It’s a bold claim, but we firmly believe that Pressidium Enterprise is the best WordPress hosting solution for Agencies. To find out why you should consider migrating your Agency’s WordPress websites to the Pressidium platform read on!
The Challenges Agencies Face when Hosting Client WordPress Websites
Whether you are your Agency’s founder or one of the team, odds are that you’re passionate about design and love bringing your client’s vision to life through creative content, whether that’s with a great website, amazing print work or video. What you probably don’t like spending your time doing is spending hours at your desk trying to work out why your client’s website has crashed… again (!) or worrying about whether your portfolio of websites has been backed up.
We’ve all been there, and the time you can spend undertaking ‘routine’ maintenance tasks on a portfolio of WordPress websites can be huge (by some estimates as much as 5 to 10 hours per site, per month!). If this isn’t your field of expertise it’s also highly stressful. The bottom line is that managing WordPress hosting is not what your Agency is all about. Far from it! It’s one of those jobs that you got landed with out of necessity, rather than because it really defines your Agency. After all, if you set out to manage WordPress hosting, then you’d be running or working in a WordPress Hosting business, not a design Agency.
Finding the Best WordPress Host for your Agency
We know that your search for suitable WordPress Hosting for Agencies will have been a long one. With so many WordPress hosts all clamoring for your attention, it can be incredibly difficult to sift out the good from the bad. After all, it’s easy for WordPress hosts to make fantastic claims about how great their WordPress hosting is and how their product has been designed with Agencies in mind, but until you have spent some time living with it and experiencing their systems and support first hand it can be anyone’s guess whether they’ll actually live up to the hype.
So how do you choose the best WordPress host for your Agency? First, let’s look at what an Agency really needs in a WordPress host:
- Reliability – It’s bad for business when you sell hosting to a client and then find that their website keeps going down. Not only does your Agency suffer reputationally, but it costs you in hours spent to sort the problem out.
- Security – It’s a fact of life, WordPress sites get hacked. There is however a lot that can be done to mitigate the risk of a hack and the right WordPress host will have security systems in place to help prevent this happening saving you a lot of potential stress!
- Scalability – Your Agency is continually growing. You’re adding new WordPress websites to your hosting every single month. Your WordPress host needs to be able to handle this. They also need to be able to cope if one of your client’s websites suddenly starts receiving more and more traffic. The LAST thing you want is for their site to go down at this point.
- Support – Your Agency’s team are not hosting experts. Sure, you might be lucky and have a colleague who is more technically minded but the bottom line is you need support and support that solves problems not just creates a ticket that endlessly gets ‘escalated’.
Remember, the harsh reality is that it’s your Agency’s reputation that is on the line if your clients continually have problems with their website. Sure, it’s not your fault… you simply provided hosting you thought was appropriate. ‘It’s the hosting company’s fault’ you tell your client. For the most part, that excuse won’t wash. Your Agency will be held responsible for its perceived failure. The client will view you and your Agency as the experts and will expect you to know what you’re doing when it comes to hosting.
Solving Agencies WordPress Hosting Problems
We’ve identified four key areas that your Agency needs in a WordPress host. Reliability, Security, Scalability and Support.
Three out of the four of these are reliant on the technology used by the WordPress host. Without the right technology, you are going to have major issues with Reliability, Security and Scalability.
In the same way you wouldn’t expect a Ford Focus to outperform a Porsche 911, you can’t expect hosting that’s not been engineered to an advanced level to outperform dedicated Managed WordPress hosting that has been built from the ground up for performance.
It’s worth noting that in many ways, on a superficial level, both the Porsche and Ford look quite similar. They have four wheels, a painted exterior, windows and they perform the same basic function (i.e. to move someone from point A to point B). Scratch the surface however and the engineering and technology is radically different.
WordPress Hosting Technology & Engineering for Agencies
It is at the engineering and technology level that you really need to look closely at when choosing a WordPress host for your Agency. Take a peek behind the glossy marketing deployed by many WordPress hosts and you will see a ‘Ford Focus’ at best; generic technology stacks, built using third party components all precariously piled on top of one another and then served up to you, the unsuspecting Agency client.
Pick two or three ‘Managed WordPress’ hosts and go take a more in-depth look at their setup. I guarantee that you’ll find references to the following:
- Servers – ‘Dedicated Servers’ , ‘Multi-Core Intel Processors’, ‘2GB of RAM’ ‘VPS’ etc.
- Security – ‘SSL Certificates to keep your site safe’ , ‘Free backups’
- The Cloud – ‘Powered by Amazon’ , ‘Built on the Google Cloud’
Lots and lots of buzz words for sure! All carefully designed to make you think that you’re getting the latest tech that has been carefully engineered to help your WordPress websites fly.
