Swaroop C H

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Moved to WPEngine

23 Apr 2012

I have moved my website from my own Linode server to WPEngine.

Why? Because I was tired of my server randomly going to 100% CPU usage and the only way to revive it was to reboot the server! For a long time, I thought the problem was maybe MongoDB which I was using for isbn.net.in which was running on the same server as the blog. But surprisingly, it was most likely WordPress at fault.

On the same point, it has been quite embarrassing when I get tweets and emails that my blog is down, because of this. Especially embarrassing because I'm supposed to be a developer and I can't even keep a simple website up? Something had to be done.

When I read patio11's story of how and why he moved to WPEngine, I found myself nodding and agreeing with him throughout the article, especially the part about Wordpress, PHP, Apache being very finicky software.

And I found other people who felt the same way as well. I also liked what I read on the WPEngine company website. And knowing that the guy who blogs at asmartbear.com is the same guy who started the WPEngine company gave me even more confidence in moving to WPEngine.

Since companies and projects are moving on to platforms like AWS (to get rid of hardware headaches) and Heroku (to get rid of deployment, operations and scaling headaches), I didn't see why I shouldn't move my personal website to a managed Wordpress hosting.

That was when I chalked out a plan to move to WPEngine, and moved it wholesale on a weekend.

I'm glad to be no longer doing the constant monitoring of the server and monitoring of the security and upgrades of wordpress, security of plugins, daily backup, etc. WPEngine does that for me. And it even gives me a staging server if I just want to try out stuff. I can't wait to try out their upcoming Heroku-style git repository feature.

The most surprising and positive upgrade in moving to WPEngine has been the speed. The blog opens up way way faster than before.

No, they haven't paid me to write this article, I'm just a satisfied customer (so far).

My old superb theme by Divya Manian (Nimbupani) was beginning to show its software rot - it didn't have support for widgets or the latest options and so on. So I took the major pieces of that theme and converted the default Twenty Eleven theme to use the same branding. Let me know whether it looks decent.

My mutated new WordPress theme

All in all, I'm happy with the move. And as you may have noticed, my frequency of publishing is starting to pick up, thanks to the having no headaches about the website.

Comments

Jason Cohen says:

Thanks so much, and welcome aboard!

I noticed you're not on the CDN yet -- tell support (at) and we'll get it enabled. Even faster! (Not that your theme really needs it... it's Spartan... but every bit counts).

Jonathan O. says:

I kind of enjoy managing my own WordPress instance on a VPS as it is a bit of a challenge. It can be a pain sometimes. If I do want to move to a managed solution I think I may consider WPEngine.

As a side note, it appears that WPEngine hosts their managed customers on Linode as well. So it seems that you actually never left Linode.

-Jon

Swaroop says:

Hey Jason,

Thanks for WPEngine, a great service.

Thanks for the suggestion as well, will put in a word to support.

Swaroop says:

Hey Jonathan,

Unfortunately for me, it went past the "I kind of enjoy" phase and went into the "Meh, I don't want to even look at this" phase which was a very bad thing. So better this way for me!

devadutta says:

One thing I notice is that your site is now blazing fast!

I think 98% up-time is a problem for high traffic blogs like yours, but DreamHost works like a charm for all blogs I run. Full shell access, install whatever you want and you get unlimited storage! My git server, transcode server, a host of bots all run on DH. And Pingdom says my blogs are all up 98% of the time. So, I am happy there.

For another high traffic site of mine, I used dotcloud. They gave me a neat package for being a beta tester, so now I reap the benefits.

WPEngine is a very impressive company though. I watch it very closely.

Swaroop says:

Hey Devadutta,

Thanks, it's so gratifying to see the site faster now.

Up-time is a problem, yes, but for me the more irritating part was not knowing why it was going down in the first place! And on top of that, the constant Wordpress upgrades (which WPEngine now does automatically for me) and taking regular backups, and so on, are all the real issues which I'm happy to hand off.

I had seen dotCloud sometime back, does it work well as advertised?

Suhail says:

Thanks for sharing the info, had never heard about wpengine, seems to be good, But would like to mention, even Linode support is good, I do host my python and php apps (that also includes a small website built using wordpress) on Linode servers, and never had much trouble, and even their support team is good. I do recommend Linode. For wordpress, just wordpress hosting, i have tried phpfog.com, and its awesome, i liked it. I heard good reviews about page.ly, One of my Friend from my previous company was managing a wordpress site on page.ly, he told me they have great service and support.

Swaroop says:

Hey Suhail,

Yes, Linode is excellent, I never had an issue with them, my issue was with WordPress and my inability to admin it properly, hence the move!

I have heard of phpfog.com but that is more suited for general PHP applications, I like WPEngine because they specifically handle WordPress and their support knows how to make this particular software work well.

Had never heard of page.ly, thanks for bringing it to my notice :)

devadutta says:

Yes, dotcloud is very good. Solid platform and easy to deploy.

You bring some good points about WPEngine though. Do they let you run any plugin and run any query on the DB?

Swaroop says:

Hey Devadutta,

Good to hear about dotcloud, I should try it out sometime.

Yep, WPEngine lets you install any plugin and by default, they have extra plugins already installed marked as "WPEngine supported" based on safety and performance track record. AFAIK, you can run any query on the DB, you get access to a phpmyadmin instance.

devadutta says:

Thanks, will try it sometime.

Desh says:

I have found www.interserver.net to be the best server deal out there. They are cheap, they help a lot and with the right tweaks and help, you can have a very fast website.

Swaroop says:

Hey Desh,

Thanks for the suggestion, although I'm not sure how it would compare to a dedicated managed wordpress host.

Desh says:

Swaroop - I am using it for a wordpress site, which was earlier a Drupal site with lots of modules. Until now not just the server, but even the tech support have been just awesome. They worked with me very closely when I was transitioning from Drupal to WP.

Swaroop says:

Hey Desh,

Great! Thanks for letting me know about them :)

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