So, I got this email yesterday from WP Engine entitled “Introducing WP Engine’s New Site Monitoring Tool!” and with the subtitle “Get immediate alerts when an issue is detected on your site”.
They Just Released a Website Monitoring Tool?
My reaction: Really… just now… in 2022… you just released such tools?
I Know We Can’t Compete But…
Listen, WP Engine is a big player in the managed WordPress hosting game, and I always like their service. We manage a few sites for clients that don’t host with us and some of them are on WP Engine.
WP Engine provides a great toolset, some cool performance features (caching, etc.) and their support has always been helpful. In fact, many years ago I looked into using them as our hosting partner but couldn’t do it because some of our clients required custom setups that WPE couldn’t support.
So, in short, I don’t dislike WP Engine, and let’s be honest: I can’t compete with them on a broad level anyway, just on a client-by-client basis. They host millions of websites we host 80-100 at any given time.
We Have Had Website Monitoring Tools for over 10 years!
Anyway, here is my gripe… FatLab has had these kinds of tools in place for over 10 years. For 10 years we have had tools in place to do exactly what their “brand new” monitoring tool does. For over ten years now we have monitored the uptime, performance, and stability of our infrastructure and more importantly that of our individual client websites.
They say, “Site Monitoring users gain critical visibility into outages, uptime, and average response times across their portfolio of websites, as well as the ability to link to site-specific access logs when an outage is detected.“, cool but shouldn’t that have been baked into a “managed” hosting service from day one? It was/is in ours!
Avoid Calls Telling You a Website is Down
They go on to say, “If you’re a developer, an agency owner, or anyone else who’s responsible for building and maintaining websites, one of the worst calls you can get is from your boss or a client, informing you that a site is down. ”
We Have Never Waited for a Call
Why would you ever have to wait to get a call from a boss or client to learn a website is down? For as long as I have been hosting websites (even before FatLab), I have had monitoring systems in place to watch over my clients’ websites.
In 2001, honest to God, I carried a pager on my belt that was solely for site and server monitoring alerts. By 2003, I think my Blackberry was receiving website and server monitoring alerts. Today, well today, my phone, watch, desktop, and laptop all start dinging if a potential issue is found, that’s in addition to the alerts our server team gets.
For 10 years now FatLab has strived to provide the best hosting solution we could for our clients and this included robust monitoring and alert systems. It includes systems that allow us to research issues and patch against future issues.
Is “Managed” Truly Managed Website Hosting
What does “managed” even mean?
When we are pitching someone on our web hosting services, potential clients will often bring up WP Engine and I will tell them what I know: Despite being a “managed” hosting company they do very little management of your website. Sure they have automatic software updates, but that is not always a good thing.
Their plans have things like “maximum speed and performance” but don’t tell you what that means. Their plans are built around the number of sites you can host, and their pricing is based on the number of visitors your site receives, the hard drive space it takes, and the bandwidth it uses.
A Different Approach to Managed Web Hosting
At FatLab we simply offer hosting and figure out the best data center, server configuration, and the amount of resources needed for any given client. If they need more resources, we give them more without a change of plans.
Finally… we monitor their sites for uptime and performance… monitoring is not an add-on, it’s part of a truly managed hosting service… and we have been doing it since day one.