Pressidium Managed WordPress Hosting – Join The Revolution!
The final part of the WordPress Web Hosting Series is here.
And I can finally reveal my new web host: Pressidium.
If you haven't read the previous 3 episodes I'd encourage you to do so, as it sets the scene for this final part.
I first became acquainted with Pressidium in February 2015 when my friend Stacey Corrin introduced them on her blog.
I was immediately impressed with them - there was something a bit different about Pressidium compared to other web hosts. So, I decided to follow along and see how things developed...
I was conducting my own research on web hosts and reading lots of reviews on various sites. And then in March 2015, Stacey posted about Pressidium again, this time highlighting her first month onboard.
Since then Stacey has gone on to work with Pressidium using her brilliant writing talents in the role of WP Revolutionist & Media Ops.
Today I'd like to share my experience of Pressidium:
- Why I Chose Pressidium
- How I Transitioned to Pressidium
- Why You Should Consider Pressidium Too
But first lets just recap on my options...
Managed WordPress Hosting Options
If you recall in Part 1 a few weeks back I told you about my current predicament with Bluehost, and concluded that I needed either VPS Hosting or Managed WordPress Hosting.
Well, I decided to choose Managed WordPress Hosting.
Managed WordPress Hosting should save you time and let you focus on what you do best. [Pressidium]
For me I couldn't see any real reason to have a VPS solution. For my friend Ron it's the perfect fit as he needs many WordPress installations for his business model.
When it comes to Managed WordPress Hosting it seems that the most popular brand you see around is WP Engine. They are well-established and have many raving fans. My friend Richard uses them and rates them highly.
Naturally, I landed on their site and did my fair share of reading. There was a nice pop-up chat window in which a customer rep helped answer my questions, so kudos to them for a friendly, responsive service.
Some of the other popular “Managed WordPress” providers include:
- Web Synthesis
I took a look at these briefly, but in truth I knew this would be a two-way contest between WP Engine and Pressidium.
Like WP Engine, I did my research on Pressidium reading as much as I could find on the web. But sometimes you just need to go direct. So I pinged a mail to Stacey asking her if she could help answer my questions.
She introduced me to Andrew Georges (Co-Founder) and a couple of hours later I received a thorough email answering all my questions and more...
Andrew offered to have a telephone/Skype conversation so that I could discuss things in more detail...
Later in the week I had the conversation with Andrew, and we just chatted for an hour or so about hosting and technical stuff and transition and support and ...well lots of things 🙂
One of the questions I posed to Andrew was about the term 'DevOps' which crops up a lot on the Pressidium website.
How would you define the role of a DevOp, compared with a SysAdmin?
“To be honest, there’s not much of a difference. Using the term SysAdmin is basically the old way of describing pretty much what a DevOps does. DevOps is you could say, a rebranded term.
It comes down to philosophy, a SysAdmin tries to keep a system stable and operational, and will often slow down the development process in the name of continuous operation. While a DevOps becomes part of the development cycle, tries to understand the business case and use case of every project and tries to marry it's deployment into production (operations).
A DevOps is a SysAdmin in the role of a technical facilitator for a developer, he/she makes things happen and the devcycle more efficient.”
And so began my journey with Pressidium. I hadn't signed anything or paid any money, but I just knew I would end up with them.
Why I Chose Pressidium
If you recall in Part 3 of this series I asked the question:
- What are the most important features/benefits you consider when choosing your Web Hosting service, and how would you rank them?
I think Adam summed it up perfectly and I would just echo his answer here:
- Speed, Security and Support ranked equally, followed closely by Fair Pricing.
Let's examine what Pressidium have to offer in these areas.
I definitely needed more speed and I was interested to discover how Pressidium would deliver that. Basically they do it through their Enterprise Architecture On Every Plan.
What this boils down to is providing WordPress customers with the same power of web-scale technologies used by Google and Facebook. In other words its going to be red-hot!
Here's what Andrew from Pressidium said:
"To put it simply, performance wise, take a bunch of VPS's multiple them by 10 then multiply that by 5, and you will get close to the performance of our N-Tier Enterprise Architecture :-)."
