Important changes to your WordPress hosting

Photo credit: JimmyDominico on Pixabay.
Photo credit: JimmyDominico on Pixabay.

Over the last few months, we’ve been working hard with our hosting partner WP Engine to ensure that the service we offer is as stable, robust and effective as possible.

Some of that work has been reactive. For example, in December WP Engine were forced to migrate some of their servers between infrastructure providers due to denial of service attacks on Linode. That’s resulted in changes to the IP address of the servers which WP Engine use to host Pragmatic’s sites.

Other work has been proactive. We’ve been looking at how we can undertake the monthly maintenance cycle in a better way, how we can ensure that we’re making the best use of the sophisticated tools available on the WP Engine platform, how we can give you the best experience of working with staging sites, and how we can work with WP Engine to improve, mitigate or work around limitations of a managed hosting environment.

So, here’s the plan:

  1. We’re migrating all sites to the latest, fastest servers that WP Engine can provide.
  2. We’re investing in more servers and will re-distribute sites amongst the servers – and then limit the number of sites per server – to ensure the sites we host always have enough server resources.
  3. We’ve introduced a DNS management service.
  4. We’re going to stop using standalone staging sites for routine maintenance and instead, use the WP Engine staging site system.

These are the benefits of the changes to your hosting service:

  1. Faster, more stable sites.
  2. A more robust and predictable maintenance cycle.
  3. Less hassle for you if and when your domain’s DNS needs updating.
  4. A better DNS service.
  5. No overall cost increase for hosting – although this blog post will tell you how the cost structure is changing.
  6. No planned downtime during this improvement work (provided you choose to use our new DNS service, or make updates yourself in a timely manner).
  7. Better access for you to use the WP Engine staging facility.

What you need to do:

The only required action on your part is to decide whether to use our managed DNS service or to make some DNS updates yourselves. Either way, your DNS needs to be updated to use the new IP address(es) for your site(s) by Monday 11th April 2016 or your website’s availability at your domain name will be affected.

What next?

We’re currently working on further improvements to the way that maintenance runs. Here’s what we’ve got in the roadmap:

  • Automated testing
  • Version controlled updates
  • Just-in-time staging site creation so your staging site is always a super-recent snapshot of your live site

Don’t worry. We’ll be in touch individually to talk through your options and keep you posted as this work progresses. But if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us and we’ll be happy to talk this all through.

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