WP Engine Drives Performance for World’s Largest Content Management Platform with New Relic
Guest author Lisa Box is senior vice president of corporate development at WP Engine. Every day, roughly 5% of the entire online world (3.5 billion people) visits a website powered by WP Engine’s Digital Experience Platform for WordPress.
At WP Engine, we do exactly what our name implies: We provide the engine that powers implementations of WordPress—the world’s most popular content management system.
We accomplish this through our Digital Experience Platform (DXP), which our customers—who scale from mom-and-pop businesses all the way up to Fortune 500 companies—use to create remarkable intranets, websites, and mobile apps on WordPress.
What each implementation has in common—besides its WordPress underpinnings—is the ability to delight users through stellar digital experiences built, developed, and maintained on our cloud-based platform, and managed by the analytics and insights it provides.
As you might imagine, maintaining, managing, securing, and keeping this platform on the cutting edge of performance is a huge job—and one that’s growing bigger by the day, thanks to the phenomenal growth of WordPress and our own correspondingly large customer base.
Indeed, today WordPress powers 35% of all the websites on the internet—up from 13% in 2010, the year of our founding. Those incredible gains have carried over to us, as WP Engine now drives more of the most heavily trafficked sites than all of the other managed WordPress hosts combined. That translates to more than 100,000 of our customers operating 500,000 websites globally—all with different needs.
So how do we manage all of this? How do we ensure that our platform is delivering peak performance at all times (since even a nanosecond slowdown can affect our customers’ conversions)?
You can’t fix what you can’t see
One thing that makes WP Engine unique is our ability to surround WordPress with best-in-breed practices and technology so that we can scale it for the largest websites and deliver the biggest and best user experiences. Partnering with New Relic and integrating their monitoring solution into our DXP is a perfect example of this type of strategy.
From our earliest days, we knew that in order to meet the requirements of the enterprise, as well as those of our growing customer base, we would need to ensure that all instances of WordPress on our platform would be able to scale. We also knew that we would need to provide developers with the tools that would allow them to build new experiences and bring them to market quickly. Neither goal would be achievable, however, without a keen understanding of application performance within our platform.
New Relic has delivered the visibility we need to gain that understanding. By bringing data orchestration and application performance to the fore through a display mechanism that’s easy for everyone in our organization to digest, New Relic has allowed us to develop a cohesive, data-driven culture. This, in turn, has enabled us to do two key things:
- Deliver the insights a customer needs at the moment they ask for them
- Provide a platform that allows them to build experiences easily, quickly, and securely
As a result, we’ve been able to remain nimble, flexible, and quick as we continue to experience hypergrowth.
Always innovating, always optimizing
Whether it’s using AWS Lambda for platform orchestration or Kubernetes for container orchestration, we’re always looking for ways to improve performance and achieve a scalable infrastructure across our environment. New Relic monitoring has been key to this effort as well.
As the first WordPress DXP to offer Google Cloud Platform’s Compute-Optimized Virtual Machines (C2), we were thrilled to offer significant performance gains to our customers. But a migration of this scale—which entailed moving hundreds of servers at a time—is an enormous undertaking, and we needed to document both the speed at which we were able to migrate the servers and the performance improvements we gained in doing so.
Thanks to New Relic, we were able to do both by taking before-and-after snapshots of performance, and in the process, documenting and verifying improvements, for some customers of up to 40%. We’re now able to promise customers a huge performance gain if they sign up for one of our premium plans (which take advantage of the new technology). Without New Relic, we’d never have been able to verify the significant performance increases for customers attributable to C2 and a range of other initiatives.
New Relic is also invaluable in providing a single source of truth for the different layers of our cloud platform. As a dual-cloud provider (we use both AWS and GCP), we rely on New Relic to provide a single, synergistic view of how everything is working. Our global teams love it because it allows them to see the same information at the same time, which means they’re always in sync.
From platform support to product offering
At some point in our own digital transformation, we realized that the insights we were gleaning from New Relic were too good not to pass on to our partners. Thus, we created a joint application performance monitoring solution with New Relic specifically for WordPress products. We’ve now taken that solution to market and enlisted thousands of users who are running it through WP Engine.