You can see the details of their Enterprise Architecture here.
pinnacle ˈpɪnək(ə)l/ (noun) – the upper-limit, peak, zenith
WordPress-tuned Pressidium® Pinnacle Platform takes you past the limit of what managed hosting has offered before:
- Dynamic Load Balancing
- SSD Highly Available Storage
- Multi layer adaptive caching
- CDN & Geo DNS support
- Fully burstable elastic cloud
- SSL Acceleration
- PHP opcode caching & acceleration
- Image optimization & lazy loading
If you've read my previous articles you'll know I'm very keen on Security and Backups. There is no way I would sign-up for any hosting service without checking these.
Pressidium build security into their architecture, so that there is no need for an additional WordPress security plugin. What's more if anything untoward were to work its way through the multiple firewalls they would fix it for you; i.e. no expensive clean-up bills!
Pressidium run daily backups of your websites and you also have the option to run a manual backup at any time, for example, before updating a plugin or theme. This guarantees you have a safe restore point in case of any unforeseen problems.
In addition, you get a staging area for each of your websites so that you can create a clone of production and trial new software and settings without anyone, not even Google, knowing about it. Cool...
pinnacle ˈpɪnək(ə)l/ (noun) – the point of greatest success
Pressidium® Pinnacle Platform delivers the security you need to safely propel your site to the highest points of success
- Managed auto-updates
- End-to-end managed security
- Malware monitoring and removal
- Managed web application firewall
- Bad bots filtering
- Expert WP support
- Full chroot environment
Pressidium provide different kinds of support.
By that, I don't mean good and bad support!
No, I mean proactive and reactive support.
Being the experienced bunch of tech guys that they are, the Pressidium team have put in place a number of monitoring systems so that they can ensure everything is running smoothly. These systems run 24/7 and if there is the slightest blip they're on it in a flash.
I was updating a couple of plugins one evening and my site temporarily entered maintenance mode. I had an auto ticket and email from Andrew before the update completed!
We make it our mission to keep your websites up and running as much as we’re able to. We don’t guarantee that there’ll never be a time when stuff goes a bit wonky. We’re only human. But we do work tirelessly around the clock to ensure this doesn’t happen often.
We all have questions from time-to-time about WordPress, but where do you find the answers? Most likely you check Google, or a Forum, or ask a friend?
With Pressidium, not only do you get the technical engineers, you get a team of WP Experts!
Support is available 24/7 through tickets and standard support hours via phone.
Because we specialize in WordPress, and have such significant and diverse experience, we’re able to answer questions and diagnose issues that 90% of all hosting companies wouldn’t touch. From “Hey, my site is having issues“, to “Can you recommend a plugin for XYZ?“. We’re here to help!
I know some people would rank pricing as the most important consideration when choosing a web host, or any other commodity for that matter. As Adam said:
- It’s worth paying more for a faster host with better support and security.
So with all that Pressidium has to offer you might be thinking that their prices would be higher than average. But they're not. In fact they are slightly cheaper.
The Pressidium Personal Plan is priced @ $49.90 / month for 3 WordPress Installs.
Compared to WP Engine @ $29 for just 1 WordPress Install.
3 WordPress Installs
10GB HA SSD Storage Space
SSL and CDN Included
$49.90 / month
1 WordPress Install
10GB Storage Space
SSL and CDN not included
$29 / month
There's one final ranking factor I want to include here about Pressidium and that is Culture.
You may have picked this up already, but the Pressidium Team are a little different to other web hosts. For a start they are admittedly Techie. They don't profess to be expert marketers. They focus on their technical engineering skills and passion for WordPress to provide a premium hosting platform.
One of my initial questions to Andrew and the team was how they differentiated themselves.
How does Pressidium differentiate itself from the competition?
Most of all we’re completely transparent about what we do and how we do it. We’re not interested in making massive profits, but rather we want to change the way people think of hosting in general."
A Premium Managed WordPress Hosting Platform for Everyone
The Pressidium philosophy is to treat you as a partner, rather than a customer. They make a point of getting to know you and your business so that they can provide the best possible service. Its a win-win for all!
How I Transitioned to Pressidium
In this section I want to share with you how I transitioned to Pressidium. There's two reasons for this:
- Its an important consideration for anyone moving web host
- You get to discover more about Pressidium Support
The deal was done on 18 May. I signed up for the personal plan taking advantage of the reduced yearly pricing option.
That was just the beginning of a wonderful journey...
I immediately received a support ticket:
"Welcome to Pressidium! Care for a FREE migration?"
Inside was a welcome message from Giannis (Co-Founder) and information required to start the FREE transition.
