Mind boost: 5 minutes.
During my six years working with WordPress as a template for several websites I have always had one problem and that is speed. It is crucial for a website to load fast for it’s users and sometimes there are a couple of small things you can do to speed it up. But even if I install few plugins, optimize js and css, cache or use CDN – the problem is usually the same. The website is loading like shit.
And I have figure it out that for my part the things that really make a different is where the website is hosted. For my many years I have used four different web hosts and some works better than others but it’s not until recently I switched to WP Engine. And now my websites are loading so fast that I don’t even have time to eat breakfast. In this article I’m going to show you why I am right and how easy it is for you to switch host and the best part is that you are saving money aswell!
And of course I didn’t switch to WPE just like that. In order to know if my website was loading fast with WPE I needed to setup a test for a couple of weeks and measure the live site with the “staging” site.
The best part with WP Enging is (and this is if you are working with multi site) is that only one installation is needed for a multi site. You can of course only have a single site. For my WPE account I have a limit of 10 installations and with my multi site with 7 websites I only use one them as one installation – goodie! But I still have other installations on it as intranet and dev sites.
Migrate your website to WP Engine
I made a staging installation as an exact copy of my live site and creating new files and accounts for Robots.txt, Google Analytics, Tag Manager, Moz and other scripts that I use.
I didn’t notice until I bought WPE how easy it was to migrate. I only had to download WP Engine Automated Migration and wait for a few hours until everything was transferred to the new WPE installation. The best thing is that the plugin transfers both catalogs and the database so you don’t need to do anything manually.
After the migration I just uninstalled the plugin because I didn’t need it any more and for the next step I used Better Search Replace to replace the live site domain to the dev domain. And then everything was done!
Setup WP Engine cache and CDN
After the migration I turned on the built in Cache and CDN from WPE and installed the recommended plugins:
WP Smush – Optimize all of you images.
BWP Minify – Minify your CSS and JS files and have the option to move scripts to footer.
Speed test WP Engine
When the dev site was up and running I compared it with the live website using Pingdom, GTmetrix, PageSpeed Insights and dotcom-monitor to see the variation. I ran the test on different days and different days to exclude huge traffic from the live site as an event slowing the site down.
Here is the result:
The overall page speed decreased with an average of 2 seconds and for page score from 80 to 90+ (!) There was no doubt that we were going to switch to WP Engine.
Why WP Engine?
- Built-in cache
- phpMyAdmin access
- Supports SSL (also if you want to import)
- Backup your site automatically
- Live and staging site
- Several installations
- 24/7 support
- Cheap! 20% off your 1st payment.
For me it was a question of speeding of my websites and it was a bonus when I found they had built in cache, CDN and 24/7 support. WPE are experts in WordPress and helped me out a lot when I was testing my staging site. If I compare the price with other hosts they are much cheaper when they include CDN and are reliable with their competence.
WPE also support live and staging sites. So instead of change your website directly on the live site or by localhost you do it by the staging site – and it’s easy to transfer the live site to staging and staging to live. Here you have two different accounts to manage SFTP and backend in WordPress and you always have an option to make a backup of your entire network. WPE also supports Github which is awesome when working in team.
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