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.