You might say it was the beginning of a beautiful relationship, but that's a bit luvvy-duvvy.
So lets rephrase and say it was the start of an on-going, meaningful and respectful dialogue.
Remember, I was transitioning this production site, byteofdata.com, from Bluehost to Pressidium. I didn't want any downtime, or lost data and settings.
I also had to transition my email account as well.
So there were plenty of factors to prepare and plan.
Giannis and I worked out a plan together and then executed as follows:
I had purchased hosting and domains together on Bluehost. Its not good practice really. But when you start out, you often go for the easiest solution. (For clarity, I have 3 domains including byteofdata.com, so that's why I mention domains plural).
Step 1 - Transfer Domains from Bluehost to Namecheap
This turned out to be quite painless. I opened a Namecheap account and moved 1 domain first to test the water. It transferred within a few hours. Feeling confident, I proceeded to transfer the other 2 domains across.
Status: Domains transferred to Namecheap. Website still running on Bluehost.
On Bluehost I had my main domain and two add-on domains - its the way Shared Hosts allow you multiple websites on one account. The Pressidium Team requested credentials so they could get on there and check things out before attempting to migrate my website from Bluehost to their servers.
Step 2 - Pressidium perform a site survey of byteofdata.com
Pressidium checked the site and confirmed there was nothing untoward that would interfere with the migration.
Status - 18 May: Site survey completed.
Migration (Copy Phase)
Having passed the pre-checks we needed to agree a migration date. First there would be an initial copy of my site onto the Pressidium servers. The production site would continue on Bluehost until we were ready to flick the switch.
Step 3 - Pressidium copy byteofdata.com to their servers
Pressidium decided to build a fresh new server cluster for me! So we agreed to wait a few extra hours whilst they prepared it. This pushed the migration back a day, but I was in no rush.
Once the server was ready Pressidium copied the website across within a couple of hours:
- transfer files from Bluehost to Pressidium
- create the empty WP install at Pressidium
- import DB into Pressidium WP install
- apply the transferred files
Status - 20 May: Website copied to Pressidium servers. Production still running on Bluehost.
Check Website Copy
The next step was for me to check the copied site on my brand new spanking server.
Step 4 - Verify migration copy
I checked the new copied website and everything was exactly the same, nothing missed at all. So I was able to sign-off the migration copy and we were ready for the next phase.
Status - 20 May: Website Copy checked and verified.
Before any DNS changes could be made I needed to complete my change of email provider. My email was running on the Bluehost mail servers and being directed to a Gmail account (as the Bluehost webmail clients are rubbish).
Pressidium do not offer email services. They are focussed on WordPress Hosting.
I had pre-empted this scenario a few months earlier and had already setup an account on Zoho Mail. (How to get a free email address for your domain).
Step 5 - Configure Email Domain
I changed the MX records to point to the Zoho Mail Servers and deleted the Bluehost entry.
Status - 20 May: Email working on Zoho.
Next up was the Domain Name Server (DNS) changes. Its all a bit like 'dark magic' at this point. Basically this where Pressidium needed to change the nameservers so they would point to the domain on Namecheap rather than Bluehost
Step 6 - Migrate the DNS of byteofdata.com
Pressidium migrated the DNS of byteofdata.com domain to Namecheap and entered the required records for both email and website.
Status - 20 May: DNS of byteofdata.com migrated (allow another 24 hours for complete propagation). Production now running on Pressidium.
Following the DNS propagation everything was confirmed as working on the new Pressidium servers! Bluehost was no more. Apart from the tidy up...
There were a few remaining actions to tidy up on Bluehost which we needed to complete.
Step 7 - Migrate DNS of my other 2 domains and then delete Bluehost data
Pressidium migrated the remaining DNS records to Namecheap and once they had propagated I was able to go into my Bluehost account and delete all the old files. Finally I was able to claim my refund on the outstanding term of my Bluehost account and say farewell!
Status - 22 May: Transition to Pressidium Completed.
Hopefully the plan executed above gives you an indication of how professional and supportive Pressidium are. Even though I had a few extra changes to make, like the new Domain hosting and Email setup, the migration was completed inside a few days.
REMEMBER: Some Managed WordPress Hosts charge for migration.
This was all done for FREE by Pressidium.
Why You Should Consider Pressidium Too
The whole purpose of this WordPress Web Hosting Series has been to share my journey and also give you a rounded opinion of the hosting options available to you. I hope you have found that to be the case?
