My honest opinion and initial thoughts on the new SpinupWP cloud-based server control panel service from Delicious Brains.
If it sounds like yet another company jumping into the control panel webhosting game, yes…that’s EXACTLY what it is. Another me-too business venture by a company hoping to make a splash in a yet still emerging market.
I heard some great things from other folks and figured it was time to try it for myself. I paid the (introductory) $9 rate and was up and running in 15 minutes!
Some background on the control panel industry
Seems like everybody is jumping in on this trend. Tons of users are still leaving shared hosting but aren’t quite sure where they’re headed….managed hosting? VPS? Cloud panel?
It used to be that newbies leaving shared hosting would go for MANAGED HOSTING. And the CLI-savvy folks would go for VPS. But now then the cloud panel guys grew and kept improving and improving to point where we are now:
- Seems like ANYBODY can just run their own VPS using a cloud-panel service.
- Seems like ANYBODY can just start their own passive-income hosting company by putting a simple GUI over generic web stack. *Ha, I’m only half-joking.*
Some background on Delicious Brains
I love these guys. What can I say? They’re a well-polished brand, well-respected and well-received in the WordPress community. They’ve been known for some great popular plugins like WP Offload Media and WP Migrate DB Pro. Everything they do is really well designed, marketed. Great copy, great functioning. Just a super professional company all around. And with cute colors, and quirky *human* personality.
SpinupWP webhosting review
Ok, on to the darn review. Believe it or not, it doesn’t take me very long to review these companies. I’ve probably tried over 100 webhosting companies by now.
The major competitors in this market are: Cloudways, RunCloud, GridPane, and a bunch of other similar copycat ones I don’t bother mentioning. I’ll do a full review comparing them together later on.
SpinupWP’s marketing is pretty good. The design and copy makes you feel anybody can start running their own little web server and all issues will be resolved. They position their product as the perfect answer to MANAGED (SHARED) HOSTING and UNMANAGED VPS HOSTING.
There are a few little things cleverly left out of their marketing but I’ll pretend not to notice.
Support…they conveniently left that out. If you need tech support, I suggest you turnaround right now.
$12/month for the basic plan, allows one server and unlimited sites. But currently still at the $9/month introductory price. I provide the competitors pricing for contrast:
- SpinupWP – $12/month for 1 server, $14/month for 3 servers, $29/month for 3 servers (and have team members). Every extra server is $5/month extra.
- RunCloud – $6.67/month for 1 server, $12.50/month for unlimited servers, $37.50/month for unlimited servers (and have team members).
- GridPane – $30/month for unlimited servers, $100/month for unlimited servers (and have team members), $300/month for unlimited servers and extra goodies (premium themes/plugins, whitelabel, etc).
- Cloudways – servers are priced by size. Basically, whatever your server costs…you pay anywhere from 10-100% premium of that server cost.
I’d say SpinupWP’s pricing is great if you have 1-3 servers but kinda pricey if you want to run many.
The installation part of cloud panels is so crucial to me because I have to absolutely believe that average-ish person can install that new web server without having to muck around the command line.
For this task, SpinupWP almost gets the task done but fails at one place:
- It’s only easy if you’re using Digital Ocean server.
- Try using any other VPS provider and you’re bound to run into little issues like non-standard SSH ports and what not.
I’m no CLI-junkie but can get around the command line. Despite my near-everyday use of the command line, I was surprised at how unable I was to get SpinupWP working on another VPS provider. For this, it gets a big FAIL from me. I kinda don’t like Digital Ocean and to be forced to use them when all other cloud panels work just fine elsewhere is lame.
With that said, I have to be fair and say that those who like Digital Ocean won’t notice this stickler at all. They’ll love it and walk away thinking SpinupWP is so easy.
User interface & Features
Ok…there’s clean and simple…and then there’s empty. SpinupWP is the latter. No file manager, no phpmyadmin. I think it’s even insulting in them trying to play it off like it’s for security reasons. What I really think it is…is them just trying to push the product out. There’s basically like 5 things you can do… start a new site, change your SFTP password, enable SSL/HTTPS, backup, change PHP version. It is VERY empty. Sure if all you have are some simple sites and you don’t need to create more FTP accounts for other developers, don’t need to look at your database, basically don’t need to do ANYTHING beyond the most basic functions, SpinupWP is fine.
But for me…it’s a flaming no. I need a file manager, phpmyadmin. I’m not gonna play that silly game of buying a supposedly-simple service which misses even the most simplest functions of a control panel. When it comes to control panels…their UI and FEATURES go hand in hand. After all, the point of a control panel is so that you don’t have to do anything in the command line. By that logic, SpinupWP fails miserably.
Last chance, you guys!
I ran the tests and their performance was PRETTY GOOD. Not great. Better than average. Good enough to handle a decent amount traffic but still a good 10-20 from the top-tier NGINX stacks I’ve seen out there.
Order of FASTEST-to-SLOWEST:
- GridPane > SpinupWP > RunCloud > Cloudways.
In my opinion, SpinupWP is best for a developer just needing a place to stash low maintenance sites without giving anybody else access. The performance is good enough but the UI is nowhere near useful for everyday tinkering. I think anybody with serious production or development sites would be better with RunCloud or GridPane. Newbies wanting more tech support can go with Cloudways.
Knowing how this company is…I think they’ll add more features and raise their pricing to the premium point. Their strength in the future probably won’t be performance, it’ll be in their clean UI design.
Many people DO like SpinupWP
Let’s not forget that many people do like SpinupWP. If you’re just looking for a clean upgrade from shared hosting or “managed hosting”, SpinupWP fits the bill perfectly with its ease-of-setup and overly simple UI. It makes you think running VPS and hosting WordPress is really that easy. Just pick Digital Ocean, and everything falls together so seamlessly.
