Configuring WPEngine for WooCommerce

Many people underestimate WooCommerce. Internally, there’s a lot going on. It’s frequently disliked for a lack of full-featured e-commerce functionality. People don’t often realize how many potential issues can arise when using numerous plugins to add to default WooCommerce functionality. One of the biggest issues is the difficulty in finding a reliable host for a WordPress site that has WooCommerce on it. This requires some research, and a bit of compromise. You really get what you pay for when it comes to hosting.

At Curious Minds Media, we have an Agency Partnership with WPEngine – a platform-as-a-service (PaaS), that specializes in providing the infrastructure for WordPress sites to operate at their peak efficiency, with reliable uptime and support. When recommending a “host” for a WooCommerce website, we first look at where the current site is hosted. Quite often, we recommend people move to something like WPEngine, or at the very least, a VPS or dedicated server.

WooCommerce requires a few key things that one might not consider when setting up their site, especially for the first time.

WPEngine, and a Few Key Factors

WPEngine’s plans start with three tiers, which are all based on the same shared environment infrastructure. They all run off the same type of hardware. The key differences between the price points are the amount of sites and traffic you can have, and disk space, as well as a few other things which we will discuss in future articles.

Their dedicated plans are much more expensive, but for good reason. You get the same platform that so many other sites depend upon, but with a dedicated plan, you get exclusivity. With a shared plan, you have to share the resources available with other accounts. But a dedicated plan gets you the full resource allocation on that dedicated instance. We find many WooCommerce sites go in the direction of a dedicated plan for this reason.

All this being said, there are a few key factors that might require your attention when dealing with WPEngine, and setting up a WooCommerce site.

– WPEngine uses Varnish, a caching mechanism which can cause many issues on WooCommerce sites, as well as any other sites that contain URL tracking, analytics, and any other general interactivity on the site.
– If on a shared plan, high traffic hours may need close attention, with a re-evaluation of the site’s performance, and whether or not any server errors are occurring. This might indicate the need to switch to a dedicated plan.
– Configuring SSL properly, ensuring that no mixed content errors are occurring on your site and that URLs are set properly.

What can We do to Ensure Nothing goes Wrong?

Hiring the right company for the job is a huge factor. Not everyone knows how each individual hosting company works, and some are pretty exclusive. At Curious Minds Media, we’ve worked with just about everything you can think of. We’ve worked with PaaS companies such as WPEngine, Pagely, and Heroku. We also have experience with generic shared, VPS and Dedicated hosting companies such as BlueHost, GoDaddy, InMotionHosting, HostGator, etc.

We help select the right host for the job. In addition, we ensure that your WooCommerce site is set up and configured properly on the host you’ve selected. We can also assist in migrating your site from your current host, to a new service that will better support your site.

WooCommerce, or e-commerce in general, is widely considered a type of platform that requires a high level of service, high priority in terms of resources, and a great deal of attention. From site creation to support and maintenance, we’re your one-stop-shop for Website development services.

– A higher amount of horsepower to ensure e-commerce functionalities can be supported
– A stable, secure platform with SSL set up
– A theme that supports WooCommerce, either pre-built or custom made
– Many more third-party integrations, such as payment gateways, shipping plugins, and various modifications to WooCommerce to support your business model

About Curious Minds
We are a web development firm in New York and Chicago, providing development resources and consulting for websites and mobile apps since 2004.