Since Runcloud added some cool features, this review has been updated as of April 2020.
In this review, we will look if Runcloud.io is suitable for running WordPress. But what is RunCloud exactly?
RunCloud can be installed on your server. Subsequently, you can manage your server from their control panel. RunCloud will take care of all technicalities, such as the installation of software and packages on the server. Essentially, it makes server management a breeze.
In short: You can use Runcloud to manage VPS servers and install WordPress without the technical hassle!
ps. Do you know these reviews started out of my own quest to find the best hosting for WordPress? I did not find the information I needed in many reviews, and that’s why I started to do some serious research! But without further ado, let’s start the review!
- Runcloud.io is a fine hosting control panel if you want to host WordPress on your own VPS, but it is not optimized for optimum performance.
- The closest comparable alternative is Ploi.io, which is also a general-purpose control panel (and it can host WordPress.
- In my opinion, GridPane and SpinupWP may be better alternatives for hosting WordPress on your own VPS (with as little hassle as possible).
I have a special offer of $100 of free Vultr credits if you sign up through this link! Next to Upcloud, Vultr is one of the best performing VPS providers according to VPSbenchmarks.com. In combination with Runcloud, this is a no-brainer!
Is Runcloud WordPress hosting?
RunCloud supports all kinds of applications. Obviously, WordPress is one of these applications. Therefore, it can be used to manage and host WordPress websites on your own VPS.
But, is RunCloud also a good WordPress hosting panel? Is managing WordPress with RunCloud also a breeze? Let’s go ahead with this RunCloud review.
Let’s start this RunCloud Review
- Looking for WordPress hosting reviews? We have a selection of in-depth WordPress hosting reviews. We started reviewing WordPress hosting because we found many reviews lacking the necessary details.
- Since RunCloud is a so-called control panel, you may want to look into other control panels for hosting WordPress.
In this review, we examined RunCloud being a WordPress hosting control panel. That means that we did not focus on running and managing servers in general.
Hosting Review Procedure
As I review WordPress hosting providers, I follow a certain procedure. In this review, we will look to the following aspects:
- Features: the specific features offered by Runcloud. What does it offer?
- Performance: the actual performance of Runcloud. How many visitors can it handle?
- Usability: how user-friendly is Runcloud?
- Support: what can we expect from Runcloud’s documentation and support staff?
- Price: is Runcloud asking a fair price for their service?
For whom is Runcloud?
In my opinion, Runcloud is aimed at WordPress professionals. First, you have to set-up a VPS yourself. Secondly, you have to be able to run some commands on a server in order to install Runcloud. At last, you have to be able to execute optimizations on the
RunCloud offers all the necessary features to run a performant WordPress website. However, it is more aimed at managing applications in general.
RunCloud on itself is not providing hosting or servers. We coupled it with a 1GB and 1 core VPS from Upcloud. This package has 25gb of SSD storage and 1TB of bandwidth. The following features are inherited from RunCloud:
- Unlimited WordPress installs (as many as the VPS can handle)
- Application and server manager to manage servers and applications.
- Offsite backups for applications and databases
- Team Manager (only for Business Subscriptions, $45/month)
- Server statistics, health checks and information
- Pre-installed services such as NGINX, PHP, MariaDB, Redis and Memcached. Just everything you need to run WordPress.
RunCloud incorporates a couple of well-needed safety measures:
- One-click SSL certificates for applications
- Isolated web applications. This prevents other applications from getting vulnerable if one application is compromised.
- Fail2Ban to prevent brute force SSH attacks
- Server firewall with a strict ruleset
- Server access through SSH
- As mentioned, back-ups up to a 30-minute interval. Backups are retained for one month and can be restored to any server.
The back-up feature is great, but adds additional costs. Backups cost $0.06 dollar per day for a single WordPress installation and database. The first 30GB of backup space is free! However, afterwards it may cost up to $49.60 per month for just 1TB of backup space.
