FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

GENERAL

Why should I run my own servers?

Four 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?

It's 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?

This product is intended for users who are ready to step up and learn a couple of new skills.  Going from paying someone a fortune to manage things for you into handling them yourself isn't hard; but it does mean rolling up your sleeves and learning a few new things.

If you're not ready to do that then this product probably isn't for you.

The upside is that the new skills you learn will open new opportunities - for new projects, higher consulting rates and more.

And we're here to help you every step of the way. 

We've made managing your own servers very easy - point and click.  But once in a while you might need to roll up your sleeves to log into the server to edit a few files or tweak a few settings that aren't exposed in the UI - usually these are for clients who have specialized needs.

If you're not used to logging into servers and using the command line to edit files or move files around, then those are the skills you will need to learn.  They're not that hard but it sounds scary when it's something new.

Within reason, our support is free and we'll be your backstop when you need to urgently get things done.  

However, at the end of the day, you should understand that 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.  

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

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 for free.  

Because we choose to be conservative with our stack, if you really 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 customers 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?

The speed of a site is affected many things - the webserver stack probably accounts for, at most, 25% on most sites.  Other things such as the number of plugins, the number of CPUs, the speed of the CPUs on the server, the way the developer architected the site and so on are much greater drivers of site speed.

Having said that, if everything else is equal 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 are some of our articles related to site speed.

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.

SUPPORT

What Level Of Support Is Provided?

Support is provided for every function that the plugin offers.  We will also provide a one-on-one tutorial within 30 days of your purchase upon request - this gets you started off on the right foot.

Some examples of support items that are covered:

  • You are having issues deploying a new server
  • You have questions on installing a new site
  • You need help configuring backups
  • You need help with restores from our backups
What Is Not Covered By Support?

Changes that you make directly to a server that causes something to break is not covered by free support.  However, we do not leave you out in the cold - our paid support option will always have your back.

Some examples of items that are not covered by free support:

  • You added a new software package to the server that added directives to the web server configuration files.
  • You added a new WordPress site manually instead of using our plugin.
  • You need help with a function that is not a standard part of our software stack.
  • Any issue that is clearly related to a plugin or theme.

Plugin customizations are also not covered by free support - though we will make every effort to point you in the right direction.  Customization help is available under our paid options.

Can I Pay a Fee To Get Help With My Servers?

Absolutely!  Our billing rate is $100.00 per hour and you can use that time to make any request that falls outside our standard support.

You can even use us as your full time server manager if you already have your hands full with other client activities.

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.

You would be responsible for any non-security updates - you can trigger the update process at a time of your own choosing.

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 providers' dashboard to create the server and then back to Server Pilot to 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 business 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.