In this WordPress hosting review, I will be looking into Spinup WP! Spinup WP (or should I say SpinupWP?) is a WordPress Hosting control panel. It is a relatively young platform started by Delicious Brains. This control panel allows to easily host WordPress websites on a cloud provider of your own choice.
But what does that mean? Well, first you sign-up at SpinupWP. Secondly, you buy a so-called Virtual Private Server at a cloud provider. Basically, a cloud provider is a company where you can buy a (virtual) server or web hosting, often starting at a $5 a month fee. Vultr is an example of such a cloud provider. And they’re well-performing too.
At last, you connect your Virtual Private Server to SpinupWP. And there we are: you can now run optimized WordPress websites at your own servers. Spinup WP will take care of all the software patches, security and other things that you usually have to take care of running your own server.
In short: Spinup WP allows you to spin up an optimized WordPress website on a server of your own likings in a couple of minutes.
Spinup WP integrates best with Digital Ocean (a cloud provider), but others such as Upcloud, Linode and Vultr are also supported. In this hosting review, I will look at how well Spinup WP performs. So let’s get started with this SpinupWP review!
ps. Obviously, Spinup WP is designed to run WordPress. It is not built to run other applications. So if you’re into WordPress, read on!
If you don’t want to read this lengthy (and awesome) review, here’s the takeaway:
- Spinup is great if you are a WordPress developer, and if you want to have a cost-effective way of running WordPress on your own VPS. The performance is insanely good. However, it lacks some essential features such as restoring backups and staging environment, as well as any proper support.
- GridPane is a worthy competitor to Spinup WP.
Hurray! SpinupWP now offers $50 of free credits if you sign up through this link. And did I tell you that Vultr is also offering $100 of free credits? SpinupWP + Vultr is a powerful combination. So, an offer you can’t refuse?
The basis for this SpinupWP Review
For each hosting review, I consider the following aspects as the fundamentals:
- Features: the features offered by Spinup WP. Are they sufficient?
- Performance: the performance of the plans offered by Spinup WP. How many visitors can it handle?
- Usability: how user-friendly is the interface of Spinup WP?
- Support: how good is the support for Spinup WP?
- Price: is a fair price asked for the value delivered?
For who is SpinupWP?
SpinupWP is a hosting panel. Next to having a Spinup WP subscription, you also need to connect it to your own virtual private server. It is a big advantage when you have some technical knowledge. For example, you need to start-up or buy your own VPS or lay connections using API keys.
Therefore, I’d say Spinup WP is aimed at WordPress professionals who want to host their own websites or provide hosting services for their clients.
Now that I’ve introduced Spinup WP, let’s see how they are actually doing!
Spinup WP Features: Good
SpinupWP has some great features related to WordPress or WordPress professionals. However, the platform lacks some essential features such as restoring backups and staging environments.
Some of the basic features
SpinupWP covers most of the essential features you need to manage WordPress websites. Some of these include:
- Server manager: easily connect servers to SpinUP WP.
- Application (WordPress) manager to easily install new websites.
- Easily add (multiple) domains to a website.
SpinupWP automatically set-ups caching. Also, it installs two helpful plugins on each website. One inhouse plugin for purging caches and one plugin for limiting logins. Good, good, good!
Features aimed at developers
Moreover, I find Spinup WP having some developer-friendly features:
- Works with many Cloud Providers.
- GIT integration and deployment. You can even add a new website from cloning an existing repository. Great!
- Spinup WP can automatically set up
- WP-CLI is installed and available.
- Optimal caching for each site through just one click.
- SpinupWP uses the latest versions of Nginx, PHP, MySQL and Redis.
- Obviously, SSH access to servers and SSH/SFTP access to sites.
- HTTP Authentication for sites
From the interface of SpinupWP, a database manager such as phpMyAdmin is not available.
Safety first, please!
Spinup WP incorporates some handy safety features, which relieve you of a lot of server management. The most important ones:
- Automatic (server) security updates
- Access and login disabled for the Root user
- Free SSL certificates
- Firewall which limits access to NGINX and SSH
- Optimal settings for Nginx security
- Each site is isolated through its own user. Therefore, if one site gets compromised, other sites on the server are safe.
- SFTP/SSH access for each site.
- Two-factor authentication for platform logins.
So, is there something missing?
So are there some essential features missing at SpinupWP? I do think so! First of all, the platform doesn’t give any analytics of your server and applications. Think of visitor analytics, but also bandwidth usage, CPU usage and memory usage.
Additionally, I didn’t find a feature for cloning and migrating websites easily. Maybe I missed it, but the interface itself also missed an option for restoring backups. And that makes restoring a whole lot cumbersome!
At last, I did find notification options a little limited. It would be great to be able to link notifications from SpinupWP to a certain mail address or chat application such as Slack.
