As the most popular Content Management System (CMS) in the world – averaging almost 62% market share, more than all of its competitors combined – WordPress powers high-performance digital experiences for organisations across the globe. Its combination of scalability and flexibility has additionally made it an increasingly popular choice for the enterprise, and today the WordPress CMS underpins 40% of the world’s top 10,000 sites.
It’s highly likely then that WordPress is a part of your tech stack already, or you may alternatively be considering bringing it in to help deliver your digital strategy. Either way, it’s vital that you consider how your WordPress installation will be hosted, so that important information, content and services are available wherever and whenever your users need them.
In this article I’ll be reviewing the number one managed hosting platform for WordPress – WP Engine – covering key benefits, tips to help you understand if it’s the right platform for you, and advice to help you get the most out of any investment you make.
Often thought of as an issue for the IT team, the decisions you make around your website hosting are crucial to the success of your digital platforms, and how effectively they serve your business.
Consider availability, for example. If your site handles a high volume of transactions, even a relatively short period of outage could significantly dent revenue figures, not to mention negatively impacting customer satisfaction and trust.
And it’s not just ecommerce organisations that can be affected by their hosting choices. A good hosting solution can help safeguard the maintainability, scalability, security and speed of your digital platform (properties commonly known as ‘non-functional requirements’ or ‘quality attribute requirements’, which you can read more about in this blog post).
The question of speed is an important one, as how quickly your website is presented to users can have a big impact in a number of areas. Studies show a direct correlation between load times and bounce rates, sales and conversions, while Google’s upcoming Core Web Vitals update will see sites that don’t perform well potentially lose out in search rankings (for more detail on this, take a look at our recent webinar, ‘Lifting the lid on Google’s Core Web Vitals’).
The huge popularity of WordPress means there’s a wide variety of hosting options and vendors available that cater for the CMS, and the most appropriate solution for you will depend on a number of factors – from the scale and complexity of your website through to its purpose and value. We’ve explored some of the most common hosting approaches further in this comparison post, covering the leading managed hosting services as well as self-hosted WordPress solutions.
Managed hosting services are particularly well-suited to enterprise needs, taking care of all aspects of hosting your digital platform including:
This reduces pressure on your internal teams and allows them to focus on tasks that will increase value and drive innovation for your business (and if you want to learn more about managed WordPress hosting, take a look at our introductory guide to the subject).
One such provider is WP Engine, which currently hosts 1.2 million WordPress websites for over 150,000 customers in 150 countries. WP Engine is the most popular managed WordPress hosting platform in the world today – hosting more WordPress sites among the top 10 million than anyone else (source: W3Techs) – and is also the fastest platform on desktop and mobile for the technology.
WP Engine hosting services provide organisations with the capabilities they need to serve their products, services and content to a global audience. They partner with leading cloud vendors including Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to offer high-performance and highly-scalable hosting solutions for WordPress installations, with a range of tools at their disposal to support the ongoing management, maintenance and optimisation of these sites.
WP Engine also works with experienced development partners and integration specialists to build feature-rich platforms that support organisations in delivering their digital strategies (and for full disclosure, Box UK is a Strategic Partner agency for WP Engine).
WP Engine hosting can deliver many benefits for your WordPress site:
Features including a fully-managed global Content Delivery Network (CDN), scalable architecture that’s optimised specifically for WordPress, and proprietary caching system support blazing-fast performance – with WP Engine customers experiencing an average 38% improvement in load times – as well as high levels of availability, reliability and resilience.
WP Engine frameworks include monitoring of your platform for any necessary security updates or patches, as well as an active approach to assessing the landscape for potential risk and suggesting mitigative actions. Global Edge Security is WP Engine’s Enterprise-grade performance and security add-on for Startup, Growth, Scale and all Custom plans. With this add-on you will receive several features powered by Cloudflare: managed Web Application Firewall (WAF), advanced DDOS mitigation, Cloudflare CDN, and automatic SSL installation. They also offer a disaster recovery service to quickly put your business back on track should any element of your site or platform become compromised.
Through its Genesis Framework, WP Engine provides teams with a range of pre-built, WordPress free premium themes to accelerate the development of high-quality, engaging sites, while dedicated development, staging and production environments and one-click deployments further streamline the process.
I’ve already highlighted how WP Engine partners with cloud vendors such as AWS and GCP, and its network of agency partners, to support the delivery of powerful enterprise solutions. In addition to this, they also work directly with service providers such as New Relic and Cloudflare to ensure their tools are optimised for the platform, further enhancing the performance and capabilities of their installations.
Of course, one of the major benefits of working with a managed hosting provider is the support it provides for your business, and WP Engine is no exception. They offer 24/7 global support for their customers, ensuring that any issues are rapidly resolved and helping organisations get the most out of their hosting solution.
Of course, the benefits of WP Engine and other managed hosting providers often come with an additional cost when compared to self-hosted solutions. Before you make any investment, then, it’s important to define your requirements in order to assess whether a managed hosting solution is right for you, and help you in identifying the right provider and plan to best serve your needs.
Supporting websites that serve millions of users and manage thousands of transactions a day, WP Engine is proven to deliver at scale, making it ideally suited for high-traffic and high-transaction sites – such as that of Box UK client Dexerto, a market leader in esports media.
The Dexerto website attracts millions of users a month, and the WP Engine-hosted solution we delivered has enabled Dexerto to provide these users with a wealth of rich multimedia content, in addition to delivering significant performance improvements to support continued growth and diversification.
You will likely also want to invest in managed hosting if your site is critical to the success of your business, whether by driving revenue, enabling service provision, or delivering operational and administrative efficiencies. Being able to reliably serve your site is crucial here, and the multiple safeguards WP Engine has in place significantly minimise the risk of downtime and any subsequent impact on your bottom-line.
WP Engine’s global CDN also makes it an attractive choice for WordPress sites with an international footprint, ensuring that your site is served in the quickest and most efficient way possible. Combined with the scalability offered by its cloud infrastructure, this can support organisations in reaching additional territories, and engaging valuable new audiences.
As WP Engine is built to support rapid development, it’s a great choice if you’re looking to get a new website to market quickly, and maximise the speed with which you can start reaping the rewards. It’s also supported by the vast WordPress community, providing access to a wide range of integrations and WP plugins that further streamline the development process.
Finally, as WP Engine works with leading cloud providers then it can be integrated with any existing AWS/GCP solutions you may have as part of your technology ecosystem, allowing you to connect and share data across these systems more easily.
Offering the highest levels of performance and enterprise capabilities, WP Engine can help take your WordPress platform to the next level, while Box UK can ensure this platform is primed to support your business aims and work seamlessly with WP Engine’s infrastructure. Discover how our skilled WordPress developers have helped organisations like Dexerto drive traffic growth and revenue generation, and contact us to find out how we can help you too.