Traffic Planet Hosting Review & Surprising Test Results
I have to admit, I'd never heard of Traffic Planet Hosting until just 24 hours ago. And just a few hours later, here I am, typing up my Traffic Planet Hosting Review.
A lot can change in just a few hours, and with me, it usually does. Continue reading to find out why I just had to change my host, and why you might feel the same way by the time you have seen the results I share below.
TRAFFIC PLANET HOSTING vs WPENGINE
My previous host was WPengine. I had absolutely no problems at all with WPengine, they are a fantastic host with fantastic facilities.
So you may well be wondering why I moved?
Well, I was on the 10 site plan with WPengine, costing $99 a month. But over the past few weeks, I've had some awesome ideas for some additional Amazon niche sites. The problem was where to put these additional sites, because I was on already on my 10 site limit with WPengine.
For a good 3 seconds or so, I considered moving my plan up to the 25 site plan with WPengine. But that would have been a significant monthly increase in costs, as the WPengine 25 site plan comes in at $249.99 a month. Considering that this would be between 20%-30% of my average monthly online income, it just wasn't financially responsible to make this step up.
But just yesterday, the solution landed on my doorstep. A friend of mine recommended Traffic Planet Hosting. I had no problems taking a look at this person's recommendation, not only going on what they have done for his site, but also because I trust him completely. When I landed on the homepage for TPH, I was instantly impressed by what they offered, and a couple of hours later I opted for the 15 site plan at just $49.99 a month.
No, not a typo. $49.99 a month gets me a super fast hosting for 15 sites.
TRAFFIC PLANET HOSTING REVIEW
In this review, you are going to learn the following:
- The sign-up process with Traffic Planet Hosting
- The migration process from WPengine
- The support offered by Traffic Planet Hosting
- Features & benefits of moving to Traffic Planet Hosting
- Test results before and after the switch
- What I love about Traffic Planet Hosting
My Traffic Planet Hosting Review is quite long and extremely comprehensive. With that in mind, here's a quick link menu which will take you to the desired location on the page:
IMPORTANT: PLEASE BEAR THIS IN MIND
I think it's incredibly important to point out that these tests have been carried out versus one of the best known WordPress host providers out there. Make no mistake about it, WPengine Hosting is no slouch on any front. They offer a great all round service, so it was with much trepidation that I decided to run all of these tests on a before and after basis. I truly believed that WPengine would outperform TPH on all counts.
Read on to find out for yourself whether TPH could match WPengine...
ABOUT TRAFFIC HOSTING PLANET
Traffic Planet Hosting has servers in the biggest data center in the world. Located in Chicago, USA, the data center has 1.1 MILLION square feet of data hubs, servers and technology providing data and hosting solutions for some of the biggest companies in the world. The image to your right may look like a church, but don't let the corridors fool you; housed inside this building is your new hosting servers.
And this is what you see when you enter one of the room from the church corridor! Highly sophisticated, super-cooled, lightning fast servers. It takes 8.5 MILLION gallons of water in its self-served cooling towers to keep all this tech cool and running at optimum capacity. Three electrical feeds power the data center, providing 100 megawatts of power to hungry machinery.
Traffic Planet Hosting is built for WordPress. Period. So why does this help? Simple, hosts that are dedicated to providing hosting specifically for the WordPress Content Management System (CMS) are able to add vital layers of optimization to things like caching and MYsQL databases, meaning your sites load faster and are generally more robust than other hosts who don't offer this service.
TRAFFIC PLANET HOSTING - COSTS
TPH has some excellent, highly affordable plans. Bear in mind, I was paying $99 a month to WPengine for a 10 site plan, so it was music to my ears when I saw I could get a 15 site plan for half of the cost with TPH.
Even the business plan at just $24.99 a month is amazing value. If you can afford the $5-$8 a month Bluehost charges, then as long as you have 5 sites or less it's an absolute no brainer to switch for what is essentially a couple of trips to Starbucks.