RunCloud offers the following features that may be interesting for WordPress Developers:
- Atomic Git Deployment. Code pushed to a Git Repository will be deployed on an application without any downtime. If errors occur, this code is not deployed.
- Control on server services and packages such as PHP, MariaDB, Redis, Memcached.
- A manager for cronjobs
- A database manager for easily adding and managing databases
- Management of SSH Keys for server access
- Server health checks and notifications
- Script installer for WordPress
- File editing from the interface
- Selection of webserver (Nginx or Nginx + Apache)
- Easy to read server logs
- RunCloud API to manage RunCloud with external applications
Speaking about email and others
Now, looking from a WordPress perspective, there are a couple of comments to make on the features of RunCloud.
The first thing to be aware of is that RunCloud does not set-up an email server. This means that you will not be able to have email accounts registered through Runcloud. Additionally, transactional emails will not send. These are e-mails sent from your WordPress application, such as form submissions. For this, a service like Mailgun is needed.
The other thing is that RunCloud lacks is an easy tool to create a staging environment. It is possible to clone a WordPress installation using the back-up feature. However, this is not a one-click tool for creating a staging environment.
The performance of RunCloud + UpCloud is okay, especially because the latter is a fast VPS provider. Out of the box, RunCloud is not optimized for WordPress.
Update: I tested RunCloud with their new RunCloud hub caching system and the awesome high-frequency servers from Vultr. Unfortunately, performance did not drastically improve.
RunCloud and VPS Technology
Many managed WordPress hosting providers offer shared hosting. In essence, this means resources are shared to all WordPress websites running on that server.
On the contrary, RunCloud is run on a VPS. Essentially, meaning all resources are at your disposal. Of course you can run multiple WordPress websites on a single VPS. However, the level of (relative) performance is usually great in such setups.
Now in this RunCloud WordPress review, we combined it UpCloud and Vultr. Both UpCloud and Vultr are utilizing quite performant CPUs and SSD disks. Actually, they are one of the fastest VPS providers out there.
On top of this server goodness, RunCloud installs NGINX, the latest PHP version, Redis and Memcached. Moreover, it supports HTTP2 and
In our performance test, we set up WordPress with a bloated theme and WooCommerce running on a Vultr 1GB/1C. No optimizations outside the provided caching are done. Then we test the site on various performance indicators.
WordPress websites on RunCloud are performant, but not as performant as expected. Other control panels such as GridPane offer much better performance for cached pages.
Maximum Concurrent Clients: 200
How many concurrent clients can a server handle using caching, providing the response time is under 2 seconds? After performing a load test, we found out this server can handle up to 200 concurrent clients, using a High-Frequency Server from Vultr.
The average response time for this test was 392ms, with 11976 requests fired in one minute.
That means that almost 12000 people can visit your website once in one minute and it will still load under 2 seconds. Or you can have 200 visitors browse one page every second over one minute. Nice, huh?
Loading Time Average: 0.53s
Testing from the nearest location to the origin server using
Maximum Uncached Clients: 6
In this test, we measure how many clients a server can handle without caching. For each client, the response time has to be under 2 seconds. So what are the results?
If caching is turning off, this server can handle up to a maximum of 6 users continuously firing
Other performance Remarks
In our extensive performance testing, RunCloud + Upclouds 1GB/1C VPS scored the following:
- Time to First Byte: 26ms
- GT Metrix Average: 3.3s
- WebPageTest Average loading time: 3.22s
- WordPress Performance Test server score: 8.528
- WordPress Performance Test queries per second: 423
- WordPress Performance Check benchmark score: 4 (lower is better)
How does Runcloud scale up? I tested various VPS configurations from Upcloud to see how Runcloud would handle it. In the following table, you can discover the details for each plan.
- The visitors refers to the maximum amount of concurrent visitors, for both cached pages as uncached pages.
