Hosting on WPEngine
Create an account on https://wpengine.com and pick a plan - an annual $300+ expense. See https://wpengine.com/plans
You have the choice between a single instance and a multisite instance.
A single instance is fine if you have one team in one location.
You'll want a multisite if you have multiple teams, multiple locations, or need more control over who has access to what. We suggest using the subdirectly multisite install instead of the subdirectly install. The main benefit is that you can use one ssl cert for the whole site.
We recommend starting with a multisite. This makes it easier to add instances later as your ministry grows.
Any plan is good for the single site. For multisite you need to start with a plan that supports the "WordPress Multisite available for purchase" option. Currently starting at the "MANAGED HOSTING PROFESSIONAL" plan.
To use multisite you'll need to first purchase the "Wordpress Multisite" Add-on from Billing > Purchase Add-ons (https://my.wpengine.com/modify_plan). It will cost ~$200 (one time expense).
You now have a WordPress instance at [instance_name].wpengine.com
Purchase custom domain (your-domain.com)
Set up DNS to access your instance from your-domain.com or subsite.your-domain.com DNS instructions?
Download the theme https://github.com/DiscipleTools/disciple-tools-theme/releases/latest/download/disciple-tools-theme.zip - or link to the downloads page.
Log in to your new wordpress instance.
Install the theme (link to how to install themes) Single/Multisite
After your custom domain is set up
Click SSL > Add Certificates > Get FREE certificate using the Let's Encrypt option
If you selected "subdirectory" as you multisite install then it is the same single site strategy.
For "subdomain insteals":
If you add each subdomain to the domains panel then it is the single site process.
If you have many sub-domains and will be adding and removing them often:
- Buy the wildcard SSL cert from WPEngine - an annual $200 expense
Under SSL, select the certificate and choose “Secure All URLs”.
Have a strategy for offsite backups. If WPEngine accidentally deletes your account or it gets frozen (GDPR?) you want to have access to your data. See https://developers.disciple.tools/hosting/backups
Enable system schedule processes:
-We initially had to contact support to disable caching on GET api requests. This has not been an issue recently.
Install the multisite plugins:
Show update notifications if your main site is not an instance of Disciple.Tools: https://github.com/DiscipleTools/disciple-tools-multisite-mu-plugin
Consider using cloudflare in front of your hosting for additional security. Create a free account and point the name servers for your domain to cloudflare.
- WPEngine does have a publicly accessible error log (though you need to know the link to access it). Error logs have the potential to dump personal contact info.
- WPEngine has a small storage limit per account, so don't store a lot of backups locally.
- With a multisite the option “Secure all URLs” with HTTPS does not always work.
- When you want to add another WPEngine instance, you can stay on the cheapest plan and under Billing > Add-ons add a site for $200
- cairocoder01 has instructions on how to expedite setting up multiple WPEngine instances: DT Setup Automation