WP Engine offers robust and world-class infrastructure options for a variety of customer sizes and traffic needs. Across our more than 130,000 (and growing daily) installations of WordPress, we serve billions of hits and thousands of terabytes of data each month. Each account, whether an entry-level personal account, or one of our largest dedicated Enterprise solutions, is architected with a best-in-class level of performance, uptime, and redundancy for whichever price-point you decide is right for your business.
Below, you can dig into the details about how we’ve designed our hosting environment, starting with the standard features available across all plans and then breaking out into the specifics of each of our SMB, Premium, and Enterprise architectures, and specifically what sets them apart from one another.
Commonality Across all Environments
Every WP Engine customer benefits from the same robust and performance-oriented software technology stack which ensures top security, speed, and scalability.
Our Secret Sauce
All web traffic is handled by our sophisticated front-end system, a key part of WP Engine’s famous “secret sauce” layer. This proprietary layer is built off of thousands of carefully designed code rules which are continually audited and adjusted for maximum performance and are finely tuned for WordPress delivery.
This layer also evaluates browser requests for security and decides if they are valid and should be served, or if they are malformed and represent a potential risk. For example, a malformed request may resemble a common attack footprint and will automatically blocked by our security protocol. Valid requests are served by our caching system or web daemons directly.
An internationally recognized music festival WP Engine hosts offers a real-world example of EverCache’s ability to scale to meet real-world demands. When the festival launched their 2012 lineup on WP Engine’s platform, opening their ticket sales for that year, EverCache successfully served over 40 million visitors and 120 HTTP requests in a 10-hour period, all without an increase in page load time, or a drop in site performance.
The WP Engine EverCache system is also part of our “secret sauce,” and is often referenced as the most specialized server software linked with the internals of WordPress. EverCache serves common pages (such as home pages and feeds), on average, 4-6 times faster, than other, non-WP Engine servers. EverCache is fully integrated into our WordPress environment (via a system plugin), so cache is intelligently and automatically refreshed as needed, and can optionally be controlled and purged by the user at any time. Because of WP Engine’s EverCache, there is no need for site owners or developers to manage caching plugins. WP Engine takes care of that for you. Additionally, special caching rules can also be put in place by any member of our support team on an as-needed basis.
CDN (Content Delivery Network)
The effect is two-fold: content loads faster because it’s closer to the end-user (lower latency), and now your site can scale dramatically because the traffic is being served from an expansive global network of servers that can share the traffic load.
WP Engine has partnered with NetDNA to offer a robust, enterprise CDN as part of our service. Every account can take advantage of using a CDN and WP Engine handles all of the configuration for you. No extra plugins or settings are required and this CDN integration is fully supported by us. Customers can use WordPress as they normally would, and WP Engine automatically changes static file links to use your CDN’s resources. By doing this, your content will begin being served from the CDN with no other modifications needed. WP Engine also intelligently notifies the NetDNA CDN servers when to clear the CDN cache upon local changes and updates to your site.
SMB Plans: Personal, Professional, and Business
Our shared plans offer an incredible amount of performance at an affordable price point. These plans are built on a Xen virtualized environment with robust hardware hypervisors. Our host machines include redundant power and disk arrays and can handle significant amounts of CPU, network IO, and disk throughput.
Shared plans run on virtualized instances which are designed to achieve the optimal cost/performance ratio. This multi-tenant environment is architected with our strong security environment in place, so one WP Engine customer cannot intrude on another’s user space. Host machine utilization is constantly monitored and always runs with a large amount of overhead in place to ensure customer sites can scale during traffic spikes.
Premium Plans: Dedicated Virtualization
Premium plans are a step up from shared plans, and feature a custom environment for each WP Engine customer. This environment, while also based on Xen virtualization, is reserved solely to a single WP Engine customer, and is not multi-tenant with others in the WP Engine ecosystem.
Benefits to the Premium plans include:
- Increased CPU/Disk/Memory performance
- Ability to run security/performance testing as needed
- Ability for a larger degree of environment customization
- Scalability: multiple servers per account
Premium plans are great for organizations where resource isolation, performance, and scalability are key priorities in their WordPress hosting requirements.
Enterprise Plans: Clustered for High-Availability and Scale
Enterprise plans offer WP Engine’s top level of WordPress-hosting power. These configurations are capable of serving upwards of 50 million visitors a month, and come in both multi-tenant and dedicated flavors. Multi-tenant clusters offer an incredible amount of performance and strong redundancy at an effective price point, while dedicated clusters can be custom built for extremely large traffic needs.
Some of the details found in Enterprise clusters include:
- High availability, distributed load-balancing systems
- Robust hardware firewalls
- Multiple bare-metal web servers for maximum performance
- MySQL replication (Master-Slave) with multiple slaves and high performance SSD drives
- Database sharding available
- Top-of-the-line, high-core-count, Intel Xeon processors
- Separate memcache servers for object and transient caching
As with our SMB plans, our multi-tenant clusters are also carefully balanced with the right number of customers. This number varies based on the nature of the traffic and the size of the sites, and WP Engine actively monitors the relevant system details to produce an internal “capacity” score per cluster. Our operation teams never let the capacity score get too high, and we’ll migrate sites between clusters if needed to ensure everyone has enough resources, with no downtime to the customer.
Each Dedicated Cluster is custom-built to specific customer needs and features some of the highest performance levels available in WordPress hosting today.
While this is a lot of information, it’s also just a jumping-off place for the conversation we’re looking forward to having with you. Whether you think a personal plan or a dedicated Enterprise plan is the right fit for you, we’d love to schedule a deep-dive session with one of our Engineers so you can dig in and learn how WP Engine can make a difference for your web presence. Let us know when you’re ready to talk!