Moving to Google Cloud
If you've been keeping up with our blogs, you know that we recently migrated to WP Engine for our hosting. While WP Engine did fix a lot of the problems we had with GoDaddy Managed WordPress Hosting, moving to WP Engine brought new problems.
WP Engine is moving to a new network layer of security that comes with features that aren't really features for us. One feature, Cloudflare Polish, strips metadata from images to make the files smaller and load faster. This is not actually a feature for us because we utilize metadata as part of our SEO strategy. While fast load times are important, there is a balance to be made between speed and things like metadata, but also media such as video, background textures in the styling, or other things that website visitors enjoy.
Required Changes to Software
Now that we are managing the server instances ourselves, we need to replace some of the functionality that was provided as part of WP Engine's services, such as mail functionality for contact forms and security.
Meet WP Forms
WP Forms provides a plugin for customized forms and extended functionality, such as logic in forms, and another plugin for SMTP functionality. We will begin providing the premium version of this plugin to our clients sometime later this year. For now, we are installing only the SMTP plugin offered by WP Forms to provide immediate email functioning for websites.
Update: The rollout of WP Forms Premium to all managed websites is planned for later in 2023.