fairytale ending. We are unhealthily in love in WP Engine and recommend them to anyone who blogs or uses WordPress to manage their website. You can get started for under $30/month and there is a 60-day trial period to dip your toes in if you’re not 100% sure just yet.