- The performance test shows the results from a plugin-based test. A lower server score is better, while a higher number of queries per second is also better.
But with no further ado, let’s have a look at the table:
|Maximum Simultaneous Visitors Under 2 seconds||200 / 40 (weighted) - Runcloud + Upcloud 1C/1GB ($5 Monthly)400 / 40 (weighted) - Runcloud + Upcloud 1C/2GB ($10 Monthly)800 / 40 (weighted) - Runcloud + Upcloud 2C/4GB ($20 Monthly)1000 / 25 (weighted) - Runcloud + Upcloud 4C/8GB ($40 Monthly)200 / 33.33 (weighted) - Runcloud + Vultr High Frequency 1C/1GB ($6 Monthly)|
|Maximum Simultaneous Visitors Under 2 Seconds (Uncached)||5 / 1 (weighted) - Runcloud + Upcloud 1C/1GB ($5 Monthly)5 / 0.5 (weighted) - Runcloud + Upcloud 1C/2GB ($10 Monthly)12 / 0.6 (weighted) - Runcloud + Upcloud 2C/4GB ($20 Monthly)15 / 0.38 (weighted) - Runcloud + Upcloud 4C/8GB ($40 Monthly)6 / 1 (weighted) - Runcloud + Vultr High Frequency 1C/1GB ($6 Monthly)|
|WP Performance Test Queries per Second (higher is better)||423 - Runcloud + Upcloud 1C/1GB ($5 Monthly)423 - Runcloud + Upcloud 1C/2GB ($10 Monthly)445 - Runcloud + Upcloud 2C/4GB ($20 Monthly)468 - Runcloud + Upcloud 4C/8GB ($40 Monthly)995 - Runcloud + Vultr High Frequency 1C/1GB ($6 Monthly)|
The Performance Test is running good as Upcloud delivers fast servers. However, Runcloud is not optimized for WordPress. The number of cached visitors is greatly behind competitors such as Gridpane or Spinup WP (up to 400%!).
Comparing Runcloud to other control panels
From the control panels, RunCloud performs the worst in terms of performance (in my test setup). How do I know? Have a look at the data below.
You can select any performance metric, and it will show up a chart. If we look for maximum simultaneous visitors, other panels outperform Runcloud by raw numbers, and also if you weight this numbers by their price.
Great Stability: 100% uptime
UpCloud adverts the stability of their servers, and it is true. During the testing period, we had a constant performance. Moreover, the up-time was 100%. Great!
Fine Usability, but not for WordPress
The first impression of RunCloud’s interface and usability is great. The screen loads effortless. The design is great. And it’s quite easy to find and manage settings. Managing domains and applications is great. However, installing, cloning and staging WordPress is a little tedious.
Managing WordPress & Domains
Managing WordPress in RunCloud is actually done through adding a web application at the server. When adding this application, the WordPress script can be installed.
It’s nice a script installer can be used, but WordPress will not yet function. Secondly, you have to add a database and a database user. Subsequently, this database user should be connected to the database.
Now that a database is set up, you manually have to edit your wp-config.php file and add the database details.
This seems a little tedious to install WordPress. In the last month, RunCloud was updated with a one-click WordPress installer. Great!
Managing domains however, is quite easy. All the domains attached to a web application (in this case, WordPress), can be managed from a single screen. This is shown in the example above. However, the urls within WordPress itself are not updated when changing a domain.
Installing, Cloning & Moving WordPress
At the time we were using RunCloud, there was not a native clone feature. Cloning, however, was possible through using the backup function. So how does cloning work in Runcloud?
- Create a back-up of your application and database
- Create a new web application (using WordPress)
- Restore the back-up to this new web application
Now this works fine.
However, in terms of usability lacks compared to having a direct clone feature. But as of April 2020, this feature also has been added. You can even clone to other servers. No One-Click Staging Environment
You can create a staging site through the back-up procedure. Runcloud even wrote an article about how to create a WordPress staging site. But it is a very tedious procedure, far from being a one-click solution. It should be made easier.
