The very first WordPress webhosting and server management plugin ever!
Thank you everyone, you can stop sending me links to this plugin. I’ve known about it for some time now and was reviewing and auditing it. I’ve been sitting in the back quietly observing how the community responded to WPCD.
Make no mistake. WPCD truly is unique…and as with many things that are different, it garners a wide range of reactions from “OMG” to “WTF?”.
I had to set aside my preconceived notions to judge this one fairly.
And here’s what I think…
WPCloudDeploy is a WordPress plugin
WPCloudDeploy is so different from other WordPress hosting solutions because it’s a plugin.
Yes…it’s a PLUGIN! Not a cloud service that runs from a website (like Cloudways.com), or a control panel installed on your server (like cPanel or Plesk).
WPCD is a plugin that installs onto your site. Plug in some API keys from your cloud server provider (Digital Ocean, Linode, Vultr, AWS, etc) and immediately, you can create and manage servers right from your WordPress dashboard!
After you create servers, you can then create WordPress sites on them. You can also create users and decide which sites and servers they have access to. Yes…it’s really cool!
WPCD can manage:
- WordPress servers
- WordPress sites
- WordPress users
- …and even your own WordPress hosting business
If you’re not already spitting out your coffee and falling off your chair, you should be. Because WPCD is that much of a game-changer. Shit like this is exactly what I live for. I love seeing truly unique solutions that change the way we look at problems.
If I could give an award for “Most radical WordPress plugin/service” of the year, WPCD has just won it handily.
Why would anyone ever want a webhosting plugin?
Here are the comments I’ve heard…
- “Never in my life did I expect to see servers as CPT.”
- “I think it’s interesting!”
- “Stupid idea! Massive security issue!”
- And lots of ….“Looks cool. Is it any good?”
- “Oh god, not another cloud hosting service!” (This one was mine.)
Lol. I had only briefly seen it at that moment. It wasn’t until I delved further that I started to see the many things it could do. Let’s just say I went from critic to fanboy in about 8 seconds.
WPCloudDeploy is the webhosting industry’s 1st true WHITE-LABELING solution
It was immediately what came to mind the moment I tried it out. Forget about how the product sells itself. Forget about the usual webhosting comparison criteria (speed, features, ease-of-use)…WPCD got my attention in a very different way! For me, this is easily it’s #1 feature.
WPCD reminds you what white-labeling truly means!
Most webhosting services and panels simply don’t allow (much) for whitelabeling. If you’re an agency reselling Cloudways or cPanel-based webhosting to your clients, you have very little control over the interface and branding. Your clients might not know about the underlying hardware and server stack but they can see right away what what hosting service you’re using. This makes it hard to differentiate your service from everyone else or to build value in YOUR brand. This also makes it hard to prevent clients from scheming to “cut out the middleman”.
For whatever reason, there haven’t been many webhosting services that make it easy for agencies/resellers to switch out the logo and restyle things to their liking. But then I look at WPCD and I realize…
White-labeling is MORE THAN JUST A LOGO!
White-labelling isn’t just about switching out a logo or concealing your original vendor! It’s about providing a unique user experience. And this is what WPCD allows you to do!
It allows you to provide your very own hosting solution to clients. Not just a logo swap but to manipulate the UI, and position features and settings in ways that fit your clients best.
I look at WPCD and can’t help but a see whole new industry of managed WordPress hosting in the making. WPCD is really that revolutionary for me (and even its founders don’t know it).
How WPCD creates many white-labeling possibilities
First off, it’s running off the WP backend. That means you can style it how you like. But also, its servers and sites are using CPT. You can manipulate and arrange this data in a number of ways! This is freaken awesome!
Secondly, you’re not only able to control the panel UI but also the total user experience. How they purchase, they sign-in, how they engage customer support. These are things you would have zero control over with any other webhosting service. Heck, even the “whitelabel-ready” ones out there only let you switch the logo at best. They don’t actually let you redesign the UI.
Third, clients remain on your site the entire time! They don’t get passed around from the main website, to the sign-up site, to the backend site…and back and forth. They get to be in one place. One domain!
If your server panel is running off of WordPress, it theoretically could be extensible with other WordPress plugins, right?!
- What if WPCD could integrate with WooCommerce?
- What if WPCD could integrate with membership plugins?
- What if WPCD could integrate with affiliate plugins?