Sadly, this is just not the case. Sure, when a hosting provider talks about using ‘VPS Servers’ we have no doubt they’re telling the truth. The problem is though that none of these elements (such as a VPS) actually solve the very problems your Agency is trying to overcome, namely a host that offers reliable, scalable and secure hosting.
Busting some WordPress Hosting Myths
Before we move onto what you DO NEED, let’s quickly look further at some of the ‘tech’ features on offer from many providers and examine why these ‘benefits’ ultimately won’t help you deliver a great hosting solution for your Agency clients.
Often touted as the ‘gold standard’ a VPS (or Virtual Private Server) gives you access to a server that is functionally equivalent to a dedicated server but at a lower cost. You can have theoretically fine-grained control over how the VPS runs and they offer greater levels of security as the individual virtual servers are mostly isolated from each other. This means they may run their own full-fledged operating system which can be independently rebooted as a virtual instance. Sounds good right?
The problem is you are still sharing the underlying server hardware and many hosting companies will pack lots of VPS instances onto a single server.
Many Agencies have also fallen into the trap of spinning up a dedicated VPS for each of their client’s websites in the (mistaken) belief that this offers performance and security benefits. What is actually offers is an operations nightmare! Each time a server needs to have a security patch applied or develops a fault you are faced with replicating this workload across tens if not hundreds of VPS’s. This is massively time-consuming and can get insanely tricky.
‘Powered by the Cloud (Google or Amazon)’
The new kids on the block are Managed WordPress hosts who tout that their system is ‘powered by the cloud’. Essentially, these hosts have spun up servers owned and run by Amazon, Google or Microsoft and have just leveraged their underlying systems to deliver their hosting ‘solution’.
The reality is that these hosts are heavily constrained by the off-the-shelf nature of the server setup offered to them by Amazon or Google. Not only that, but server resources provided by Google or Amazon are very expensive… and guess who picks up the price tag for this? Yep, you the Agency.
‘Secured with SSL Certificates & backed up daily’
All sorts of security ‘systems’ will be touted including SSL certificates. As you’re penalized by Google if your site doesn’t have one, they are not so much a feature as an absolute necessity! They also don’t play a massive role in actively securing your website. They ensure data integrity between browser & web server but there is a heck of a lot more that needs to be done to properly secure a WordPress website.
And as for backups, many managed WordPress hosts have put in place the bare bones of a backup system that may well not be worth much. Backups are essential, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking because a web host says they backup your site that it’s actually a backup worth having!
Pressidium Enterprise WordPress Architecture – The Rolls Royce of Managed WordPress Hosting for Agencies
We didn’t actually coin the phrase ‘The Rolls Royce of Managed WordPress Hosting’. One of our Agency clients did. We would though agree with the statement!
Built from the ground up by IT professionals with years of engineering experience in large-scale and high-performance business-critical systems, Pressidium® Enterprise Architecture empowers your WordPress site on every level and makes hosting client websites a total breeze for your Agency.
Let’s look at the Pressidium tech stack and examine how this meets your Agency requirements of Reliability, Security, Scalability in a WordPress host.
Say goodbye to stand-alone Servers
No stand-alone VPS, Containers or Servers. We ditched the old-fashioned way of doing things when we built the Pressidium platform.
A stand-alone server doesn’t scale, is hard to maintain and isn’t fault-tolerant which makes it all the more surprising that this is how most Managed WordPress hosts choose to run their platform!
Instead, every site hosted on Pressidium runs on a fault-tolerant, multi-node server cluster. The benefits of this are HUGE!
Pressidium – Because there is no single point of failure, the Pressidium Platform ensures your Agency client’s websites stay live no matter what. If we experience a problem with one of our systems nodes, then traffic is automatically routed to a healthy node (this happens in milliseconds meaning no downtime). Our sophisticated set of monitoring agents alerts our team of DevOps engineers to a problem meaning it can be sorted asap. Most issues are handled by our team without you ever knowing. One less thing for you to worry about!
Other WordPress Hosts – If your ‘Premium VPS’ server goes down then your client websites will go down to. No ifs, no buts! And despite extravagant ‘Uptime Guarantees’, this type of downtime happens more than you might think.
Servers develop faults no matter how well they are maintained and with a typical VPS hosting setup, these faults equal instant downtime. Servers also need routine maintenance to be undertaken. Much of this server maintenance requires a server re-boot and yet again, down go your client’s websites. It can get a little embarrassing having to email your clients seemingly every month to tell them to expect some downtime due to ‘routine server maintenance’ but that’s what you’ll be forced to do with a more traditional VPS setup.