And there is an update again! Logically, we consider a staging functionality an essential feature for WordPress hosting. And since this year (2020), it is included within Runcloud. Amazing!
Now there is one feature that we love, also considering the price. And that is the team manager.
With the team manager from RunCloud, it is very easy to add additional users. These users can have varying access levels to servers, web applications and several functions. This is a marvellous feature when working together with other developers or clients.
So far in this RunCloud review, we’ve written about usability, features and performance. Let’s move on to support!
RunCloud support is okay. We’re pleasantly surprised that a VPS Control Panel offers. However, we miss live chat support. Secondly, RunCloud is a platform for all kind of applications. Most likely, support is focused on WordPress.
Ticket based support
RunCloud offers ticket-based support from their control panel, usually replying in a couple of hours. We love the fact that there is support. But it lacks the speed of live chat support – in our opinion a must-have for a serious WordPress hosting provider.
Not necessarily WordPress Experts
We prepared a couple of questions for RunCloud with WordPress related problems. Now the communication on th
For example, RunCloud and WordPress multisite will not function properly out of the box. It will give redirect errors. This is an issue that can be resolved within the configuration files for Nginx.
Unfortunately, we were not able to solve this matter with the support staff. We only found out that RunCloud does not support WordPress multisite, but no actual solution was given.
Good general documentation
That having said, there is a lot of things you can figure out yourself. And basically, that is because of their extensive documentation, knowledge base and blog.
Their knowledge base and documentation cover all essentials. Additionally, their blog introduces useful tips for WordPress. Moreover, they have a Facebook community.
One of the major advantages of Runcloud is its pricing. Especially if you are running a couple of servers or a dozen of websites, their pricing gets interesting. Compared to WordPress hosting providers, they are quite affordable.
Compared to other control panels for WordPress, they are also on the affordable side. Especially because their pricing is account-based. Yup, that’s right, you don’t have to pay extra for additional servers or WordPress installations outside the subscription.
|Free||Basic ($8)||Pro ($15)||Business ($4)|
|One server||One server||Unlimited Servers||Unlimited Servers|
|Unlimited applications||Unlimited applications||Unlimited applications||Unlimited applications|
|GIT Deployment||GIT Deployment||GIT Deployment|
ps. I would suggest to use Vultr or Upcloud in combination with Runcloud. Vultr now offers $100 of free Vultr credits if you sign up through this link!
As said, Runcloud is a hosting panel. It allows you to run applications on your own servers without the hassle of managing a server.
Now the number of available control panels is rapidly rising, so what are some good alternatives to Runcloud? If you want to host a WordPress website, these alternatives are worth checking out:
- Ploi.io, a control panel very similar to Runcloud.
- GridPane, a control panel specifically designed for WordPress with great features and performance.
- SpinupWP, another control panel specifically developed for hosting WordPress, with some good features and great performance.
- Serverpilot, a very clean control panel with good performance.
- Cloudways, a control panel with managed hosting, but designed as such. Cloudways has a good amount of features, performance and support services.
In the meantime, I have prepared a nice visual list including ratings of the major competitors of Runcloud. Nice, huh?
RunCloud WordPress Review Conclusion
It’s time. Time to summarize this RunCloud review!
I think that RunCloud is great for managing servers and applications.
However, it is still mediocre for managing WordPress compared to competitors. RunCloud has grown much better for hosting WordPress.
Staging and cloning applications is now included, and they provide a great caching setup for WordPress called RunCloud Hub.
Still, there are a couple of downsides:
- Out of the box, cached performance lags behind the competition
Cloning and creating staging environments is tedious
- Backups are somewhat expensive
- Redirection errors have to be manually solved in configurations
Nevertheless, RunCloud is amongst the most cost-effective control panels out there. So if you don’t mind some little server optimization yourself, it is still a great WordPress hosting panel.