I started using WPEngine Sunday December 18th, 2011. Wanna know how I know that? That’s the day after WordCamp Las Vegas 2011. That’s where I was given a free account with WPEngine. They were this new-ish company looking to take the market by storm. The next day I started using their hosting account and the sky was the limit. Now 90% of all my sites are hosted over there. The other 10% is broken up between local hosts and other hosting companies to test performance and debug errors in case of emergencies.
What you didn’t know about WPEngine
They used to do this thing on their Facebook page where they gave away free WPEngine swag. I’ve won things like Pint Glasses, Stickers, T-Shirts and even more hosting. I have 4 pint glasses and when ever WordPress friends come over, that’s all we drink out of. I’ve even had the privilege to meet Several WPEngine employees and they’ve been nothing but super amazing. I meet Austin Gunter in Vegas (New Media Expo), Tomas Puig in San Diego (WordCamp) and Shayda Torabi in Vegas (PrestigeConf). Seriously, they’re super awesome.
Shayda Torabi of WPEngine totally hooked me up with a KleanKanteen with a WPEngine logo on it. She also hooked me up with an awesome WPEngine sweatshirt. Per her words, it’s called a hoodie.
@shaptora informed me, its a hoodie. Not a sweater. Fair enough.
— Russell Aaron (@KrashKartMedia) April 24, 2015
I asked Shayda for a sweater at PrestigeConf in Las Vegas. After showing her a huge collection of t-shirts and glasses, she simply hinted that it could happen. I might be able to get one. Then one day, I get this tweet asking if I got the package yet. I was kind of wondering what was going on. I rolled into work and BOOM, Confetti! WPEngine sweater and KleanKanteen!
WPEngine & WordCamp Minneapolis
When I landed in town for WordCamp Minneapolis, I was totally on my own. I rode the light rail and went all the way downtown. Get to my hotel room and all is well. I should of went to the Mall Of America, but I slept in till 3. I would of ran into all of the WPEngine peeps. I ended up meeting them at the Tacos and Margarita’s party, #WCMPLSTACOS, and the rest of the day was a blast. We went from the pre-speakers dinner to the actual speakers dinner. The Uber driver was laughing at Lisa Sabi-Wilson because she was talking about her GreenBay Packers, while he’s got a Minnesota Vikings emblem in his car. We get to the speakers dinner and things got crazy.
The Minneapolis Speakers Dinner
If you’ve never walked into a room and had everyone focus in on you, I suggest you try it. I rolled in to the speakers dinner with the WPEngine crew. Everything kind of stopped for a second. Eyes darted towards the group. “Who’s that” people whispered. Then the party picked right back up. Dinner was outside in this awesome food truck. We all stood outside waiting for our dinner. Oh yeah, it’ was raining like crazy! We get our food and run in. Eat, socialize and then we all bounce to this ice cream place called Izzy or Izzy’s. Super awesome and one of the best decisions to make when in Minneapolis.
It’s amazing to have friends. Friends in the same industry and friends in the same community. It’s amazing to have people that are just like you. Willing to help in anyway possible and join in on the conversation. It’s also amazing to have friends that give away free swag! Here’s a few pics. Enjoy!