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WP Engine closes $1.2M round of funding – the WP Engine that does!

The WP Engine that does, and then some

We’re sure you’ve noticed the lightning fast speeds over the past several weeks at AGBeat, and we’ve been itching to give you the dirt- and now we can. We were previously powered by Site5 on a VPS4 and it simply crumbled under the weight of our traffic spikes. Frustrated and dredging through the slog and endless circle of support blaming plugins that were not even in operation, WordPress itself, and anything else they could, we finally threw up our hands and set out to find something more powerful, and a system that simply gets WordPress done.

We had heard of WP Engine before here in Austin, but had gotten the impression that it might not be substantial enough to handle the types of traffic and systems we run. Since WP Engine is local to Austin I gave the guys at WP Engine a call, and within a minute set up the account online and within the day our pals at Displet migrated our system over for us. Over the next several days what you experienced at AGBeat was a very methodical crunching of our entire system into an efficient backend operation. How, you ask? We’re literally completely managed by the WP Engine team.

The following day, I got a call from Jason Cohen, CEO and Co-founder, where we discussed my initial impressions of WP Engine, only to learn that their entire philosophy of hosting is different from any other service we’d ever experienced. Jason explained to me that they wanted to be small, work up gradually, and maintain their focus on efficiency. More than monitoring, he explained the curated plugins unique only to WP Engine, and the removal of the guesswork that goes along with the plugins you download, upgrades you perform and remain a click and go system that allows you to keep ownership of your web property but having a team of WordPress pros constantly monitoring your WordPress install for inefficiency and notifying you immediately if not just simply taking care of it for you depending on the issue.

WP Engine continues to allow their clients to use any theme they desire as well as any plugin and because they are the known experts in WordPress, they can identify problems unlike any other host- I’m speaking from experience and essentially telling you that if they can handle AGBeat, they can definitely handle your WordPress install. They don’t require a long term contract, rather offer month to month payment without locking in and they offer a 15-day free trial for any sized site (“even into millions of page views”) with monthly plans start at $50 per month.

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And so you know, I’m sharing this with you because this company has treated us as if we were CNN, and has continued to since the day we landed at WP Engine. We’ve had zero downtime in the nearly three weeks we’ve been at WP Engine. Our dashboard is faster, our editing is faster, especially when you consider up to ten writers may be operating within the editors at any given hour, including during peak times- and that’s saying something. We’re not looking back, because WP Engine is designed to allow us to spread our wings and do what we do – bring you the stories, quickly.

I’m happy to announce along with WP Engine’s new round of funding that WP Engine is fully managing our entire infrastructure at AGBeat, and if you run WordPress, you probably should too. You’ll find their presser below prepared by the AGBeat staff writers.

All the best,
Benn

WP Engine’s new $1.2M infusion

WP Engine has announced the closing of their $1.2M Series A round of venture financing, led by Silverton Partners in Austin (which includes angels Loic Le Meur, Jeremy Benken, Eric Ries and others). Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com also invested, which to us is the loudest endorsement of their product possible. Automattic has also named WP Engine as the launch partner for their VIP Support for Web Hosts program.

WP Engine CEO and Co-Founder, Jason Cohen said in a statement that this round of funding will allow the company to recruit for and scale its product and customer happiness teams, “which are comprised of the very best WordPress developers and consultants” as well as forge new partner relationships with other WordPress service providers.

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WP Engine features and growth

WP Engine is only a year old and already has an install base of over 30,000 personal and professional WordPress blogs and leads the managed WordPress hosting segment with the fastest page-load times and offers managed CDN, full daily backups, a free staging area and theme/plugin consultation.

“WP Engine was founded to be the fastest and easiest way to keep your content or commerce-based blog up and running at optimal speed,” the company says. Features the company emphasizes are page-load acceleration, top tier security and immediate resolution of any breach, scaling through spikes, theme and plugin consulting, and single click staging and backup.

“We’re devoted to providing the absolute best customer service and the investment from Silverton allows us to expand the WP Engine platform with the right people to support our growing customer base,” said Cohen. “Our roadmap balances building out the features, add-on services and high-touch support teams that customers ask for the most, while avoiding services creep, which is critical. We want to remain the fastest and simplest WordPress hosting company, period. Trust in this business is everything.”

“We’re excited to add WP Engine to our portfolio of leading Texas technology companies,” said Kip McClanahan, a Partner at Silverton. “WP Engine is helping to build out a high-touch platform and services ecosystem for bloggers and consultants, so everyone can focus on what they do best. There is a big opportunity between the plethora of lightweight, downstream hosting companies that casually talk about WordPress on their marketing pages, and Automattic’s VIP program, which is for only the largest sites and services. WP Engine is for anyone who is serious about WordPress, but not yet ready for VIP.”

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Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network. Before AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation has received the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular offline events. He does not venture into the spotlight often, rather he believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits and develops, so he gives all credit to those he's empowered.

33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. fredromano

    November 21, 2011 at 10:13 am

    $50 a month? That's seems like a hefty price to pay for hosting. I think I pay $280 for 24 months of Hostmonster service (with an SSL certificate) and they do a great job for my WordPress powered real estate listing site. They also have US based tech support! Granted I may not get as many "hits" a day as yours, but still.

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