After over 4 years of being in the blog web industry, I have learned a thing or two about which hosting plans to trust and which are crap.  I always say when it comes to hosting is the analogy: “Dress for the job you want”. There’s probably a way better analogy than that ha. But what I mean is if you have or plan on having lots of traffic and have or plan to treat your blog like a business you’ve got to treat your hosting like one. If you buy cheap hosting you’ll have cheap service, that’s just that. WP Engine is more expensive but there are features that are free whereas other hosting companies make you pay more for. There are seriously so many benefits when it comes to WP Engine.

The benefits of WP Engine:

  1. SUPER easy migration, stress-free to get all your new content transferred with no problem. I will do it for you and you won’t have to contact customer service yourself.
  2. It includes a Staging site, which makes it so easy to add new features to the site in the future where you don’t want readers to see it. You won’t have to purchase a second hosting plan, duplicate the site, and then delete that second hosting plan when you’re done.
  3. The SSH certificate (the https:// instead of http://) is free and since it’s now required by Google you will have to have it. Most cheap hosting companies will make you pay for the SSH certificate each year. GoDaddy is $60 a year per site.
  4. You get free daily backups on both production and staging servers. This is another thing other companies make you pay if you want monthly or weekly or daily backups. WP Engine does a daily backup around 3:00 AM every day and if your site has a problem (like you update a plugin and it crashes your site) it takes 2 seconds to get back up. I couldn’t even find the price for GoDaddy’s but I know for sure they make you pay more. Sometimes they weren’t automatic and it would only backup if you went and did it yourself.
  5. If your site does crash, with other hosting companies there is nothing I can do except call customer service (which I usually have you do). With WP Engine if your site crashes, I can get it up myself in 5 minutes flat.
  6. The customer service is SPECTACULAR (I’m seriously not kidding, WP Engine is so quick, they actually know what they’re talking about, and it’s always available). Companies like GoDaddy you usually have to search through thousands of annoying forums that never really give you your answer and chat is so difficult to find on the site and when you finally do and it’s open the chat guy usually is snarky and has no idea what he’s talking about. SO frustrating.
  7. Everything takes so much longer, one of my clients is adament about using GoDaddy/cheap hosting and we have been stuck for 2 months trying to clone the site onto a beta domain because their site is horrible user experience, the chat guys never actually answer our questions, and after we did get it up it was so incredibly slow for no reason that she is switching companies this weekend.

You can read more on a blog post here. One of my clients, Mint Arrow, raves about it in this post as well. If you pay annually you get a discounted price aka 2 months free. And yes the links in that blog post and the ones in my emails are affiliate links but I honestly don’t care if you use them, I will recommend it every time! Now don’t get me wrong, GoDaddy is great for domains and what I recommend for purchasing your domains. That is what GoDaddy was created and meant to be: a domain registar, and hosting is secondary in the their company. WP Engine is specifically for WordPress sites and they do it well.

In the end, this is your blog and business so you have the final decision of what hosting you want to use! You will need to make sure there is a staging/duplicate server for me to be able to work on the site without having to work on it live. I will not do this for you since most of the time they need your credit card information. So clients who wanted to stick with a cheap hosting had to purchase a duplicate hosting plan during the meantime which is usually always a yearly thing although we really only need it for 2ish months. But then I can get started from there.

Always buy your domain as soon as you know which one it is. I recommend GoDaddy or Name.com. If you have a blog name that could easily be misspelled I would purchase it as well, I mean it’s only ~$12 a year!

As for hosting, hold off until we chat because depending on the type of site you need, the hosting may change. The majority of the time it is WP Engine for WordPress but if you’re selling products, Shopify would be your hosting.