FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

GENERAL

Why should I run my own servers?

Three reasons:

  1. It is far more secure
  2. It is cheaper
  3. It is more flexible
  4. You get access to far more features and options
How easy is it to run my own server

Its far easier than you might think.  Our plugin makes it easy for you by giving you a familiar graphical interface inside a WordPress dashboard.  

The software stack needed to run a WordPress server is stable, well known and understood by a large number of linux and WordPress administrators. 

And, with the large market-share that WordPress commands, every vendor tests their updates on WordPress before a release.  So you know the server stack is always stable for running WordPress.

Is this really a WordPress plugin?

Yes, it is a WordPress plugin!  Install on an existing WordPress server and use it to deploy and manage servers and sites at any supported cloud provider.

You can also try it out for just $1.00 without installing it anywhere - check it out on fireupwp.com

Do I have to pay for the servers at my cloud provider (eg: Digital Ocean)

Yes, when you deploy a server at your cloud provider (eg: Digital Ocean), you incur charges for that server.  It is billed directly to your account at the provider.  As you might expect, this plugin does not include those charges.

What are the downsides of using this plugin

Ok, so here's the deal.  When you use this plugin you are effectively managing your own server.  If something breaks on your server, you are ultimately responsible for getting it fixed.  

Having said that, obviously we provide technical support.  But if you mess with your server over and above what our plugin does, we will likely be unable to help you.  

(This is the case with any other WordPress management panel such as SpinupWP, CloudWays and GridPane.)

Because we choose to be conservative with our stack, if you really really need to hire someone to fix an issue on your server, it will likely be relatively cheap and you'll still save money over time.

Who should not purchase this plugin?

If you're new to deploying WordPress or this is your first year of working with WordPress, this is probably not the place to get started! 

This plugin is most useful to folks who have been working with WordPress for a while and/or who have multiple sites being deployed to multiple servers - either for their own use or their clients' use.

When you contact us for support we expect that you will know what wp-config.php is, how to use sFTP to view your files and how to use ssh to log into your server console.  We'll walk you through these processes if you ask of course but when we initially respond to a request for help we will automatically assume that you have these skills unless you tell us otherwise.

Note that most WordPress admins have usually picked up these skills after a year or so of working with WordPress before using our product. So for most users it's generally not a big deal and, like we mentioned earlier, we're happy to walk you through these steps if necessary.

How is this licensed? How many servers and sites?

This plugin is licensed per admin user.  

Each licensed administrator can install the plugin on unlimited servers and deploy and manage unlimited servers and sites.

If you're a one person admin for an agency then you only need one license.

If you work for a larger agency with multiple users who deploy servers and manage servers and sites for customer then we request that you purchase one license for each admin.

Note that we do not enforce this license limit anywhere in the plugin code so it's on the honor system.  Chances are that if you have two admins in your agency there is a good chance that you could probably afford to pay for two licenses.

But it's all on the honor system.

How fast are your WordPress sites?

Our sites are plenty fast but not cutting-edge fast.  And there's a reason for that!

You should be very very wary of services that offer "cutting edge" or "bleeding edge" speed.  Its very hard to be on the bleeding edge of technology and have stability as well. 

As you might suspect already, we err on the side of stability!  We'll sacrifice a little speed in order to ensure more stability.

For stability, our sites use a well known technology stack that most admins will recognize:

  • Nginix
  • PHP 7.x
  • Maria DB
  • Optional Redis or Memcached

We do not try to deploy bleeding edge technology so you will not find anything unexpected in our stack.  We don't want you to be on the hook for stuff that no one else understands!

For 95+% of the sites that admins deploy, this stack works well, is familiar and is more than fast enough.

Here's a write-up on some performance statistics for a site that was moved to the WPCloudDeploy stack. 

But, if you do need things like real-time load balancing and scalability, we have you covered with our AWS product - Fault Tolerant WP Scripts for AWS.

Who takes care of server updates?

Most cloud providers automatically install security updates for you. 

For those that don't, we install the standard and well-known unattended-upgrades utility for Linux which takes care of all minor security updates in the back-ground.

Hey, this thing isn't very pretty - it looks like WordPress's admin area. What's up with that?

heh.  That is the point.  It looks and feels just like WordPress and integrates seamlessly into the admin area.

This provides some enormous advantages for integration with your internal, external and customer systems if you're an agency accustomed to writing small plugins.  

For example, you can easily add your own information to the server list screen using standard WordPress admin hooks and filters.  This is because servers are just custom post types.  So are apps.

