Julien Liabeuf

EasyEngine or How I Gained 1s in Page Load Time

July 17, 2016 | 3 Minute Read | 11 Comments

My blog has been hosted on various machines from various providers. It is only recently that I started to aim for performance, though.

For the last couple of years, it has been hosted with EvxOnline. I then switched to a DigitalOcean (affiliate link, direct link available in article footer) droplet with ServerPilot.

While performance was definitely better with DigitalOcean + ServerPilot compared to EvxOnline, I wanted something even faster.

I have had my eyes on EasyEngine for a little while but didn't have the chance to really try it yet. So the day I realized I made a typo in my ServerPilot's app name, fussy me didn't need another excuse to get started with a new stack.

EasyEngine vs ServerPilot

First of all, I need to say that I really like ServerPilot. I've used it for many client and personal projects. It is extremely easy to setup, the stack performs really well, and it keeps your server up to date. If you're looking for good performance without getting your hands too dirty, go for ServerPilot.

If you want to push things a little further however, EasyEngine is, in my opinion, the way to go.

In both cases, I used a $5, SFO1 droplet (512 Mo RAM, 20 Go storage, located in San Fransisco). I also use CloudFlare, even though it doesn't seem to make any difference with my new setup.

The theme I use is exactly the same, as well as the plugins installed.


ServerPilot uses a modern and proven stack: LAMP/LEMP with Nginx as the public facing web server proxying the request through to Apache.

The blog was then loading in 1.7 seconds in average (I didn't do any stress tests, just page load time).


EasyEngine is a bit more complex to setup (actually, it is especially the case when transferring a site, installing from 0 seems pretty straightforward), but it is partly because of the number of options available. It is purely LEMP (no Apache here), although you have the option to install HHVM.

I installed WordPress and got rid of WP Super Cache that is basically replaced by FastCGI. I ran the tests and surprise, the page load time is down to 0.8 seconds! (I know it is not exactly 1 second, but my first tests were showing 0.7s and 1s sounds pretty good :)

GTmetrix Report


Just like I wrote earlier, if you want performance without getting too much in the console, go for ServerPilot. You basically need to copy/paste one command and that's it. ServerPilot will do the rest.

If you want to get high performance and are ready to spend more time in the console, EasyEngine is awesome. With very little customization it performs extremely well. Their site says:

Automatically tweaks server configuration as per available hardware resources

I don't know what this implies exactly, but it seems to be working damn well.

There is one thing I'm wondering about though: how come the performance improvement is that big? I mean, 1 second faster is quite impressive. I'd love to hear more from the EE team :)


Some of the links in this article contain affiliate codes. If you wish to visit those links without my affiliate code, here is it.


That’s really very impressive, Julien. I was thinking of trying EE as many people says it is very good alternative of SP. Thanks for this article which cleared my few doubts. :)

Same here. I heard good things about them before I actually tried. I did not expect such a big improvement. I have always been happy with SP, but if you have the time to put a little extra effort in the server configuration (in my case it was the migration of a multisite with domain mapping and SSL that was annoying) then EE is definitely worth it.

Any chance you have a walkthrough of doing a DO, EE and WP Multisite setup? I’ve been piece mealing youtube vids but i can’t for the life of me get my site right or i do but can’t get my philanthropic.smjegp.com to show as smjegp.org

truly driving me bonkers

Which part is it exactly that you’re struggling with? The WPMS installation of the domain mapping?

Hi, I never saw that you replied. I follow the instructions as laid out by ee but trying to get my subdomains to actually work is just not happening. I actually gave up on it and just started doing single site installs with Let’s Encrypt SSL on it.

Hi Julien, i have been using serverpilot for some time now. but nowadays there is lot of problem of white screen of death on my wordpress install even if i didn’t install or update any plugin/theme. I am thinking of going to easyengine. Thanks for the article and your efforts to share your views.

Thanks for sharing Nitin. May I ask what kind of error you’re getting using SP? I happen to have a possibly similar problem with a site still hosted using SP.

i had been using cloudways for about 6 months and i must say their support was good but my site load time would never go below 2-3 seconds. Then i heard about easyengine and thought of tryng it and guess what the site loads now in mere 0.5 seconds. i will surely say easyengine is best for people looking for managing server for free and i have heard it can easily handle 10k real time user on 10$ droplet of Digital ocean but i m not sure about it.

From what I have been reading, trying to compare ServerPilot and Easyengine is like trying to compare apples and oranges.

Could you explain why it is like comparing apples and oranges?

Are you able to compare EasyEngine with RunCloud? I’m not affiliated with any of these guys, been running a few sites off EE and SP setups, but a few days ago I discovered Runcloud. It offers much better GUI than bother ServerPilot and EE (none..) but it seems like a heavier install than both SP and EE. See, I can run 2-3 rarely visited WP installs on a server with 256Mb RAM on EE, but RunCloud crashes MariaDB on a server with 384Mb of RAM. However, it is amazing for any sort of install, really - Drupal, Joomla, WP and more. File manager is present just like a shared host and lots of other goodies. Free to try too and it is cheaper than ServerPilot, where you have to pay for each server. I’m very interested to hear your thoughts if you decide to try it. Again, not affiliated with those guys, just discovered the service. Thanks!

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