At WP Engine, we are passionate about helping our customers stay ahead of the curve with their online business. Over the last year, our innovation horsepower drove several new additions to further our path as the global leader of managed WordPress platforms.

Our innovation themes for the year encompassed performance, security and customer experience. Read on for some top ways in which we helped move our customers ahead online in 2016.

Site Performance

A faster site means better SEO, more conversions, and a great user experience. On average, a one-second improvement in site speed improves conversions by 7 percent, pageviews by 11 percent, and customer satisfaction by 16 percent.

Because we’re all about helping our customers grow their audiences and their revenues, we work relentlessly to ideate on how to make the sites we power perform lightening fast regardless of traffic spikes or server downtime. This year we delivered several new solutions to deliver on our promise:

We added Performance Intelligence to our User Portal


In 2016 we launched our first Performance Intelligence solution, Page Performance, giving all of our customers the ability to quickly and dramatically improve the speed of their websites with data and recommendations we surface.

With Page Performance, you can schedule recurring tests to get performance insights delivered to your inbox, on your schedule. This can be particularly beneficial to assess the speed and performance impact of new site additions like plugins to sites.

We Launched a New eCommerce Solution, Including WooCommerce Optimization and One-tap Payments


In 2016 we also developed a new ecommerce solution that optimizes the performance of WooCommerce when traffic is high to ensure sites gain the maximum possible conversions.

Sites on the WP Engine ecommerce solution perform on average two to three times faster at peak load. Translation: two to three-times more possible adds to cart and conversions.

In addition, we released one-tap payments that improve the mobile user experience with Google’s one-tap payment API.

So why’d we focus here?

According to a Google study, nearly two-thirds of mobile purchases are made on mobile sites vs mobile apps, but conversion rates on mobile sites remain only 33 percent of that on desktops.

In today’s multi-tasking digital world, we can’t be slowed down. Especially on mobile! (See 11 Ways To Combat Shopping Cart Abandonment)

We Rolled Out HTTP/2 Support


This past summer we rolled out the latest version of HTTP to our customers’ sites. HTTP/2, or simply “H2” helps to accelerate the transmission of data over HTTP, reducing web page latency and improving SEO. Our customers can now enjoy the benefits of a faster site and better web page rankings.

We Launched the PHP 7 Compatibility Checker Plugin


As a service to our customers and the millions of WordPress users across the globe (27 percent of websites now run on WordPress!) we built the PHP Compatibility Checker plugin to help the world get ready for PHP 7.

If you haven’t learned about the impact PHP 7 can have on a website, it’s quite dramatic. Sites on a PHP 7 environment use 30 percent less memory consumption and operate two to three times faster — an absolute game-changer for driving SEO, conversion and audience retention. In less than a year, we’ve seen over 28,000 downloads on 7,000 active accounts!

We took our enterprise platform to new heights


To serve our Fortune 500 customers, we launched new high availability enterprise WordPress hosting solutions architected with multi-zone redundancy and advanced fault tolerance. What does this mean? It means that failure of one component doesn’t mean failure for the entire system to maintain uptime.

Being an enterprise customer at WP Engine is about more than server performance. Our enterprise customers receive white-glove service from our enterprise customer success team. This includes dedicated account management with technical onboarding guidance, strategy planning and the best of our WordPress experts on hand to help at any time.

Customer Service

Our customer success team is truly our secret sauce. Their dedication to our customers earned them a Gold Stevie Award in 2016, their third award over the last three years.

We made our world-class support team even more accessible with a Global 24/7 Live Chat service

All WP Engine customers around the world, whether they own a blog or run a large enterprise site, can access our award-winning WordPress experts on their schedule with our 24/7 Live Chat. Our average response time since launching is less than two minutes. Now that’s peace of mind.

Site Security

Hacking is certainly the topic du jour. The potential impact of cyber attacks on democracies and businesses alike is very distressing. Keeping our focus on business, take a look at some startling numbers on how attacks impact companies small and large.

Kaspersky Lab, award-winning cyber-security firm surveyed 400 companies in 25 countries last year on security practices and the cost of security incidents. They report the average cost of recovery from a single incident was $86.5K for SMBs and $861K for enterprises. We take security very seriously at WP Engine. Last year alone, we blocked 1.6B attacks across our customers.

We launched a few additional security features too:

We made Let’s Encrypt a free, one-click install for all WP Engine customers


Committed to protecting our customers’ online business, in 2016 we released automated and free SSL with Let’s Encrypt. With Let’s Encrypt, users can expect a more secure site including protection of site visitor credentials (especially important when entering sensitive data, like credit card info!).

We added Two-factor authentication to the WP Engine User Portal


To enhance the security of your site, this year we added (2FA) to the User Portal. 2FA is a security method that requires you to enter a second factor beyond a password in order to gain access to your account. This second line of defense helps keep the bad guys out to better protect your account, your sites, and your business.

Looking Forward…

Expect much more exciting launches from WP Engine in 2017. We will continue to advance the developer experience as we build the WordPress development environment of choice, deliver more insights for developers and site owners, and ensure remarkable digital experiences on the 500,000-plus WordPress sites we power around the world.

We encourage you to make a New Year’s Resolution to ensure any site you own or represent is performing at its highest capacity. If you’re not a customer yet, test your site speed with our handy Speed Tool. Record the number, and if you join us you’re likely to see a two-times to four-times improvement that drives better SEO, more traffic, more leads, more memberships, more conversions, and more ad revenue.

Happy New Year!