Dieter Petereit June 27th, 2018

Pagely: Managed WordPress Hosting on Amazon Web Services

Dedicated WordPress hosting is the new black. The last five years saw a rapid rise in the numbers of providers that offer WordPress-focused hosting solutions. Pagely sticks out from this competition.

Pagely: The Fast Are The Enemy of The Slow

Why does Pagely stick out from the competition, you will undoubtedly ask. The answer is simple. They have twice as much experience as most of the others. Pagely started working with WordPress as a hosted solution in 2007 already, building a full-fledged business from it in 2009. It’s no exaggeration to say that they inspired a lot of their competitors to even enter the market in the first place.

Pagely: Landing Page (Screenshot: D. Petereit)

You are certainly right when you say that being the oldest one in any business doesn’t necessarily mean you have the best offer. As we have all learned from this new economy, today it’s not the big swallowing the small any longer, but the fast eating up the slow.

I can assure you, Pagely is not one of the slow. Their offers are more than just contemporary, and their expertise can hardly be topped by anyone else. Still, but that’s the case with all WordPress hosts out there, their offers are not for everyone. We see a market segmentation inside the dedicated hosting branch that leaves room for a lot of tailor-made packages.

Is Pagely For You?

That said, let’s determine where Pagely fits in in that world of managed WordPress hosting. Pagely is not for you if you run a small blog with a few hundred visitors a month. I wouldn’t even consider any visitor number that’s not six-figure as qualifying for being served by Pagely. Generally, the more visitors you have, the more resource-hungry services you run, the better suited Pagely’s offers are.

You can certainly run your private blog there, too. But I doubt you’d be willing to shell out the money the smallest plan with its monthly 299 USD would cost you. That’s not to say they are too expensive. It’s just that they focus on page owners that have a particular demand when it comes to performance, reliability and other core features. Pagely even has customers in the 20k USD per month segment.

This is where Pagely sees itself in the competition. (Illustration: Pagely)

Flavors of WordPress Hosting

WordPress hosting comes in different flavors. The only thing all the offers have in common is their dedication to WordPress. Should you be somewhat savvy in handling with the most popular CMS, you can imagine that this is only the lowest common denominator. WordPress hosting is about much more than just running an open source script solution. And that’s where the competition starts to separate into different levels of price and performance.

You can have a WP hosting on a shared server in one single data center location, or you can have your WP hosted in a cloud environment with seamlessly scalable server performance and flexible content distribution worldwide. You can be entirely responsible for all the side aspects of hosting, such as backups, caching, CDN and more, or you can have all these side aspects managed by your chosen WP host, too.

Pagely and the Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Pagely is a provider that takes all the pain points out of running a website. You don’t have to care for anything by yourself. It starts with the infrastructure.

Pagely runs on one of the most massive hardware infrastructures this globe has to offer, the Amazon Cloud. Built on Amazon Web Services, there is practically no limit in what Pagely can do. Even the most performance-hungry services can be reliably hosted.

Hosting is not static on AWS. Should you expect a spike in traffic you can just have your package boosted for a day or two, then fall back to what Pagely calls „resting heart rate.” It’s the nature of the AWS to be scalable in all directions. With Pagely you can make use of this flexibility for your own website.

Look Back in Anger: Cloud Hosting is the Future

I am not afraid to claim that cloud hosting is the future while conventional hosting will vanish over time. There is just no advantage to running a single physical server in a single physical data center location with a single physical network connection to a hopefully broadband interconnection.

I made my own painful experiences when the dot-com bubble burst around the year 2000. My provider went broke and pulled the power switch. I had my own physical server housed there, which was a standard offer these days. So I jumped into my car and drove a few hundred miles, armed with a screwdriver, to pull my hardware out of the data center and drive it somewhere else. I also remember times when harddisks or ram bars failed. This was all in all a very down-to-earth experience. Today, with server instances being mostly virtual clusters of power located here or there, I have much more faith and way less stress.

Depending on what size of a package you book with Pagely you can even determine the data center you want to be located in from thirteen centers around the globe. But even if you don’t, Pagely will make sure that your site is delivered through the fastest path to your customers.

Pagely’s Technology Stack Has You Covered

Pagely operates a full technology stack to ensure your site is fast and secure. This includes many of the side aspects we wrote about in our popular series on how to make WordPress sites blazingly fast. Pagely has put up a full slew of products to ensure you can stay totally calm and focus on the main aspects of your business which will almost never have anything to do with server administration.

Pagely’s Full Stack (Illustration: Pagely)

It doesn’t start with the hosting power of AWS. It starts with their DNS called PressDNS, a layer that has been installed to leverage latency and puts geo-based routing policies into place, reacting intelligently related to the visitor’s location. The PressCDN caches your static assets to accelerate load times. When it comes to the access to your site, Pagely’s Ares Gateway comes into effect. As a Nginx+Lua based platform, it serves as a gatekeeper with PressArmor, their security architecture, and PressCache, their server-level caching mechanism right behind it.

Once on WordPress-level, they support you with a service called PressThumb which dynamically compresses and resizes your images as needed. The single biggest impact on load times is achieved by the proper handling of media assets. Noupe readers have almost been indoctrinated with this wisdom over the last few years.

The PressFormance service is a statistics solution right inside your hosting package. It not only shows you universal analytics but goes deeper into the metrics of your WordPress application.

Running a development instance aka staging is also a service directly provided by Pagely. Backing your site up to Amazons S3 is done automatically. There is nothing left to wish for. Add to that all the bread-and-butter features such as SSL, dedicated IPs, automatic core upgrades and what not and you see a WordPress paradise unfolding right before your eyes. Needless to say that your WooCommerce store will also benefit big time.

Pagely: Customer Satisfaction Through Great User Experience

That’s the purely technical part, but there is still more to it. It’s also about the user experience in itself. Have you ever tried to configure a site using a basic cPanel installation? Have you ever thought that your expertise is twice as high as that of the phone support you just called? If you are in this business as long as I am, all this and more will still weigh heavy on your soul.

Atomic: Pagely’s Comfortable Backend. (Screenshot: Pagely)

With Pagely you can finally free yourself from it. All the configuration work regarding your sites is done via an interface named Atomic which is nowhere even close to the complicated shortcomings of a cPanel backend. Atomic is a joy to use and feels entirely intuitive – which it certainly isn’t. We are talking about server administration in the end. But it comes as close as possible…

The support is done by engineers only. Each support agent can help you with your problem, and the answer you get is a true one. This is at least the aspiration Pagely claims, and from what I read on the web I do not doubt that they live up to it.

Conclusion: Pagely Should be on Your List

The answer to the question of whether you should go for Pagely or not is easy as long as you neglect the associated cost. I doubt that you can find a better service anywhere out there. There will be some that are on par, but a better one will be hard to spot. So, reduced to this aspect the answer is yes.

Still, this doesn’t mean there is not a better one for you and your specific demands or your particular financial capabilities. If your service needs what Pagely offers, all is simple. If you can (or have to) go with less, search on and check the WordPress hosting landscape thoroughly. There is an offer for every need out there.

P.S.: All your Pagely pre-sales questions will be answered here.

(Top Article Image: Depositphoto)

Dieter Petereit

Dieter Petereit is a veteran of the web with over 25 years of experience in the world of IT. As soon as Netscape became available he started to do what already at that time was called web design and has carried on ever since. Two decades ago he started writing for several online publications, some well, some lesser known. You can meet him over on Google+.

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