There are two elements to consider when discussing scalability. The first is how your WordPress host handles traffic spikes and the second is literally how scalable is the hosting solution… can it handle more and more websites and what does this do to your workload?
Pressidium – Our platform contains a Dynamic Load Balancing layer. This layer performs intra-datacenter dispatching and load-distribution of requests to your site. In layman’s terms what this means is that if your Client’s websites experience a rush of traffic, our multi-node setup will handle it automatically. Our Total Traffic Management solution will evenly distribute load across our server farms keeping your clients WordPress websites loading smoothly and quickly.
Other WordPress Hosts – Scalability is something that is often touted by hosts but is not truly available. Ultimately on a VPS you are limited by one servers’ resources. Exceed these and your websites will crash. Scaling on demand is extremely difficult, if not impossible and will normally require a website migration to a more powerful server something which can take hours or even days and will cause yet more downtime (at the worst possible time!).
If you’re using a VPS to host each client’s website then you are going to quickly become overwhelmed with the work required to maintain all these individual VPS’s. With Pressidium, it doesn’t matter if you have ten sites or a thousand. Just keep adding them and we’ll keep handling it. You will never have to spend a second of your valuable time worrying about server updates or maintenance ever again!
Pressidium – Because we built our platform, we were able to bake security features right in, rather than add them as an afterthought. Enjoy robust defenses for your Agency WordPress websites including a Network-Based Firewall layer which is the first line of defense against malicious activity and Denial of Service (DoS) attacks and a WAF (Web Application Firewall) Layer which inspects actual HTTP requests and filters web content to and from your WordPress site. Our team of DevOps engineers are on hand and continually monitor all our sites. Should the worst happen, we’ll get you back up and running quickly and easily.
Other WordPress Hosts – Security features can vary widely and more often than not the claims made about the effectiveness of security features will be the best thing about them! It’s seriously important at this point to also consider the support you will receive from your host. If you are unlucky enough to suffer a hack that affects lots of your client’s websites then it’s vital that your host is able and willing to assist, and quickly!
Additional Features of the Pressidium Enterprise WordPress Platform
There are stacks of features that we are incredibly proud of in the Pressidum Platform, all of which have been built to offer the Best WordPress Hosting for Agencies.
- Total Control – The Pressidium® Portal provides customers with full management via out-of-band and abstracted access to the Ops-Layer. Through its clearly designed web interface, traditionally complex and technically demanding management tasks have been made fast and simple such as taking a site backup, updating plugins or cloning a site to a staging server.
- Enterprise-class performance for every site – We’ve built on the best. We’ve taken Varnish as a building block for our HTTP cache and have created our unique multilayer adaptive caching engine which profiles your site’s traffic to enforce the most efficient caching rules for your site. Combined with our multi-node setup your sites will load blazingly quickly.
- Optimized WordPress Stack – A dedicated farm of servers run the latest WordPress version & PHP 7. This is where your site’s code resides, a copy of which is located on each server in the farm so your site is delivered simultaneously by all servers. Combined with our PHP object cache and PHP opcode cache which are all stored in RAM, this tier performs all the magic required in order to dynamically render your website into beautiful HTML pages.
For further details on our technology stack take a tour!
The icing on the Technology Stack cake… Amazing Support & Exceptional Value
You run or work in a digital Agency. You are NOT DevOps engineers and you do not crave spending your time fixing WordPress hosting problems! As such, you need a team that is here to support you.
We refer to our Clients as Partners. Why? Because we truly believe that things work best when we all work together. We focus on what we’re good at allowing you to deliver amazing creative work to your clients. No longer will you have to call around the office to find the ‘tech guy’ who might be able to help with a hosting problem. One email and less than 5 minutes later, a fully qualified DevOps engineer will get back to you and will work to deliver a solution to your problem. We have no Tier 1 and Tier 2 support structures. Each member of our team ‘owns’ any problems and will work tirelessly work to resolve any issues you are experiencing. And when your Agency’s reputation is on the line it’s massively important that you have a great team working behind the scenes to support you and ultimately your clients.
So, what’s all of this going to cost? The good news is less than you might think! Our Enterprise plans start with our brand new Enterprise XS plan for just $790/month giving you the opportunity to try our industry-leading architecture and enjoy all the benefits that come with our Enterprise Plans without breaking the bank.
So what are you waiting for? Not another server outage surely?! Contact our team today and we’ll put you through to an Engineer who will be only too happy to run through our platform with you. There is no such thing as a ‘standard onboarding’ process at Pressidium. Before we do anything we’ll work with you to understand your unique challenges before carefully migrating all of your sites to Pressidium. This will be done so there is no downtime for your clients and as little work for you as possible. What’s not to like?!