WordPlace is a web host that belongs to a specific class of web hosts known as “managed WordPress hosts”. Managed WordPress hosting, a specialized hosting environment optimized for WordPress sites, became a thing as WordPress grew more and more popular.
Nowadays, WordPress users have several managed hosts to choose from, and companies like WP Engine, Kinsta and Flywheel have set standards for managed WordPress hosting. In this WordPlace review post, we’re going to take a look at WordPlace’s service to see if the features and performance it offers lives up to the standards we’ve come to expect. Let’s get started.
- About WordPlace
- Plans & pricing
- WordPlace’s technology
- The Plesk control panel
- Speed & performance
- WordPlace support
WordPlace is a relatively new service operated by London-based company Aqua Networks Ltd, which was founded in 2009. Aqua Networks operates several web-related services, including database hosting service Cluster Engine and server monitoring service CloudStats.
WordPlace is the company’s WordPress-specific product. It offers several different hosting packages for small to large businesses as well as a few unique ways to manage your WordPress site. We’re going to go over the prices, technology and services this company offers throughout this review.
Plans & pricing
WordPlace offers three hosting packages that each come with a specific set of features based on the amount of power different-sized websites need. All plans come with a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt and 24/7 support. We’ll go over both of these in this WordPlace review in a bit. Here’s an overview of what each package offers:
- Personal Package – $29/Month
- Up to 1 WordPress Site
- Up to 25,000 Visits/Month
- 10GB of SSD Storage
- Business Package – $99/Month
- Up to 10 WordPress Sites
- Up to 100,000 Visits/Month
- Up to 20GB of SSD Storage
- Enterprise Package – $249/Month
- Up to 25 WordPress Sites
- Up to 400,000 Visits/Month
- Up to 30GB of SSD Storage
These prices are consistent with what other popular managed WordPress hosts offer. However, other managed hosts offer more packages than this, some of which contain servers capable of hosting sites that receive millions of visits every month. If you (or your client) have a site that receives over 400,000 visits per month, you’re going to have to look elsewhere for hosting.
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Let’s talk about the technology that powers and protects WordPress sites at WordPlace. Specifically, we’re going to talk about the company’s hosting infrastructure and security.
Remember when we talked about WordPlace’s parent company? The company has another service called WooServers, which offers private cloud hosting. This allows WordPlace to use OpenStack-based cloud servers that use scalable resources and can switch servers if the main ones go down. These servers support PHP versions 5.4, 5.6, 7.0 and 7.1, which can be switched upon request.
Caching with WordPlace can be seen as a pro and a con. It offers partial PHP caching through an operation code caching tool called XCache. This means you’ll still need to rely on a caching plugin while most managed hosts handle caching for you. This can be seen as a plus if you typically aren’t impressed by the caching other managed WordPress hosts offer. Lastly, CDN services are available free and automatically through Cloudflare.
WordPlace offers a number of different security protocols to block bots and attackers. For starters, DDoS protection is provided via Cloudflare as Cloudflare is activated for each website automatically. Protection from SQL injections, brute force attacks and malicious requests are provided via a firewall from Atomicorp. A malware scanner is also used in the event something does get through. Lastly, as stated before, an SSL certificate is provided free of charge from Let’s Encrypt.
The Plesk control panel
WordPlace uses the Plesk control panel. We’re going to take a look at the Plesk control panel as well as WordPlace’s unique spin on it. Let’s start with a few things specific to WordPress.
Let’s talk about this row of buttons highlighted in the screenshot above. They all have to do with WordPress. The Log In button is a simple button that opens the WordPress login page in a new tab. The Check Security button, on the other hand, is a lot more interesting.
This feature gives you a pass or failing grade for different security protocols. The first is the administrative username. The security check makes sure the unsecure username “admin” is not registered in your site’s database. If the system detects this username, it’ll create a new username and password for the account and assign all of its data, including blog posts and comments, to the new username.
Other checks include making sure your database prefix is secure, unauthorized access to your wp-config.php file is blocked, your wp-content and wp-includes folders are secure, and more. You can also click the Roll Back button to turn security checks off for certain things.
The next two buttons are Plugins and Themes, and they’re very similar to one another. They open new screens that allow you to activate, deactivate, delete, install and update WordPress themes and plugins from inside the Plesk control panel.
This gives you the ability to delete the default plugins you don’t need before you even log into your WordPress site for the first time. It also allows you to manage WordPress updates without having to sign into an administrator’s account. You can even use the Clone and Sync sections to create staging environments for your WordPress site and push any changes you make to the live production of it.
Lastly, you can find all of these features in a specialized tab called WordPress.
You probably noticed the little Backup Manager link in the upper, right-hand corner of the Plesk control panel. This feature allows you to manage your own backup schedule. You can create backups on a schedule or create them on a one-time basis. They’re stored via FTP, and you can choose between full or incremental backups. You can even create a schedule that does incremental backups on a daily, weekly or monthly basis and full backups weekly, monthly or annually.
The Databases section tells you your hosting environment uses MySQL, which means you’ll manage your database using phpMyAdmin. The control panel allows you to do things like copy the database, check and repair it, or even delete it altogether.
One thing you may have noticed in the screenshots above are the DNS Settings, Register Domain Names and Manage Domain Names links. Plesk owns a domain service that allows you to register domain names, though you may not want to use it as .com, .net and .org domains are around $35.00 a piece. However, the control panel allows you to create and manage DNS records for domains. You can also manage your Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate and any other certificates you use.
You also have access to a webmail inbox inside the Plesk control panel, which allows you to create as many as 100 business email addresses. You can manage your inbox using Horde or Roundcube. The panel also features a file manager you can use to create, manage and even edit files in your WordPress installation and other areas of your database.
Speed & performance
Speed and performance are not an issue with WordPlace, even with my unoptimized test site. If you look at the performance results I received from Pingdom, you can clearly see my server is optimized for European users.
The results from the San Jose server in California, however, aren’t too bad, either.
It even scores well with the Melbourne server, which is a tough area to score well with.
The results I seen in Uptime Robot were less forgiving, but still fairly decent. I only tested the site for a few days, but I still managed to record a downtime result of 1 hour and 54 minutes and an average server response time of 755.58ms.
In contrast, a site I host with Flywheel hasn’t received any downtime in the 1,624 hours I’ve had the monitor running.
The average server response time is also 383.26ms. Another monitor I run for a Squarespace site has an average server response time of 225.60ms.
All WordPlace customers receive 24/7 support via live chat or tickets, and priority support is available for Enterprise customers. There’s also space reserved for a knowledge base in the customer-exclusive support portal. This knowledge base will likely contain articles filled with tutorials and solutions for common problems related to WordPress and hosting your website.
Conclusion: WordPlace review
Overall, WordPlace is a wonderful managed WordPress host that offers a great balance between managing certain aspects of your server and website for you while providing enough freedom for you to control a few things. Most managed hosts, on the other hand, are too controlling and restrictive for experienced users. Check out WordPlace.io to see what they offer, and use offer code 1OFF at checkout. Don’t forget to share your thoughts about WordPlace in the comments below!