Already, their uses of the jointly created solution have been inspiring. For example, a large publishing client with sites all over the globe is now using New Relic Insights to build custom dashboards that display the health of each of its sites. And this is just one of the unique ways that people have begun to use the Insights dashboards through our platform.
A culture of clarity
Today, New Relic is such an entrenched part of our organizational culture that we now have more than 25 employees who’ve been certified on it. This means we can offer New Relic training on site via our own certified sales engineers, making it that much easier to onboard new employees to the platform—especially those on our customer experience and site reliability teams.
Today, if a customer calls and wants to know how fast its site is running compared to the past or is having an issue with integration, we can get them the information they need immediately because New Relic will deliver it directly to our customer representative. The value of this type of real-time response simply cannot be overestimated.
When selecting vendors to help us provide optimal business outcomes, we’re always looking for organizations that will not only facilitate our growth, but help our customers achieve that goal as well. Additionally, we need our vendors to increase the stickiness of those customers—making sure they’re delighted every day as we earn their business. New Relic defines that type of vendor for us.
WPEngine is a very feature-filled managed hosting plan for WordPress websites that focuses on 3 main WordPress website issues: speed, security and stability.
WPEngine is the new WordPress host compared to other available ones. However, with smart management and a smart large market position, WPEngine has brought in a ton of influencers and prominent figures in the WordPress field. We have already seen the smart people who run WordPress.com, Automattic, invested in WPEngine at the end of 2011. Balsamiq, SportsNetworker, MarketingClique and CMSCritic are just a selection of the popular brands that currently use the platform’s worry-free WP engine hosting platform.
So what’s important about managing a web host?
One in case you missed it: WPEngine hosting is WordPress managed hosting only.
WPEngine Hosting – Benefits
So what is all the fuss about WPEngine?
Here are the main benefits of WPEngine hosting:
• WP Engine is a manageable team from WordPress Geeks
All the way from the General Manager, the main WPEngine employee support is filled with WP authorities, and each one of them is very experienced in their craft. This is definitely a managed WordPress hosting company with the best WordPress help.
• Absolutely optimized servers
WPEngine, as they say, is a tried and tested time and again many successful bloggers and webmasters are incredibly responsive.
• Scalability, no need to worry about becoming too trendy
WPEngine guarantees you nearly 100 percent server uptime – due to the incredible use of cloud computing technology.
• Secured Web Hosting Set Up
At WPEngine, all WordPress updates and malware searches have been completely done while you sleep, the site is backed up automatically every day, and WPEngine is committed to a completely secure hosting environment. Webmasters are basically zero to think about when it comes to website security with WPEngine.
• Help with moving your sites
Should you find yourself too overloaded to go to your own site? WPEngine is available to take care of WordPress website migration.
Relatively cheap hosting choice
It’s true that WPEngine in the price probably drove a handful of people away, I found them a generally inexpensive plan, given that I’m just using them for only one website
Let’s do the math. What is a reliable WordPress security or maintenance plugin worth? VaultPress, for example, passes you $ 40 per month; Another example, BackupBuddy, costs $ 75, the least. Add that to your regular WordPress hosting fees – say Hostgator, for about $ 10 per month and this is approximately $ 80 $ per month just to run your WordPress blog with a basic level of security.
But, WPEngine entry level plan under $ 30 per month for one WordPress installation. Ensures that the price will also include various security systems and features, such as a single daily backup site, virus scan, reliable restore points, fully managed WP updates and a hacker for free.
Still think WPEngine is too spendy? Well, think again!
Should you choose WPEngine?
I cannot truly advocate WPEngine people who are new to content creation and blogs. There are less expensive options for you, such as BlueHost. Also, if you have a bunch of low traffic WordPress sites; then there really is no reason to switch from sharing a stay like BlueHost to WPEngine – the cost is just too high
WPEngine is perfect if …
• You operate only one WordPress site that receives medium-very high traffic levels;
• Do you think there is a possibility of your site hitting the front page, the site how to stumble on or pocket;
• You pay bills by running your WordPress site;
• You are in fear of a hack on your site;
• You do not dig, caring for the complex task of WordPress maintenance;