So my after a year at WP Engine, my blog has returned to GoDaddy: better the devil you know as they say. Jump to the WP Engine Vs GoDaddy performance tests.
Why Did I Leave WP Engine?
So why did I leave WP Engine? For the reasons below. Click here to jump to my reasons for moving to GoDaddy.
- Professional Courtesy
So let’s break those items down one at a time:
WP Engine are expensive. No two way about it. Now I figured at $29 per month, I was just pushing what I’d be willing to pay, after all that’s $348 per year for Website only hosting – no email, no extras – just one MySQL database and some files.
I decided to go ahead anyway as I’d had constant problems at MediaTemple and just didn’t want to spend time maintaining my blog.
All was well at first, then as my blog gained in popularity, I checked my bank one month and discovered WP Engine were regularly taking $45 off me (sometimes more). When I logged in, I discovered that they charge ridiculous amounts extra for visitors beyond the 25,000. What seems particularly absurd about this is that they they provide unlimited bandwidth. So if I had 25,000 visits, each comprised of 8GB of downloading, I’d be fine!
When I contacted WP Engine and mentioned I was considering moving my website away, I was very polite, explained the issues and explained that I was even using CloudFlare to limit the impact on their hosting and was there anyway they could work with me on price. Their support engineer was incredibly rude and just re-pasting the same information over and over about WP Engine being a premium service, annoyingly this came just days after my website was down due to an ‘unknown problem’ at WP Engine.
I then got a message telling me that ‘as per a previous email’ my website was being migrated within 24 hours and I would need to make changes, yet there was no record of any previous email (I checked our email logs).
3. Professional Courtesy
Once I decided to migrate my blog away from WP Engine, it became apparent they make this difficult (or at least deliberately don’t make it easy). WP Engine force the use of a custom SFTP port (so online migration tools don’t work) and GoDaddy claimed that they blocked SFTP connections from GoDaddy’s engineers.
Due to the problems with SFTP, I decided to use a WordPress migration plugin. When I installed the Duplicator plugin, it wouldn’t work and unsurprisingly, I got an email from WP Engine shortly after stating:
We just scanned your WordPress installation ‘bobmckay’ and discovered [duplicator], which is/are on our disallowed list
Finally, to add insult to injury when I cancelled my account, I specifically asked a WP Engine support representative if – when I cancelled my account – it would continue to run until the renewal date and they confirmed it would. I went ahead and cancelled WordPress install, at which point it was immediately taken offline and the data delete. Luckily my migration was long since complete and I took a backup.
The same as number one but this was such a key factor, I put it twice. 🙂
Why Did I Go Move To GoDaddy?
Ultimately it came down to cost again and the fact that GoDaddy seem to have finally sorted out their Managed WordPress platform. Additionally, the only real problem I had with GoDaddy’s hosting itself was with performance and the development of platforms such as CloudFlare and Sucuri mean the performance of my site can be augmented – if required – without the hassle of moving the hosting again.
I also found that when it comes to refunds, upgrading, downgrading and generally messing around with the products and services in your account, GoDaddy are very accommodating whereas WP Engine are all about the money.
WP Engine Vs GoDaddy WordPress Hosting Performance
I did an evaluation of my websites load time using Google PageSpeed Insights both before WP Engine + CloudFlare, after the move to GoDaddy (no CloudFlare) and finally GoDaddy + CloudFlare. As you can see, there’s practically no difference in performance despite the addition of a free SSL certificate for my website.
WP Engine + CloudFlare HTTP, PageSpeed Insights Results
GoDaddy (no CloudFlare) HTTPS, PageSpeed Insights Results
GoDaddy + Cloudflare HTTPS, PageSpeed Insights Results
I’ll evaluate GoDaddy’s hosting for 6 months and report back but so far so good.