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We’re one of only a few agencies in the UK to achieve ‘Strategic’ partner status with WP Engine, the platform that hosts over 5% of the world’s websites.
Have you ever heard the phrase “show me your friends and I’ll show you your future”? At Illustrate Digital we’re big believers in the idea that the company you keep will define your success. This is why, in 2015, we formed a relationship with the great people at WP Engine and have been building upon it ever since.
Why? Because we were in serious need of a robust, scalable and trustworthy platform that was setup to handle well-engineered WordPress solutions, regardless of their size and stature. Honestly, it took us years to find the right partner. After many failed attempts, late night server outages, and a good amount of grey hairs, we eventually decided to give WP Engine a try. This was one of the best decisions we made for the strength and sanity of our business and clients alike.
Since then we’ve been building, hosting and maintaining website and software solutions in collaboration with the team at WP Engine. Over the years it’s become second nature to take advantage of everything that the world’s number one hosting platform has to offer.
Working with a Strategic WP Engine Agency
What are some of the key benefits of working with a Strategic WP Engine Agency? We've outlined some of the key areas where our clients see value, particularly when utilising the WPE platform.
Stress-free site launches
No fumbling around trying to figure out the compatibility of your website with your hosting provider. Trusting in an agency like Illustrate Digital that understands the WP Engine platform inside-out makes for smooth, stress-free website launches. You go and pop the kettle on, we've got this.
Better end-user experiences
The combination of a high-performance platform and a well-engineered website means your visitors benefit from a brilliant end-user experience. Nobody likes slow or clunky browsing. We know from experience that better UX means greater results for you and your brand. Bonus: Google will love you too!
Greater return on investment
Drive your brand and its investment further, faster. Knowing how to get the most out of your investment in a platform like WP Engine can seriously increase the results you experience in website speed and conversion rates, as well as allowing your great new work to be launched more quickly and smoothly.
Some brands we've deployed on WP Engine
“One of Europe's leading WordPress providers, Illustrate Digital is a driven and forward-thinking agency. For many companies their friendly and knowledgeable team are considered irreplaceable, critical to their digital success.”Fabio Torlini, SVP International, WP Engine
Unpacking more about WP Engine
Questions and Answers
Quite simply WP Engine is a managed hosting service. Once any WordPress website build is completed it needs somewhere good to host and share it with the world. In our opinion WP Engine is the best provider for most brands and businesses when it comes to choosing a hosting provider.
Alongside their hosting infrastructure they offer a number of useful tools and services to help run websites of all sizes. With features such as Global Edge Security, you can achieve a highly secure server that’s primed to keep your data safe. Whilst their website performance tool will allow you to test whether your website is running at optimum performance and make adjustments where needed to improve.
A question that we’re asked regularly is whether WP Engine is the same as WordPress. The answer is a little bit ‘yes’ and ‘no’.
Whilst WordPress is a free, open-source platform for anyone to use, WP Engine is a WordPress-specific hosting platform that allows you to launch and host a WordPress website. So whilst WP Engine is not WordPress, the two are intrinsically tied and WP Engine would not exist without the brilliant WordPress platform behind it, which launched free to the world in 2003.
One thing we’ve noticed recently is that technology profiling tools such as BuiltWith are listing WP Engine as a platform in its own right, displaying how many sites use this instead of counting it in the WordPress stats. This is interesting but also somewhat accurate, since WP Engine has taken a brilliant advantage of the WordPress content management system and built a much more sophisticated, scalable platform on top of it.
The whole journey of WP Engine started when their founder, Jason Cohen, needed somewhere to host his WordPress website. He found that there was no existing infrastructure good enough to power WordPress in the most constructive way. And so, he took a punt and used his technical know-how to create a small infrastructure that he would be happy to run his own website from. Little did he know just how important that first iteration of what’s now known as ‘WP Engine’ would become.
Today WP Engine hosts over 5% of the world’s websites and is the most popular managed hosting provider for WordPress anywhere in the world. This is as a result of their fine-tuned approach to hosting everything from small WordPress blogs right through to some of the highest-traffic sites on the internet.
As a ‘Managed Hosting’ service, the tech at WP Engine is a little more ‘hands-on’ than other platforms. Some providers will simply give you a space to upload, manage and maintain a website. WP Engine on the other hand has a brilliant track record of putting a significant amount more care and attention into the structure and maintenance of their platform in order to allow your site to run more efficiently and securely.
We found over many years of trying that there’s not quite another platform like WP Engine when it comes to running a WordPress website. Their ethos is very much aligned with ours in that specialising in something allows you to be far more excellent than the majority of your marketplace, allowing you to offer a superior service to your customers.
Absolutely. We chose to partner with WP Engine for their ability to consistently deliver high-performance, highly-secure environments for us to deploy and manage enterprise WordPress websites for great clients just like you.
Whilst a portion of WP Engine’s audience is aimed towards the mass-market of small business websites, their Enterprise solutions start from single dedicated servers through to highly-redundant server clusters. As a platform they enable some of the highest-traffic websites in the world to operate seamlessly, as well as some of our own clients with millions of website visits per month.
As an enterprise WordPress agency we know first-hand the importance of a secure server infrastructure to power the websites we build and maintain. This of course means that we’ve gone through multiple rounds of due diligence with our clients, as well as learn from first-hand experience that WP Engine is a secure hosting platform.
The best way we can illustrate this is by pointing to Hodge Bank, a client of both Illustrate Digital and WP Engine, trusting the bank-grade security on offer with WP Engine.
For those who are particularly security conscious, be sure to check out the Global Edge Security features on offer as part of the platform’s offering. This adds an additional layer of security known as a web application firewall which helps to filter, monitor, and block HTTP traffic to and from your web platform.
We know… website migrations are historically a nightmare, right? One of the beautiful things about the WP Engine platform is that they’ve spent time and effort making their infrastructure and workflow as easy to use as possible.
As part of the service they provide, there’s a dedicated migration tool which allows us to take a full back-up of your existing website and test it on the platform before committing to migrating everything. We typically run this process once or twice to make sure we’re happy that everything is working smoothly. Once you’re happy, it’s usually pretty smooth sailing from there – you may just need to think about halting the publishing of any new content whilst everything moves across.
But yes, you absolutely can move your website across to WP Engine and we’re here to help should you like an expert team to take care of everything for you.
‘Strategic’ is the highest status of partnership on offer from WP Engine. It’s reserved for only the most trusted WordPress brands in the world with only a small number of digital agencies having achieved this status. We’re incredibly proud to be one of these Strategic partners.
In a nutshell the position of Strategic partner with WP Engine enables us to better serve our clients and to look after their websites. With a more direct connection to the service provider and to their technical and account management teams at a senior level, we can gain valuable insights and work quickly and collaboratively to troubleshoot and resolve potential challenges.
Of course! Working with a Strategic partner of WP Engine means that not only do you benefit from scoping and recommending your ideal solution, you can also benefit from direct contact with the brilliant account managers who look after our clients at a consultative and personal level.
Both Illustrate Digital and WP Engine value the importance of understanding and correctly evaluating the ideal hosting environment for your site to ensure it performs at its best for your audience. Beyond this we’re both on hand to help set up your account and migrate or deploy your website to the platform.