WP Engine – The Right WordPress Web Host For You?
Following a recommendation I read somewhere, I decided to give WP Engine a try for one of my WordPress sites. This particular site was having some hosting issues so the timing seemed right and the review I read sounded impressive.
Straight off the bat I'm going to say that I've no doubt WP Engine is a good web host. However, I just want to share my experience in case it helps you whilst investigating potential hosting providers.
Stage one for me was to try and migrate my site across from the old host to the new. To keep a long story short, I made a complete mess of it. I tried both the standard WP export / import routine and also Backupbuddy. Whatever happened, it was clearly my fault, no question. However, to remedy the situation, I would normally delete WordPress, delete the MySQL database and start again. At this stage, I discovered this option wasn't open to me and I had to log a support request.
Stage two, having got back to a clean installation, was for me to try again. This time I elected not to migrate my old site as the issues I was having had been remedied by a server move. So, this was simply a case of me creating a new site.
I applied my WordPress theme of choice (Thesis) but then tried to apply a particular skin. Part of this process involves changing the properties (CHMOD) of a file. This is something I've done a number of times but was greeted with a message saying I had ‘insufficient privileges'. This stopped me in my tracks so I raised a support request. I was a told a script would be run that should allow the files to be updated as required. It didn't. I asked the support guy if he could CHMOD the file for me. He couldn't.
To be clear, this was only a question of being able to add a specific skin and I could have elected to use another theme; I'm sure this would have been trouble free but is not what I wanted to do. At this stage, I submitted my final support request – this time to close my account.
I'm sure WP Engine provide a solid hosting platform but their headline says ‘Hassle Free WordPress Hosting'. For me it wasn't and I found the restrictions on what I was able to do frustrating.
Update – May 2014
Although bad for WP Engine, this post on WP Tavern caught my eye. Looks like it wasn't just me then!
Updated – December 2015
If you are looking for a really fast, reliable web host for your WordPress site, you really should take a look at Traffic Planet Hosting. Ticks all the right boxes!