- Rest API integration?
- Giving remote panel access?
- Mobile app?
These are only a handful of ideas I shot off the top of my head. If I sat here for a week straight, I’d blow you away with a million more ideas. Are you salivating already cuz I know I am!
Complete ownership and no 3rd-party access
Now, this isn’t something I cared about personally but WPCD’s founder is quite proud of it. And was inspired to build his product as an independent plugin because of it. With WPCD, your webhosting infrastructure runs entirely off your servers and accessible only by you. There’s no reliance on any 3rd-party. If you’re looking for complete webhosting control and isolation, this is it!
Managing webhosting functions right from your WordPress dashboard!
I can’t describe the feeling. It’s both new and familiar at the same time. You just click around your dashboard and “look ma, I made a new server!” A few more clicks and there’s a new website. I didn’t have to remember an extra login to some other site. I can write a post, answer comments, check sales, AND managing servers and sites all from one place.
The experience is something like ordering Grubhub for the very first time…doing something from home that you usually had to go out for.
WPCloudDeploy’s best features
These are the features that I think distinguish it the most from other services. Keep in mind that other services may have similar features but they charge much more for it!
1. WordPress UI
Freaken crazy! I never saw anything like this coming but here we are. A webhosting control panel that runs right off your WordPress dashboard. I’ve never seen it before and yet I knew how to use it when I opened it up for the very first time.
So easy to use and so familiar. Familiar to admins, familiar to clients. More than just looking familiar, it FEELS familiar. You feel like you know where everything is because the entire interface is already known to you. You recognize the top bar, left-panel, usual item and button spacing. You know where to expect to look for things. This is different from any other service where you always have to dig around for setting no matter how well designed they are.
2. Customizable UI
It ain’t easy. You have to be a developer to screw with CPTs and data columns but it’s absolutely incredible that you can do it. You can truly design your own custom webhosting panel with WPCD.
- Maybe you want to display more server-oriented details. Maybe you want to display more site-related details.
- Or maybe you just want to redesign the aesthetics (changing colors and such).
- Maybe you want to show more details for pro-users.
- Or you want very few settings for newbie users.
- You can cater your UI perfectly for your niche!
WPCD is a webhosting agency or reseller’s dream. If you’ve been wanting to offer a custom hosting solution to clients, WPCD is perfect for that.
3. Multi-user friendly
This is something that nearly all other webhosting services suck at. Most only allow one user per webhosting account. Which makes it damn near impossible to resell hosting to clients.
Or there’s other webhosting services that do allow multiple users, but they either charge extra for it (costs extra for multiple users) or it’s still a cumbersome process and/or cumbersome UI.
With WPCD, you can easily create new users and give them granular control. For example:
- ADMIN USERS – full rights to create and manage servers and sites.
- RESELLER USERS – can manage only their server, and all their end client sites.
- CLIENT USERS – can manage only their sites.
4. Organizational features
WPCD has some really convenient management features:
- Custom taxonomy & notes – assign tags, custom labels, and notes to each site and server. It’s handy for for sorting purposes or just to have work notes for whatever purpose you want.
- Easy sorting – you can easily sort through your sites and servers using any of the data columns. It’s all CPT, remember? So you can even make your own data columns!
- Custom links – assign one-click links to sites. Really useful for custom admin links, or other related web links.
You can easily run server-sync backups, and quickly swap IP to backup server should the primary server ever go down. Basically, you can use it as an HA solution or as a high-interval backup solution.
6. Server scripting
This one is for the dev-ops people. You can deploy custom servers or sites exactly how you want with their wide range (and still growing) bash scripts. This one alone is pretty awesome. To have your own custom server or site templates is something I’ve dreamed of for a while.
WPCloudDeploy’s standard features
Yes, it can do just about everything other webhosting services can do (if not more). I had to write this or else people will ask me the same basic stuff over and over.
