EasyEngine started out great as a fast and practical solution to the self-hosted blogger but with v4, changes were made that not only broke things that didn’t need fixing but overcomplicated them.
The introduction of Docker. Docker on its own is a fantastic approach, containers to minimize threats and keep it all under one nice and tidy package. There’s just one problem…. it isn’t easy. It’s not meant for the regular user and it requires a level of expertise.
My first incident was a zombie container. It was a stuck container, no longer in existence that was preventing the creation of a fresh site. I knew nothing about Docker (still know nothing more than the bare minimum) so I had to reach to my friend who happens to be a software engineer. He was able to diagnose that it was a zombie container, how to nuke it or force kill it and only then was I able to get back to my website.
There was no documentation on how to kill a Docker container from EasyEngine and official documentation was a pain to navigate through because I didn’t even know what I was looking for!
Common bugs that I and others have encountered are addressed but no solutions have been supplied for months. For example, why is there no way to upgrade to the latest PhP module without backing up and rebuilding the site? Why is there no way to disable SSL or temporarily turn it off? Why are there no instructions on how to renew SSL when it is expired? It requires a lot of hoops and loops to even get to a solution.
Due to the fact that EasyEngine has their own way of server management, official documentation from Nginx or server managing becomes null. They use commands such as ee update or ee site create site.com —wp to create a wordpress site.
They started off as easy, advertised themselves as easy and then left us all in the dust in order to potentially appeal to a commercial level. My next choice is Ansible or WordOps (a fork of EasyEngine) and while v4 had its charm and speed, it became too much of a nuisance for me to fiddle and guess what’s going to break next.
This was an incredibly frustrating experience but it did teach me how to backup wordpress manually, without a need for plugins or complications. For those that are still wanting to try out EasyEngine v4, be advised that things will break so constant backups are a must. It is not production-ready by any means and this is absolutely a rant.
Yes, EasyEngine is free but for years I used v3 without a hassle, only the occasional hiccup here and there. Why break something that didn’t need fixing? It was stable and reliable and there was no need for bells and whistles.