If you use a WordPress helpdesk such as Awesome Support, you can modify the ticket screen to show the list of servers available for a customer.

Or you can modify this plugins server list or app list screen to show the number of tickets that were opened up against that server / app. 

By keeping as much of WordPress as possible and not building a shiny new UI, we've left in place the opportunity for easy integration with other plugins and systems - using the skills you already have.  You can't say that about a hosted SAAS dashboard!

Competition

How is this better than a traditional WordPress host?

Dedicated WordPress hosts are EXPENSIVE.  For the cost of a SINGLE SITE at WP Engine on their cheapest plan ($25.00 USD per month), you can:

  1. Deploy a dedicated VPS (virtual private server) at Digital Ocean
  2. Purchase this plugin and
  3. Still have money left over.

And, you will be able to install multiple sites on your Digital Ocean server while you will only get ONE site at WP Engine!

The same cost comparison goes for just about any other host such as Kinsta, Pagely etc.

See cost comparisons with three popular WordPress hosts.

How is this better than a hosted WordPress management panel?

It's easy to get started with hosted WordPress management panels.  And, if you love that and its your primary decision criteria for choosing a deployment solution, we are happy to recommend to you our favorite one. 

But even though we have used them (and even continue to use them for some legacy sites), they do have some serious flaws - which is why we created this plugin. 

Here are some things to consider about hosted WordPress management panels:

  1. They can quickly become expensive
  2. You don't really know what's going on behind the scenes or what code is being deployed on your servers 
  3. There are security risks associated with smaller companies
  4. There are business continuity risks associated with smaller companies

Read more about security concerns with hosted management panels.

How does this compare to cPanel, Plesk, VestaCP and similar products?

cPanel, Plesk, VestaCP and similar products are general purpose tools designed to install more than one product on a server.  If you're focused only on WordPress they can be overkill.  But if you plan on running email servers and multiple other product stacks on your Linux server then they are the way to go.   

WPCloud Deploy on the other hand, is focused on WordPress and things related to WordPress.  We aren't going to install a RubyOnRails or Node.JS stack since they have nothing to do with WordPress.

If you are looking for a WordPress focused management panel - that's us.  If you need more than that then those other tools will likely fit the bill.

How does this compare to Cloudways?

This differs from Cloudways in a number of ways:

  • You run this on your own server - this means that you do not have to share your server security keys with yet another third party. This vastly reduces the risks to your servers.
  • Cloudways does not grant you root access to the servers.
  • The servers are not in your name so you cannot cleanly leave Cloudways if you need to do so for some reason.
  • Cloudways marks up the prices of the servers.  For example, a $5.00 server at Digital Ocean will cost you $10.00 at Cloudways.
  • We expose more advanced WordPress management options than the Cloudways Panel.
  • The control panel, like all SAAS products, is "prettier".
  • The control panel is not based on WordPress.
How does this compare to ServerPilot?

This differs from Server Pilot in a number of ways:

  • You run this on your own server - this means that you do not have to share your server security keys with yet another third party. This vastly reduces the risks to your servers.
  • Serverpilot.io charges you as much as $20.00 per server and an additional premium per site that you deploy.
  • You cannot deploy a server directly from the ServerPilot dashboard.  You first have to go to the cloud server pilot dashboard to fire up the server and then connect it via its ip address.  
  • The control panel, like all SAAS products, is "prettier".
  • The control panel is not based on WordPress.
How does this compare to SpinupWP?

This differs from SpinupWP in a number of ways:

  • You run this on your own server - this means that you do not have to share your server security keys with yet another third party. This vastly reduces the risks to your servers.
  • SpinupWP does not expose as many low level options for tuning and tweaking your server.
  • Reliable support is not available over the weekend and outside of normal busines hours.
  • The control panel, like all SAAS products, is "prettier".  We'll admit that we're kinda envious of this - it's gorgeous.
  • The control panel is not based on WordPress.
How does this compare to GridPane?

This differs from GridPane in a number of ways:

  • You run this on your own server - this means that you do not have to share your server security keys with yet another third party. This vastly reduces the risks to your servers.
  • GridPane's stack is very proprietary and a lot of the code has not been audited by third party security firms.
  • The stack can be very unstable at times because they are constantly tweaking it for speed.  If you need the absolute fastest speed possible they are the ones to use - but you sacrifice stability. You're better off just firing up a faster CPU in our opinion rather than risk the stability of the site.
  • The control panel, like all SaaS products, is "prettier" and looks more like what you'd expect from a SaaS product (which we're a bit jealous about).  
  • The control panel is not based on WordPress.