In my years of web development, hosting has always been a headache. Godaddy, Dreamhost, Bluehost, Mediatemple, Engine Yard, Rackspace… I have been through a few. I just need a web host that isn’t terrible (downtime, customer service), but still takes care of most of the server admin. Maybe it’s too much to ask, but I don’t feel like spending time on installing / upgrading software. That is where WP Engine has fit in. They are spectacular. Security is perfect, uptime is fantastic but what I like the most is personal touch that you get through their communication.
WP Engine has a fantastic function where you can take your entire website and replicate it to a Staging environment (with one click). This replicates the database and all of the files and uploads. It is fantastic, simple to use and perfect for testing your content before pushing it live. This task is accomplished by going to a tab in WordPress called WP Engine. The fear I had with using this tool was that, because it is so easy to use, someone could easily overwrite the staging environment by accident.
So I wrote a plugin called Hide WP Engine Tab which hides the WP Engine tab from all users except a select few. It also has a way to lock the staging environment so that users who attempt to rebuild the staging environment get a notice:
“Staging was locked on 2012-12-18 12:49:20 by admin.
Please contact the web administrator to schedule a time to recreate this environment.”
If you are a WP Engine customer and would like to use the STAGING environment to test content / theme updates / plugin updates before pushing live, feel free to try out Hide WPEngine Tab to easily regulate when that gets rebuilt. You can find the plugin at the WordPress Plugin Directory.