A couple of things on the feature list to the left made me jump for joy. First of all, they offer dedicated RAM, meaning that RAM is accessible by your sites all the time - a lot of hosting providers cram in a number of customers, and your site performance is often critically dependant on other users and how much they are using. The more people using more of the RAM, the greater the impact it has on your own site performance.
DDOS and brute force protection is a must in this day of age, so the enhanced security offered by TPH was another aspect that drove my decision to change hosts.
Two other aspects also drove my decision. SSD Cached is a lighting fast way of presenting data, because frequently accessed server side data is stored and ready to load in an instant.
Opcode Caching was a new one on me. I'd never heard of it before, but after doing some research I found that it is a way of dealing with PHP and turning it into bytecode. Essentially, it means speed, and lots of it.
There's also a couple of other things that aren't on that list above. First, free migration. Most importantly for me - free migration from WPengine - no matter how many sites I had. this was a huge selling point for me. I shudder at the word migration, because there's so many things that can go wrong. When I moved this blog from Bluehost to WPengine, I ended up paying a freelancer $20-$30 to handle the migration process for me. So TPH offer of free migration from WPengine was a MASSIVE pull for me, if that offer had not been on, I doubt I would have moved just because of the stress I knew I'd be under moving 10 sites across without their expert knowledge (more on migration later).
Second, daily back ups. Your site is automatically backed up to Amazon S3 every single day. It's a huge comfort to know this, especially for people with a lot of content out there.
And lastly, to wrap this section up. EMAIL! A lot of hosting providers don't provide email as standard. In fact, some don't provide email at all (WPengine for example). But TPH does offer email . HELLULUAH! TPH offers email for all sites hosted with them, ending the need for using outside services such as Zoho Mail.
TRAFFIC PLANET HOSTING - SIGN UP PROCESS
The sign-up process with TPH is fast, easy to understand and pain free. After selecting the plan you want to purchase you are presented with just 5 screens.
SCREEN ONE: If you are moving host, then the easiest and fastest way of doing this is to select the 3rd option of a domain update and changing the nameservers yourself. Where it says 'enter domain', I recommend you enter your biggest site here (don't worry if you have more than one site - you only need to enter one site here for the moment). My domains are registered with GoDaddy, and it was easy to go in and change the nameservers and IP after migration had finished. If you are just starting out and haven't got a domain, select the 1st option, and if you want to move registrar, select the second option.
SCREEN TWO: If you are moving host and select option 3, it will actually jump to screen 3. All this screen does is confirm what you are signing up to, as well as showing you what you get (dedicated memory, etc).
SCREEN THREE: Which is actually screen 4, this is where you enter your contact details (not shown), choose your TPH login credentials and decide how you're going to pay. For me, a great option is Paypal. The majority of my income comes through Paypal, so it was a welcome option. (WPengine payments are card only - another reason to move).
FINAL SCREENS: The last screens are going to your chosen payment processor, accepting terms etc. Once finished, I got an email immediately telling me that my account and hosting had been set up. I was ready to go!
MIGRATION PROCESS: WPENGINE TO TRAFFIC PLANET HOSTING
If you are a WPengine customer (or on any other hosting platform) and want to move to Traffic Planet Hosting, then you'll be pleased to know it's a walk in the park.
Once you have signed up and logged into your TPH dashboard, all you need to do is open a ticket (I suggest using the heading 'Migration Request from -host name-').
In that ticket they need just 4 things:
- Current host username and password.
- Site URL's you want migrating
- Admin usernames
- Admin passwords
No FTP credentials (which I was dreading), no hoops to jump through. 4 pieces of simple data is all they need. Once I got all of that data on the support ticket and submitted it, it was then just a case of waiting out.
Which leads me onto my next point - how did TPH handle my support tickets and migration request....
CUSTOMER SUPPORT EXPERIENCES
To start the migration process, I had to open a ticket as explained above. Here's a screen of my ticket and the response (I cut off the bottom of my ticket as it obviously had all my logins on there!):
I don't need to say anything else about this - the image above shows a clear response with an outstanding response time of 1min 34secs.
So how long did it take for TPH to migrate all of my sites? On their support page, it says all migrations will be complete in under 24 hours.
