In case you visited our site recently and encountered some issues, we have a good explanation for that.
We recently switched hosting and revamped our membership area. I must say this was a very interesting journey for us but thanks to great people at WP Engine and Memberful, our site is now fully operational with more power and security measures behind it.
To be honest, we did not set out to look for a new WordPress membership plugin. We were happy with what we had, it just happened that under the circumstance, we had to make the switch.
So read on to find out what happened.
So what happened in the first place?
Our old hosting was not a WordPress optimized hosting provider. To be fair, it was a fully managed Virtual Private Server (VPS) but our site was not only loading very slowly, it was also under attack by hackers and spammers continuously. In other words, a lot of the attacks were not blocked at the server level.
The breaking point was on top of all these, the site would go down pretty regularly. The downtimes were short, but it just happened way too often.
Why WP Engine?
The first step we took was to look for comparable services (price wise) that are specialised in WordPress hosting. There are tons of them out there and many of them are highly praised, however the reason we chose WP Engine, which by no means was (and is) the cheapest service, it does have everything we were looking for.
At the previous hosting, we were using Caching plugins with CDN and could never get beyond 6 seconds loading time using Pingdom speed test tool. Now, the site gets 2-3 seconds in the US and 3-4 seconds in Europe with more or less the same configuration before the move.
It’s a fully managed WordPress hosting service provider. They know what threats WordPress platform gets and they are actively monitoring them.
3) Ease of use
To be fair, WP Engine does have a lot of restrictions and provide limited options when it comes to server configuration.
- No email setup – need to use a 3rd party like Google. You might be able to set one up for free from where you purchased the domain as well like Godaddy.
- No cron job configuration – need to use a WordPress Plugin (WP control) for that
- Some WordPress Plugins are not allowed
Otherwise, the Dashboard is pretty self explanatory and easy to use.
4) Other perks
Oh, man. There are so many.
Backup – The site gets backed up everyday or on demand without additional cost
Site Caching – No need playing around with Caching plugins
CDN – Content Distribution Network is already included!
What happened with the membership plugin then?
When we switched from the VPS to WP Engine, few parts of the site started malfunction. Most of them were minor issues and easily fixed but the Wishlist Member plugin that we used for membership registration just wouldn’t cooperate with the environment.
Based on the testing, it was likely one (or more) of the plugins that were installed on the site. After hours of troubleshooting and testing for more than a week, with help from the Wishlist Member customer service, our developer, and tech support from WP Engine, we couldn’t resolve it. So we decided to switch. We wanted something that was easy to implement. Something that doesn’t interfere with other plugins. That’s when we came across to Memberful.
It is not a membership plugin perse. It’s more like a hosted membership solution that happens to have a WordPress plugin to help you incorporate the service to a WordPress platform.
In other words it works very well on WordPress but it can also work on other CMS or custom built sites.
The integration only took us 30 minutes, which included reading through some documents on the Memberful site and adding shortcodes on our site.
It did take additional few hours to test everything out and incorporating https, but overall everything went pretty smoothly with our existing setting.
So what’s the point about this post?
We just want to thank WP Engine and Memberful for providing such a great service! They are easy to use with great customer service.