Server management features:
- LEMP stack – Nginx, MariaDB, latest PHP
- Multiple caching levels – NGINX page cache, Redis & Memcache object cache
- SSH root access
- Email relay
- Server firewall security
- Server-sync for High Availability
- Deploy from popular VPS providers – DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, AWS EC2, AWS Lightsail
- Custom server deployment scripts
Site management features:
- Deploy/remove WordPress sites – just 1 click
- Disable sites – just 1 click (would be so cool if there was a maintenance-mode option)
- Caching – enable with just 1 click
- Local and remote backups
- Staging and site-cloning – even across different servers
- Move sites between servers
- Free SSL (Let’s Encrypt)
- Multiple SFTP users per site
- HTTP password authentication
- WP-CLI enabled
- PHP settings – version, options
- Server cron jobs
- Custom server-deployment scripts
WPCloudDeploy VS other managed hosting panel services
WPCD does so much more than Cloudways, RunClound, GridPane, SpinupWP
You can’t compare them. This is actually a frustrating task because WPCD is an entirely different animal altogether. I’ve quit many times while trying to write this review. WPCloudDeploy is just so different in every way. Sure, they do similar things and solve similar problems but WPCD is really a brand new kind of hosting product.
Currently, WPCD’s founder has no choice but to compare his product to the other services but I really think he shouldn’t. WPCD is in a different league of its own. Not better, not worse, just different.
- Other managed panels let you manage servers and sites (to a lesser degree).
- WPCD lets you managed servers, sites, users, and overall UI.
How WPCD is similar to managed panel services:
- They all offer a webhosting service and control panel.
- They all allow you to create and manage web servers.
- They all allow you to create and manage websites.
How WPCD is different from managed panel services:
WPCD is a plugin that you install on your WordPress site. (Yes, I keep saying the same thing.)
And from your WP Dashboard, you manage all your webhosting functions. WPCD isn’t managed from its own website like all the other services. Your entire webhosting operation or webhosting business will be run right from your dashboard!
And this difference alone opens the door for a myriad of possibilities that other hosting services simply cannot do.
WPCD is priced by the plugin, making it much cheaper!
You pay only for the plugin, not per server, or per app, or by server size, or any other arbitrary pricing model. You pay for the plugin and that’s it. No limitations. You can have as many servers, sites, staging sites as you want!
This shouldn’t be WPCD’s highlighted advantage but it is. It really is much cheaper than the other managed server panels, especially if you have many servers and sites.
But do tread carefully. Those other services may have minor things that WPCD doesn’t. I don’t have all day to compare nuances. For the most part, WPCD has everything I think most webhosting clients would want off the bat.
WPCD has different UI style.
Other control panels range between complicated and full-featured to simple but limited. WPCD is a nice mix of full-featured yet simple, familiar AND customizable interface.
Let’s just clarify, you still need some developer skills to completely customize WPCD! Customizing the WordPress backend styling is easy with admin-styling plugins. But customizing the actual data display will require some coding!
Random thoughts about WPCloudDeploy
Performance – how fast is WPCD?
It’s funny that a performance-oriented guy like myself didn’t talk about this much. To be honest, I was so busy playing with WPCD’s features that I almost forgot about its performance. It’s standardly fast. About as fast any typical NGINX stack out there. With that said, its strengths are in all the other things it can do.
Where is the panel site hosted?
This was the “chicken or the egg” thought I had about WPCD. It’s funny because I either have to host the panel elsewhere…or at least deploy the panel elsewhere in order to deploy my servers. And then later (maybe) move the panel back onto one of my WPCD servers.
My suggestions for WPCD would be:
- Create a panel-site script, right on Digital Ocean marketplace.
- Allow some kind of WPCD central-server function – where you can reconnect and re-sync to your servers from any WordPress site with your WPCD installed. But of course, this would go against their “no 3rd-party access” principle.
- Provide a free WPCD panel-hosting service – that any WPCD user can use to deploy initial WPCD servers. But yeah, again it might go against their no-3rd-party principle.
If I were you. Use one of those simple DO scripts to install one WordPress site onto their cheapest droplet ($5). Then load up WPCD there and basically you have your very own cloud server hosting service. Use that one site/server to deploy all your other servers and sites.
I wish there was a File Manager feature.
I totally understand why there isn’t one or why it’s hard to implement one, but this would have been so cool and set it apart from the many cloud panels that don’t have it.
- But then again, you could just go install a File Manager WordPress plugin and that’s it!
“Isn’t running a webhosting panel out of WordPress insecure?”
On one hand, I totally empathize with this concern and recognize validity in it. Running a webhosting panel out of WordPress is to some degree less secure because the platform has many other integrated apps (plugins) each presenting their own potential vulnerability points.
