We use WP Engine for our sites. We think they have a great service and they are investing back into their service. This is great for the WordPress community.
New features are often released and we’ve been impressed with their improvements. However, there are number of items on our wishlist. You see, we host big websites because we are predominantly working with large WooCommerce sites. These sites need some oomph. We also need reliability and customer service. When there is a problem we need immediate communication which leads to my first point:
UK Chat Hours
One of the best things about WP Engine is their chat system. Sometimes you just need a quick answer that a ticket won’t answer. Sometimes you are not sure how to phrase the ticket, so a quick to and fro via chat is perfect. But… Yes there is a but.
We’re based in Brighton, UK. It’s lovely here, but it’s not in the US of A. The problem is the support guys working for WP Engine are across the Atlantic pond. They are up bright and early. 8am sharp. But that’s not much use to us in England.
The good news is WP Engine is opening a UK office and I saw a tweet about an office welcome party last night! Let’s hope they are bringing in some customer support agents who can wake up at 8am GMT.
A faster backend
It’s the biggest bug bear and a constant complaint we get. Even though WP Engine is fast on the front-end, it’s too sluggish on the backend. Nobody wants to hang about for anything to load.
It’s a hard problem to solve as well. Whereas the front-end can be cached and served via a Content Delivery Network (CDN), the backend is dynamic and isn’t privy to these speedy advantages. It needs good old fashioned server power.
We hope WP Engine continue to improve this as it’s currently too slow.
We all know how important backups are. If you don’t then save yourself the pain and trust me when I say Backups are important. No, they are vital. We love how WPE are backing up the site daily (files and database). We love how we can easily download and create new backups. They have a really good setup.
Now I know it’s possible to do all this with cPanel and other control panels, but WPE has such an elegant setup. It saves a lot of headache.
However they only store backups for thirty days. I think a simple addition to make backups better would be to add monthly backups. To save one backup from each month. So if you want to turn the clock right back then you could. That would be neat.