As you can see from the support response, migration of all 10 sites took around 11 hours to complete. This was absolutely no problem at all, because none of my sites experienced any downtime at all. Neither will yours, as long as you don't change any nameservers before TPH gets back to you and tells you to change them. All in all then, an excellent, pain free experience, which is just how it should be.
TRAFFIC PLANET HOSTING - YOUR DASHBOARD
The dashboard is quick, user friendly and easy to understand. A quick navigation menu on the left lets you access all the important stuff.
Adding a new site to your plan is easy. Two screens. First, add the domain (or subdomain) URL you want to install.
Then select the website you just added from the drop down list, and click 'Install WordPress'. Truly a 1 click install process.
Want to add a new email? It can't be any easier than this:
In summary, the dashboard area is easy to understand, easy to use and has everything you could possibly need with 1 mouse click. If you've ever seen dashboards on other hosting platforms (cluttered, difficult to navigate and unsightly) then you will appreciate this dashboard greatly.
SPEED TEST: WPENGINE VS TRAFFIC PLANET HOSTING
Now for the most important data. Here's the data I recorded before and after moving from WPengine to Traffic Planet Hosting.
Once again, I reiterate: WPengine is no slouch by any means. I didn't expect much from these tests (in fact, at worst I expected these tests to show WPengine ahead in the speed stakes, and at best, I expected the results to be a fairly even match).
Here's the results from Pingdom, Google Speed Test, and Load Impact. All links for these free services are below.
I decided to run 3 tests, with WPengine and Traffic Planet Hosting, using Pingdom with different server locations. I chose Europe (where I am based), the USA (where 77% of my traffic comes from), and Australia. Here's the results:
TRAFFIC PLANET HOSTING
PINGDOM - MY ANALYSIS
Anyone can test their site speed using Pingdom at http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/ - it's free and provides some useful data.
As you can see, the results are quite astonishing. I'm especially pumped about the increase in load times in the US (as that's where the majority of my traffic comes from). In general, load times have dropped right across the board once I switched to TPH, which surprised me given the fact that I am paying a smaller monthly fee for more sites with TPH.
PINGDOM - MY REACTION
Yes, I got a little excited when I saw these results....
GOOGLE PAGE SPEED RESULTS
2 tests here, desktop and mobile speeds, according to Google Page Speed.
TRAFFIC PLANET HOSTING
GOOGLE PAGE SPEED - MY ANALYSIS
Again, another gain on WPengine, an overall increase of 5 points. I'm absolutely ecstatic with these results. There's nothing better than getting confirmation of the speed of your site than from the horse's mouth.
Test your speed for free using: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
GOOGLE PAGE SPEED - MY REACTION
Again, I couldn't contain myself at the results I saw...
LOAD IMPACT TEST
TRAFFIC PLANET HOSTING
LOAD IMPACT TEST - MY ANALYSIS
You can try the load impact test for FREE at https://loadimpact.com/
Not a huge difference, with both hosting providers handling multiple visitors well, without any huge differences in load times. But remember, I'm paying LESS for MORE with Traffic Planet Hosting vs WPengine.
LOAD IMPACT - MY REACTION
I was so happy, I just got groovy baby...
I can only really sum up Traffic Planet Hosting in one way; it's champagne hosting at lemonade prices. My sites run faster than they did on WPengine (backed up by the 3 independent speed tests I did above) but in general they also feel faster. Forget the tests, just navigating around the admin dashboard of my installations is noticeably faster, meaning I can get more done in less time.
I'm thoroughly recommending Traffic Planet Hosting to everyone. I couldn't do that with WPengine, because the costs were just too high even at entry level. But TPH is honestly suitable for everyone - 5 sites at $25 a month won't break the bank, and will probably lead to more leads and conversions for your website. Your visitors don't want to wait around for a slow loading site, and that's the bottom line here: TPH will supercharge your speed and load times at an extremely reasonable price.
And the good news is that I'm saving $600 a year vs WPengine costs. The only bad news though is that I've got more money to spend on an endless amount of Apple products, bad shirts and cheeseburgers...