Anyone know how multisite runs on WPEngine?

I’m getting ready to launch my multisite network very soon, and with that I’m looking into hosting that will be faster than hostgator shared hosting. WPEngine has a great reputation, but I’m hesitating to switch to them due to all their restrictions and control they take. They add plugins to your site when you migrate, and they have a list of plugins that are not allowed on their servers and they auto delete them if you have them. I personally don’t feel comfortable giving up this much control, however they are known for having lighting fast load times.

So here’s my questions:

-Does anyone know how multisite runs on WPEngine? Do their restrictions mess anything up?

-Does anyone know how WPMU dev plugins run on WPEngine? (i.e.. Pro Sites, Domain Mapping, etc)

-Does anyone have any alternatives to WPEngine that will allow me to have lighting fast load times without having the limitations that come with WPEngine?

Any advice here would be fantastic. The bottom line is I want the fastest load time possible, so I’m trying to figure out if WPEngine is the solution, or if there’s something better out there.

Thanks,

Tim

  • Jack Kitterhing
    • Code Norris

    Hi there Tim,

    I hope your well today and thanks for your question.

    Before I joined here as staff, I actually ran my own multisite on WPEngine :slight_smile:

    The plugins work great, Pro Sites, Domain Mapping etc, I actually was using Pro Sites and Domain Mapping myself.

    The restrictions though are a little annoying, most plugins you’d want are allowed, but sometimes, there’s a plugin on the list, that you want to install and they won’t allow it, I never had anything added to my site without them checking first or anything removed without at least prior warning (days, not hours).

    The sites, while fast, in all honesty they weren’t as fast as I was expecting, I was on the Pro Plan or whatever it’s called now ($99 per month), and while a good service, I didn’t quite feel it justified the cost.

    As the actual visitors/page views is how the plans are judged, and if your planning on a large multisite, with millions of visits etc, the cost will soon rack up, though it would on any server though.

    The caching is fantastic and the team are great at setting that up as required and quickly, I had a wildcard SSL installed and there was a bit of hassle getting that setup, but they got it sorted in a timely manner.

    All in all, if you want some of the best managed hosting in the business, you can’t go far wrong with them.

    Another possibility is DigitalOcean, Who I know use, it’s all manual, setup your self, from the OS, to have Apache or Nginx, but it’s extremely quick and giving quicker load times than WPEngine and it’s only currently on the $10 a month plan! :slight_smile:

    So that’s a massive saving and there’s no restrictions at all, but security and everything is down to you as such on there.

    Thanks!

    Kind Regards

    Jack.

  • timstrifler
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Hi Jack,

    Thanks for all the great info! This is definitely valuable insight considering you’re a previous customer. I really appreciate it.

    I’m also considering http://wpmu-hosting.com/ I’ve seen them recommended on here in a few different threads. I guess the owner used to be a staff member here at WPMU dev. Have you heard good things about their hosting?

  • Jack Kitterhing
    • Code Norris

    Hi there @timstrifler

    Your most welcome! Happy to help :slight_smile:

    I can’t say much on wpmu-hosting myself, as I’ve never used them, though you are correct that a ex staff member runs it :slight_smile:

    I have heard good things about the hosting, though as I’ve never personally used something, I wouldn’t want to recommend something, I’ve never used :slight_smile:

    Thanks!

    Kind Regards

    Jack.

  • timstrifler
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Good to know, Thanks Frank. I think I’m actually leaning towards not going with WPEngine at this point. I don’t like the amount of control they’ll have over my site. Or how they put menu items in my admin area and on my admin bar.

  • Big Frank
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    Hi. A few of my clients wanted to be there due to their claims of “world-class” security, or I would not have moved. I have not had any major issues. The cost is not that bad considering the $99 covers 10 installs. I have 10 sites at DreamHost, also. Was not that bad. Now, they crawl. Moving, soon.

    Cheers. – Frank

  • Zyniker
    • WordPress Warrior

    @timstrifler, I’m currently using WP Engine for a few sites, and I’ve had a good experience with them so far. As for and plugins, the only plugins they add to your install are as follows: a strong-password-enforcement plugin, a plugin for handling bots, and a plugin for ensuring your site works with their database setup. As for the menu bar items, they can be disabled with a line or two in wp-config.php.

    I’ve honestly not even noticed the plugin restrictions (except for one client who insists on installing Broken Link Checker on occasion). Further, the disallowed plugins page offers recommended alternatives for most banned plugins.

    By way of an example, the WPMU DEV documentation site on which I’m currently working is hosted with WP Engine.

  • Zyniker
    • WordPress Warrior

    In my experience, yes. I have had no trouble with my Multisite installs on WP Engine.

    Overall, I would say the cost of WP Engine is worthwhile, simply to have access to support staff who can quickly resolve any issues that arise, which, realistically, means that WP Engine is a good choice for businesses that have relatively small IT departments/few IT personnel. There are certainly less expensive options, but none of which I know that come with the same level of support.

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