On the other hand, I think whoever said this should be slapped. There are idiot users with crappy themes and plugins and never update them. And then there are experienced developers running multi-million dollar businesses right off of WordPress. (Hello, WooCommerce?!!)
Let’s get this straight…it is WordPress users that are “insecure”, not WordPress. If you’re running mission-critical apps, you should have enhanced security practices.
- Does WPCD open the door for idiot users to wreck havoc? Yes.
- But does that mean experienced developers should be punished and lose out on a great tool? Hell no!
WPCloudDeploy truly is freedom to deploy!
Perfect for multi-server deployments and custom webhosting solutions.
The plugin has been so much fun for me to play with. I enjoyed wasting lots of time with it. Can you run a customized webhosting business with it? Yes. Can you goof around deploying servers/sites left and right with it? Yes, you can do that too! It’s so much fun when the price is so cheap and deploying takes no effort at all.
You can use it as a cost-savings alternative to cloud panels. Or you can go all out and build your own custom webhosting service with it. The more outrageous your custom webhosting fantasy, the more you need WPCD.
The best clients and use cases for WPCD.
- You enjoy the idea of a truly WordPress-integrated webhosting experience.
- You want your webhosting service to have your logo and your UI.
- You want to give site/server access to clients or team members.
- You want to deploy many servers cost-effectively.
- You’re not a total webhosting noob and don’t need much webhosting support.
Get WPCloudDeploy today!
- $149/year for the core plugin (allows only Digital Ocean servers)
- $500/year for all features (all VPS providers, multi-site and server-sync features)
- One month trial costs only $1
- If you stop paying, the plugin still works but you don’t get the latest updates.
John @ S4
Haven’t had a chance to play with this yet, but we definitely will with a $1 trial 🙂
Not exactly the same but have you looked at and do you have any thoughts on CyberPanel WordPress…
“Welcome to CyberWP. Since you arrived here, you might be wondering what is CyberWP? In simple words, CyberWP is a WordPress plugin developed by the same people who developed CyberPanel.
CyberWP is a complete automation solution to sell hosting or managed services on CyberPanel. It uses Woo Commerce on the back end to manage orders.”
I chat with the CyberPanel devs regularly but only about their CyberPanel control panel. I never played with CyberWP or even heard of it. It seems to be still in development. Do let me know if you try it first. 🙂
John @ S4
Yep, it’s pretty unfinished as I understand it. I will take a look sometime soon though and share thoughts. 🙂
and then malware happens… nobody should ever consider this id they value their business.
Malware can happen to any site through a multitude of reasons. Your comment is baseless.
Leif @ CdnGuide
Thanks for the article, I tried their FireupWP service out, just to get a feel for it on a DO droplet with 6C & 8GB just to see if their stack was responsive. I must say I am a bit disappointed, since I have regular shared DirectAdmin hosting accounts for less money that are far more responsive then their service, for less money.
Anyway, thanks for the article, it was some nice hours playing around .. =)
Ps. Have you tried SpinupWP, are there much difference in responsiveness between the two of them?
I’ve already reviewed SpinupWP. I hate it. But with that said, I have several clients and know of many people who like it. I respect the development company behind it as well. I’m shocked to hear you think FireupWP is unresponsive…it’s similar stack to everything else out there. I’m curious to know if you deployed caching and what not but anyway, doesn’t matter.
Leif @ CdnGuide
I did not said it was unresponsive, I said it was not better then some regular shared DirectAdmin hosting account with LiteSpeed that I have and that is far more cheaper.
Regarding their stack, there are diffrent ways to configure a stack, and you of anyone would know that.
And ofcourse I tested with and without their NGINX cache, memcache and so on, bith on and off.
I could have messed with other server settings, but as they provide a easy push-button saas, I really should not have to change anything else then what is available as push-button configurations.
I will test out SpinupWP aswell, to see if they are doing it right, and I´ve been following Delicious Brains developments for a couple of years to now, and I know there are some great coders in that team.
Anyway, thanks for taking the time to answer my comments.
Got it. Thanks for your clarification comment. I agree that you shouldn’t have to play much outside of default configs. It should be nice right out of the box. Pricewise, WPCD is cheaper than DA at scale.
Will WPCloud Deploy work on GridPane hosting?
That makes no sense at all. It does what GridPane does. Or are you suggesting to run the deployment app on a GridPane instance?