Naturally I'd like you to join the WP Revolution with me, but I understand that Pressidium won't be for everyone.
In Part 1, I shared my Need For Speed.
My Bluehost Shared Hosting was getting slower and more unreliable.
I'm running so much faster now its unbelievable.
Pressidium continually monitor and tweak your website to get the optimal performance.
Remember the LoadImpact test on Bluehost. My page load time varied between 4 and 9 seconds.
I ran the same test on Pressidium and the results came back between 1.4 and 1.8 seconds!!
In Part 2, my guest Mark raised our awareness of the Managed WordPress Hosting Tradeoffs.
Here's my feedback based on my experience of Pressidium...
Tradeoff #1: Cost
I think Pressidium is tremendous value @ $24.90 for 3 sites, thats $8.30 a piece. That price includes hosting and WP Support. Pressidium support SSL certificates. You buy your own and they install it!
Tradeoff #2: Plugin limitations
This was never going to be an issue for me. I knew I would have to delete plugins for Wordfence (security) and BackWPup (backup). But I also knew I was getting a far better built-in solution. I think you'll find Pressidium's restricted plugin list is less than other Managed WordPress Hosts. And quite frankly the restrictions are there for good reason.
Tradeoff #3: Multiple WordPress sites
I have the Personal Plan which entitles me to 3 WordPress installs. I can upgrade to the next plan which allows me 10 installs. Its not restrictive, it just costs more as you increase the number of installs and therefore the amount resources you consume - I think that's fair.
Tradeoff #4: Bandwidth and storage limits
The Pressidium Pinnacle Platform has Unlimited Bandwidth included, plus 10GB SSD space on the Personal Plan. There are increased amounts on the next plans in the range.
Tradeoff #5: Domain name, DNS configuration, and email
Pressidium don't provide Domain name and Email services. But they sure don't leave you stranded! I literally created the accounts with my chosen service providers and then let Pressidium manage all the DNS configuration to point everything to their servers - for FREE!
Tradeoff #6: Support hours and accessibility
Pressidium provide a 24/7 Support Portal where you can raise a support ticket and search the existing KB articles. They have also have a dedicated support email address and offer telephone support during standard hours.
Tradeoff #7: File access and editing
I have not encountered any restrictions to file access. If I did, I would simply ask Pressidium to make the change or give me access.
Tradeoff #8: Third party support
I'm paying for a premium managed service which includes WordPress support, so I would not expect to be looking for third party support. The Pressidium Support has been excellent. We have an open dialogue and just work things out together. Superb!
I also asked the Pressidium Team for their feedback...
Do you have any comments to make in reply to the Managed WordPress Hosting Tradeoffs?
“This article was really interesting as it demonstrates how people still view Managed WordPress Hosting. Sure you can fit as many sites as you like on a shared host but the performance of those sites can be ridiculously poor.
Ultimately it comes down to what’s more important to you. The performance and safety of your WordPress website, along with the full support of a team of experienced staff, or what bang you can get for your buck.
At Pressidium we’ll never claim to be the fastest and we don’t make grandiose statements such as “your site will have 100% uptime” because realistically that’s impossible. What we do promise however, is that as a customer you’ll always receive the best security, speed, performance, price and support that’s within our power to offer.
We’re building a revolution founded on honesty, experience, quality and transparency.”
So, what are you waiting for - Join the Revolution Today!
Wrapping Up The Series
I sincerely hope you've enjoyed the WordPress Web Hosting Series - I've had great fun doing it!
Special thanks to all those who have contributed along the way:
- Mark Conger
- Adam Connell
- Ashley Faulkes
- Jan Koch
- Eddie aka Broke Bloke
- Vinay Kachhara
- Richard Martin
- Ron Killian
We've touched on a lot of points throughout the series, here's some highlights:
- The start of my journey with the demise of Bluehost
- The different types of WordPress Web Hosting
- The Tradeoffs of Managed WordPress Hosting compared to Shared Hosting
- The good, bad and the ugly hosting experiences of the Magnificent Seven
- Reaching the summit on my journey with the Pressidium Pinnacle Platform
Tell me what you think in the comments below:
- What have you learnt in this series?
- Do you have any questions or have I covered everything?
- When are you going to get your website running blazingly fast on the Pressidium Pinnacle Platform?