A user in a Facebook forum recently asked the question “Why would you use it vs Runcloud or Gridpane” – “it” being WPCloudDeploy.
We realized that, if someone had to ask that question, we probably hadn’t done a good job making it clear how WPCD is different from SaaS type systems.
Or maybe they just never bothered to go through our website.
Regardless, we felt like it was a good topic for an article so here we are!
First, we should note that we have feature parity with any SaaS. Each SaaS might be stronger at some things and weaker at others compared to competitors but overall, we meet or exceed most, if not all, SaaS product features.
So why else would you choose WPCD?
Here are some great reasons:
This is the biggest benefit of using WPCD. With it you have 100% control over the entire stack, including full source code. This means you can customize to your heart’s content.
Whether you like to just tinker, or you want the peace of mind of knowing you’re not dependent on yet another third party service, or you’re looking at a product that you can use as a foundation for a fully custom dashboard for your customers, WPCD gives you the ability to customize in ways no SaaS ever could.
Because you install WPCD on your own servers. With complete access to code that, as a WordPress professional, you already understand how to read and modify.
No SaaS comes close to offering you this level of control.
WPCD is a WordPress plugin which means that you can deploy it in many languages – as long as you’re willing to translate the WPCD text.
An SaaS offering might offer a few languages. Only WPCD gives you the ability to deploy in your own language.
We offer more direct connections to cloud providers than anyone else. And we offer a plugin model to create your own should you have a need to support one of the smaller ones.
Some of our provider connections might be considered too “small” for SaaS products. But because we have a “plugin” model, we can deploy new connections relatively quickly.
We currently offer native connections to the following providers:
- Google Cloud
- Microsoft Azure
- AWS EC2
- AWS LightSail
That’s 11 providers, fully supported. Most SaaS providers can only offer a few of these.
And for the ones we don’t support, we offer a ‘bring your own server’ option – just like any SaaS system.
Because WPCD is a plugin, it is extensible in ways that are only available to WordPress. And we provide examples and articles on how to use that extensibility to make it yours.
As a WordPress professional, don’t underestimate how useful this can be – as time goes on and you use WPCD, you’ll find many ways in which you can continue to personalize it, using just your existing WP knowledge.
Multiple Deployment Options
With your average SaaS product you get one dashboard for all your servers and sites. Not so with WPCD!
With WPCD you can:
- Create a single dashboard for all your sites and servers – this is the most common deployment style
- Create one dashboard for most customers and create a separate dashboard for your higher volume customers
- Create a few installs / dashboards divided among all your customers (helps with disaster recovery)
Or any combination you dream off.
Basically you can create as many individual dashboards as you like, configured differently as needed.
And, just to be clear, even if you have a single dashboard (which is the most common deployment method), you can still offer your customers access to just their servers or sites. You can even have some installs where everything is managed by you and some where you offer access to your customers.
See the flexibility you have?
Backup and Recovery Options
With SaaS products, when the dashboard is down, so are you. If they ever suffer a unrecoverable disaster, you’re going to have an issue. You do not get to have a backup of your own. And even if you did, will you be able to quickly deploy a copy of their entire infrastructure on your own?
With WPCD, you can create backups simply by backing up your WordPress site. No special skills needed!
And, we even offer an easy method to constantly push the critical custom post type data about your servers and sites to another site.
No SaaS offering can come close to matching what WPCD can offer in this area.
And that’s because it’s your product – you own it, it’s data, it’s code and everything else, end-to-end.
There are some features that we offer that no one else can match – because we’re packaged as a WordPress plugin:
- Sell server and site subscriptions with WooCommerce – even if you do not offer these directly to your end customers, you can still use it to help simplify your recurring billing by creating a “purchase” for your customers.
- Mini CRM – assign a notification email to your servers and sites and then create ‘on-the-fly’ or scheduled messages so that interested parties are notified of important events. This helps when you get a notification from your cloud server provider about maintenance windows or emergency downtime – it becomes easy to inform affected customers by quickly choosing affected servers and sites and composing an email.
- Integration with well-known WordPress plugins such as Advanced Custom Fields, Admin Menu Pro, WooCommerce etc. Our data is held in standard Custom Post Types so anything that works with them is fair game.
Every price level gives you unlimited servers and sites. And includes white label and custom security.
These are all usually “upsells” on SaaS platforms.
You can get every feature we offer for under 1K per year. If you’re an agency, that’s a fraction of what you might charge just a single customer for a single project.
And, if you hate annual renewal pricing, we have lifetime pricing options as well, all day every day, with no blackout periods or gimmicks.
When you use an SaaS service, they have unfettered access to your servers. And you never really know who is accessing them or when.
With a product like WPCD, you control your ssh keys – the only other party with access to your servers is your cloud server provider (AWS, DigitalOcean etc.)
Basically, with WPCD, you reduce the number of companies with direct access to your servers which reduces the attack surface.
Additionally, larger SaaS vendors are a magnet for hackers. When you run your own smaller service, you can fly under the radar more easily which means less attempts at penetrating your security.
GDPR & Related Privacy Regulations
Sometimes you might need to create and manage sites and servers that are all within a single region. If your WordPress SaaS control panel is outside of that region then you have an issue.
With WPCloudDeploy you can install everything inside your own region, making it easier to adhere to increasingly strict regulations concerning data location and data sharing.
We probably have a few more reasons why you might want to pick WPCD over SaaS offerings. But, with the list above, we’ve probably given you the most important ones.
There are good reasons why we offer this product to the public – we do believe that some agencies will see the advantages to be gained by having these features that are hard for SaaS vendors to offer.
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