TL; DR: A force to be reckoned with in WordPress hosting, WP Engine is a champion of web performance, security, and solutions optimized for the popular content management system. As the COVID-19 pandemic threatened the economy and how business is conducted in every industry imaginable, WP Engine rolled out products to support website owners scrambling to adapt. The company’s new eCommerce tools empower clients to not just survive but thrive — with up to 40% faster page load speeds and 18% increased sales for online storefronts. VP of Growth David Vogelpohl recounts the hosting product evolution and how WP Engine continues to stay at the forefront of WordPress technology by delivering services that recognize the tight-knit relationship between site performance and profitability.
Recently, I was shopping for a new keyboard. After a brief Google search, I quickly settled on the site of what appeared to be a quality seller. But as the seconds ticked by while the seller’s site struggled to load, I had a decision to make. Unfortunately for the seller, that choice ended up with me abandoning the slowly loading website and going with the always-reliable Amazon.
A negative user experience — specifically poor website performance — caused this otherwise solid seller to lose out on a sale. This is both a big and easily fixable problem. In fact, Google has long stated that page-loading speed, among other factors, determines where a website — especially on mobile devices — is ranked in its search engine results pages (SERPs).
Google has touted 2 seconds as the maximum acceptable time for a web page to load. But Google itself strives to be around 0.8 seconds. So, even if a company is selling the world’s greatest products, its overall reach — whether it’s paid or organic traffic — will be stifled if it’s paired with a slow web experience for customers.
WP Engine is a premium provider of WordPress hosting and a well-known authority in the WP community. As the company delivers highly performant yet user-friendly tools and services, the team is passionate about educating consumers on the value of web performance.
To get a deeper insight into how WP Engine can help boost site performance and therefore increase its partners’ potential profits, we spoke with David Vogelpohl, the company’s Vice President of Growth. David unpacks how WP Engine aims to reverse the trend of high bounce rates and unrealized profits for its customers.
WP Engine Answers the Call for More eCommerce Tools for WordPress
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things about the world, from the way we interact with one another to the way we do business. According to David, WP Engine witnessed a digital marketplace that seemingly transformed overnight
“We had a lot of customers scrambling to develop some sort of eCommerce component, and they had not done that before,” David said. “Retailers had already gone far on their journey from brick-and-mortar to digital, but restaurants had not.
“We did not see curbside pick-up or delivery mechanisms in a lot of restaurants — and then it all came at once.”
The influx of businesses moving from (or at least supplementing) physical locations skyrocketed, leaving WP Engine with a challenge the team met head-on with new product launches. The company introduced a new hosting service for online stores and a platform for agency client management and billing. Together, these product rollouts both solidify WP Engine’s authority in the WordPress hosting space and empower customers to shave off the milliseconds that matter most in online business.
New Platform Yields 40% Faster WordPress Sites and 18% More Sales
WordPress themes can range from simple affairs to those with intricate designs that inherently slow site performance. When you add up dozens, hundreds, or thousands of product pages, checkout flows, and other elements of an online store design, the page-loading time follows suit. The choice of hosting provider has a significant impact on website performance and profit potential.
WP Engine’s new eCommerce hosting service caters to sites using WooCommerce, a wildly popular WordPress plugin for online stores. According to David, the platform delivers up to 40% faster online storefronts using compute-optimized infrastructure and a host of WooCommerce-specific add-ons and optimizations.
“(The platform) offloads a lot of dynamic WooCommerce requests, making your site faster — up to 20% faster in our performance tests and probably more depending on how the site’s configured,” David said. “We’ve seen up to 18% increase in sales for customers who have migrated to that particular service.”
WP Engine’s value proposition extends beyond performance and on to security, another significant factor in online store sales and success. Take PHP updates, for example. The popular scripting language is frequently used in the development of dynamic websites, but managing its required software updates can be a hassle for non-developers, i.e., most online store owners. According to David, 22% of all WordPress sites were running unpatched, or insecure, versions of PHP at the time of this interview.
“There’s a security patch available, and 100% of our customers are on patched versions,” David said. “We give our customers the tools to do (the maintenance) themselves. But, when they don’t, we have their back.”
Bottom Line: Accelerate Site Performance and Profit with WP Engine
For more than a decade, WP Engine has boasted high-speed WordPress sites with higher realized profits for the company’s clients. As an established WordPress innovator, WP Engine constantly pushes the boundaries of what’s possible. The recent eCommerce product launches reinforce the company’s commitment to facilitating growth for its customers.
“If your site is faster, fewer visitors will bounce,” David said. “Study after study has shown the benefits of that performance. It all gets down to conversion rates and your ability to go to market faster.”
WP Engine does not come with a bargain-basement cost; instead, the hosting provider is laser-focused on the long-term value proposition delivered to customers savvy enough to recognize it.
“We’re 10 times as expensive on an entry-level plan as a cheap host ($29.99/month vs. $2.99/month),” David said. “So, why do people spend 10 times as much?
“They’re trying to grow. They want a faster site that converts better; they want a more secure site so their business isn’t interrupted with an additional lift. People choose a premium platform like WP Engine because they’re trying to grow — and usually by more than $27 per month,” he added.