The only ones who might not like SpinupWP are basically power users (needing more convenient developer-friendly options), or anyone wanting to use another VPS provider. Their pricing maybe a turnoff as well.
I noticed that you are not naming serverpilot anymore.
Is there a reason for that?
I just don’t list it much because I think RunCloud is same thing but better in every way. With that said, I haven’t tested it recently…so I guess I should probably do that. 🙂
I’ve been hosting my personal sites since 1998. I am an IT professional in UNIX since 1989, today I do cloud automation using various tools like terraform, ansible, and standard scripts. For me I picked SpinupWP because it works. And I like the simplicity. The price is right and anything they don’t do, I can do on the command line. I’ve wanted to write a control panel as well, but after finding them, I may keep that on the back burner. Thanks for the review of the others and the comparison.
Oh, and I deploy on google cloud platform without issue with SpinupWP. I like the integration with let’s encrypt, and I do like the advanced features added in the nginx config.
Yeah, SpinupWP is great if you have command line skills. For everyone else, I think they’re too bare (missing features). Feels like trial software.
My challenge is how to move…. the stress i don’t have strength for
Not very hard. We move as many as 100+ sites in one week. How many sites do you have on one server?
So I saw this and now it’s got me thinking between this an RC. So does SWP have as many options that CW does? Can you change the PHP limits, etc without going the command line? I only need 1 SFTP user so that fine. From what I saw in your video it looked baron (literally). And for the money it seems the Vultr offers a better VPS (adding an extra 1TB of Transfer) compared to DO. But for the sake of setup is it worth it? What are your thoughts as I have found CW doesn’t fit the bill at their $20-$24/mo price. All these choice and I’m finding out VPS isn’t all it’s cracked up to be unless you got $150/mo to drop.
I don’t like SpinupWP, very plain UI with many functions missing. You’re welcome to try it and see if it fits your needs. I’m not sure about changing PHP limits from their panel but I think it should be possible (try it and see). I like Vultr over DO because of performance and company history. If CW doesn’t work for you, try another. VPS are great when done right. Their cost depends on what you want with it….UI, support, high-performance stack, etc.
Thank you for this review! So much to take.
We’ve started using Spinupwp for over half a year. So far, so good. First, we started with a Vultr VPS, and then added a Lightsail.
Anyway, we came across this review after reading your other review about WordPress cache as we need one (finally Swift Performance Lite works well) on top Spinupwp caching system.
Haha, that’s awesome news! Glad it works out for you.
Do you run Swift Performance Lite on top of spinup WP cache?
We use Swift Performance Lite on top of SpinupWP Cache plugin on one of our 2 sites on Lightsail. It’s a small site, though. Still keep monitoring and see the difference from the others that don’t run Swift Performance Lite.
Hey Johnny – just bringing this thing we’re building to your attention. We used SpinupWP for about a year but quit it because of the lack of 24×7 support. We tried a couple of the other services too and quit them for various reasons. But we LOVE the idea of being able to manage WP specific servers across multiple clouds without spreadsheets to track things and without needing the command line for every thing.
So we built out something a little different – we built a similar dashboard as a WordPress plugin.
Would love to have you check it out at https://wpclouddeploy.com (or we have a hosted version on a multi-site install at https://fireupwp.com). Just let us know and we’ll get you free versions of either one to try out and see if comes closer to what you’d be looking for in your ideal world.
Given the improvements Runcloud has made would you say the order of performance (GridPane > SpinupWP > RunCloud > Cloudways) has changed?
I put SpinupWP at the very end of those. It may be good performance but I hate that empty UI and pricing.
Unreliable. I’ve been using Serverpilot.io for several years, however I liked some of the features that Spinupwp had to offer, so I thought I would give it a try.
My servers have been down several times and backups fail continuously. All my servers are on Google Cloud and use the same setup.
I have never had any server problems or downtime in over four years with Server Pilot. Not once.
So, I am moving back to Serverpilot.io and staying.
ACK…I’m sorry to hear that but so glad that you shared, Robert. As much as I love Delicious Brains, I never saw them as a devops-minded company. That SpinupWP just seemed like a jump-on-the-trend move to me. And your experience confirms it. Funny I still have not personally tried ServerPilot much. I ought to review more in-depth at some point.
Spinupwp is quite affordable no doubt, but an upgrade in their services won’t be bad. So far it hasn’t met good standards and performance but I see them fixing it up and coming out as the best as I love their platform.
Thanks for taking the time to do this review, which I feel is unbiased. I’ve been researching VPS options for a little over a week to decide if I want to migrate myself and my clients over to this sort of platform. Of course, SpinupWP was a contender. They almost got me on the hook as I began to see developer after developer recommend it. But your review exposed what I’ve been trying to find out for the last several days – what does the UI actually allow you to do. And, based upon what I’ve read here, it won’t fit my needs. Like you, I would like to have a more robust control panel also. If this doesn’t have it, then I guess I’m moving on to find another solution. Thanks for this and the other recommendations. Checking into GridPane now.
I’m glad it helped you, Katrina. Hope you find one you enjoy.
Check out SpinupWP again. Their pricing/offerings/features have changed. Checking them out now and looks much better than this article suggests.
Their pricing got higher for sure…but am curious to know what features/offerings got better to you.
Yeah, their pricing is $12 + $5/server after that.
Stuff that looks like it has changed since:
– Site cloning on and between servers (love this since I have my starter site ready to go to spin up new sites)
– Controlling backups inside of SWP (view, restore, delete, schedule)
– Purge cache through their plugin
They are coming along, but like you mentioned, more features for their increase in price would certainly be welcome… :/
Thanks for your detailed list, Zack. I’ll update this guide at some point.