Since Runcloud added some cool features, this review has been updated as of July 2021.
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.
With RunCloud, it is very easy to run WordPress on your own server. If you have to manually do this, it’s a quite technical process that requires some system administration knowledge. Runcloud makes it 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 one of the best control panels if you want to host WordPress (and other applications) on your own VPS, with many features and affordable prices.
- The closest comparable alternative is Ploi.io and Cleavr.io, which are also a general-purpose control panels (and it can host WordPress.
- In my opinion, GridPane and SpinupWP are very competitive alternatives for hosting WordPress on your own VPS (with as little hassle as possible).
But 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
In this review, we have tested RunCloud.io with a combination of a 1GB/1C VPS from UpCloud, moving up to a larger 4 core server. We believe RunCloud is aimed at WordPress professionals, and not so much at WordPress beginners.
- Looking for more WordPress hosting reviews? We have a selection of in-depth WordPress hosting reviews, where you can easily compare them. I 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 at any provider. Secondly, you have to be able to run some commands on a server in order to install Runcloud (or set up a connection using API keys). At last, you have to be able to execute optimizations on the
The video at the top of this review will go through the process of installing Runcloud on your server and using it to manage servers.
RunCloud offers a great number of features and also has some features that are specifically geared towards WordPress. It is a very complete package, only missing proper integration with SMTP.
RunCloud on itself is not providing hosting or servers. I coupled it with a 1GB and 1 core VPS from Upcloud and gradually upgraded the server for testing purposes. Nevertheless, the starting 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, which starts at $45/month)
- Server statistics, server health checks, and server information
- Staging environments for WordPress and easily cloning applications
- A WordPress canvas, a template for your WordPress installation.
- One-click login for WordPress and a specific caching plugin for WordPress.
- 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
- Web application firewalls for additional security
- As mentioned, incremental back-ups. Backups are retained for one month and can be restored to any server.
The backup feature is great but adds additional costs. Backups cost $1 dollar per month for a single WordPress installation and database. The first 50GB of backup space is free! However, afterwards it may cost up to $20 per month for just 1TB of backup space.
RunCloud offers the following features that may be interesting for WordPress Developers:
- A selection of your server stack, either Nginx + Apache, Nginx, or Litespeed.
- 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, plus easy installation of phpMyAdmin.
- Management of SSH Keys for server access.
- Server health checks and notifications.
- Script installer for WordPress.
- File editing and managing from the interface.
- Selection of webserver (Nginx or Nginx + Apache).
- Editors to easily edit your server configs for Nginx or Litespeed.
- Easy to read server logs from the control panel itself.
- The possibility to add new system users and separate applications per user.
- 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.
Runcloud = Good Performance
The performance of RunCloud + UpCloud is good, especially because the latter is a fast VPS provider and if you’re using the LiteSpeed stack.
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.
And another update: RunCloud also offers a LiteSpeed stack; which is a different technology for hosting websites. The performance for LiteSpeed is very good, although cached performance is slightly off in some cases.
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 better performance for cached pages. For other figures, they do great though.
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 for a 1GB/1C Vultr high-Frequency server.
That means that almost 12000 people can visit your website once in one minute and it will still load in under 2 seconds. Or you can have 200 visitors browse one page every second over one minute. Nice, huh?
For larger servers, such as a 4 core Upcloud server, it can handle up to 1000 clients per second. And if using Litespeed with a small server, it can also handle up to 200 simultaneous users; but with a very low average response of 95ms.
For this test, RunCloud did a lot worse than some of its competitors. However, in the load-testing, RunCloud behaves differently than some other hosting panels. It has a big spike in load-time when visitors come in, but becomes more stable after a while. If you take that into account, a small server is also being able to handle up to 1000 simultaneous visitors per second.
Loading Time Average: 0.53s
Testing from the nearest location to the origin server using
For the LiteSpeed stack, this figure was actually much better, averaging 0.45 seconds.
Maximum Uncached Clients: 5
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 small server can handle up to a maximum of 6 users continuously firing
For the LiteSpeed stack, this figure is also much better, being able to handle 8 concurrent users with an average response time of 1,2 seconds and 466 requests in one minute.
Other performance Remarks
In our extensive performance testing, RunCloud + Upclouds 1GB/1C VPS scored the following:
- Time to First Byte: 26ms, or an insane 8ms for Litespeed
- Global Time to First Byte: 253ms (for Litespeed)
- GT Metrix Average: 3.3s
- WebPageTest Average loading time: 3.22s
- WordPress Performance Test server score: 8.528 (or 5.742 for Litespeed)
- WordPress Performance Test queries per second: 423 (or 923 for Litespeed)
- 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)200 - Runcloud + Upcloud 1GB/1C (Litespeed)|
|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)8 - Runcloud + Upcloud 1GB/1C (Litespeed)|
|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)923 - Runcloud + Upcloud 1GB/1C (Litespeed)|
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 pretty bad, even with the newer RunCache enabled (at least 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 in a chart. If we look for maximum simultaneous visitors, other panels outperform Runcloud by raw numbers, and also if you weigh these 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 effortlessly. 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 by adding a web application to 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 by 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 backup 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 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. to good We’re pleasantly surprised that a VPS Control Panel offers. However, we miss live chat support. Secondly, RunCloud is a platform for all kinds 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. I found out that the RunCloud NGINX Stack does not support WordPress multisite out of the box, and no actual solution was given.
However, in later contact with the support, it seems responses were fast and generally helpful.
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 ($45)|
|One server||One server||Unlimited Servers||Unlimited Servers|
|Unlimited applications||Unlimited applications||Unlimited applications||Unlimited applications|
|1 WordPress Staging||10 WordPress Staging||Unlimited Staging|
|GIT deployment||GIT deployment||GIT deployment|
|Clone applications||Atomic deployment|
Upcloud is a great VPS provider to use with Runcloud. Upcloud now offers $25 of free credits if you sign up through this link!
Runcloud Alternatives: the best 5
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:
RunCloud WordPress Review Conclusion
It’s time. Time to summarize this RunCloud review!
I think that RunCloud is great for managing servers and applications. In recent years, RunCloud has grown much and is a great solution for hosting WordPress. Staging and cloning applications are now included, and they provide a great caching setup for WordPress called RunCloud Hub. The LiteSpeed stack is also a great addition.
Still, there are a couple of downsides:
- Out of the box, cached performance can lag behind the competition, but the LiteSpeed stack is doing very well.
Cloning and creating staging environments is tedious. It was tedious
- Backups are somewhat expensive, starting from $1 per site. Competitors are much cheaper.
- 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.