Performance is the area where Spinup WP really shines. Especially (and surprisingly) if you connect it to a Digital Ocean server. Performance would (in my humble opinion) be the major reason to choose for SpinupWP.
Proverbially speaking, you can hit a massive iceberg of visitors before a website goes down.
Spinup WPs Technology
For the geeks out there: SpinupWP uses the latest version of PHP (7.3, at the time of writing), coupled with the newest MySQL running at an NGINX Webserver. For caching, NGINXs FastCGI is used in combination with Redis for object caching.
But that’s a mouthful of technological terms. Simply said: these are technologies to make your WordPress website scream!
Performance Testing Set-up
- The number of simultaneous visitors the homepage can handle with caching turned on.
- The number of simultaneous visitors with caching turned off, a good indicator of the actual server performance.
- The average load time in Pingdom (both for cached and uncached pages), GTMetrix and WebPageTest.
- And finally, the scores from the WP Performance Test plugin.
For this basic test, I used a 1GB/1C server from Digital Ocean. Other providers were also tested.
Tadaa! The test results
The results are impressive. I don’t have to spend many words on that.
Maximum cached clients: 1900
For pages that were cached, Spinup WP could handle up to 1900 concurrent users. That means that each second, 1900 requests were fired at the server. The average response time was 113 milliseconds and 113809 requests were fired in one minute!
And that number is insane for a 1GB/1C server. But how good is the uncached performance?
Maximum uncached clients: 9
Uncached performance is a good indicator of raw server performance. This Spinup WP website running at Digital Ocean was able to serve 9 simultaneous clients, with an average response time of 925ms and a total of 537 successful requests in one minute.
And how did this website perform on some other common metrics? Let’s see:
- In Pingdom, cached pages loaded in 0.42 seconds, while uncached pages loaded in 0.6 seconds on average.
- The average for GT-Metrix was 3.40 seconds, while the average for WebPageTest.org was 3.61 seconds.
- The time to the first byte was 62 milliseconds.
- The WP Performance Test server scored 8.563, with an execution time of 5.837 seconds at 171 queries per second. That is remarkably low considering the previous tests.
Comparing Cloud Providers
Now Spinup WP Supports multiple cloud providers. You might be wondering: how do these providers actually compare?
|Upcloud||Digital Ocean||Vultr||Vultr High Frequency||Linode|
|Simultaneous Visitors (cached)||900||1900||800||1800||500|
|Average Response Time (ms)||109||113||156||148||729|
|Simultaneous Visitors (uncached)||9||9||6||12||4|
|Time to First Byte (ms)||41||62||52||57||52|
Comparing Spinup WP to other Panels
|Simultaneous Visitors (cached)||800||800||200||600|
|Average Response Time (ms)||156||150||253||242|
|Simultaneous Visitors (uncached)||6||6||5||5|
|Time to First Byte (ms)||52||29||26||47|
Performance-wise, SpinupWP and GridPane lead the pack. Somehow, the WordPress Queries per Second is a little off for GridPane. Runcloud is last on almost any criteria.
By the way, I did not list load times from Pingdom and GT Metrix, as they did not vary significantly. For queries/second, a higher value is better.
Get $50 in free credits at Spinup WP if you sign up via this review. That’s worth 4 months of the starter plan! And even better, Vultr (a VPS provider) also offers $100 of free credits when signing up.
SpinupWP Usability: Good
The usability of SpinupWP is good. The platform is beautifully designed and they have a clear and distinctive brand. However, the navigation menu can be a bit cumbersome to use at first hand.
You can’t talk about usability without showing some pictures! SpinupWP offers several features to manage your servers and websites. This is possible from a central dashboard, which works pretty convenient.
Upon entering the appliction, you will arrive at your dashboard. This will show your servers and your current sites, as well as some details for these websites.
If you click on a server, Spinup WP allows you to manage a server. For example, you can add new sites, manage database and users for the server, reboot the server and also delete a server.
Now managing websites is also straight forward. In the server screen, you can opt to add a website, after which a screen will guide you to all important settings. And that is quite a pleasant experience.
Each website also has its own settings screen where domains can be added, the PHP version can be changed and some other settings such as HTTPS and backups. It all looks very neat with only the information you really need.
I find it a bird weird to add domains in a text area box with one domain per line. A repeatable input field would make more sense in this case. But that is probably a matter of taste.
The event manager and hints
One of the things I particularly liked from a usability perspective were the following two aspects: the events view and some of the hints given by the platform. Let me explain them.
By clicking on the gears icon on the right, you will end up at the events screen. And there you can see everything that occurred. Pretty useful if you lost track of some things.
Secondly, the platform gives recommendations on some aspects. Should I enable page caching? What does it mean? In many occasions, helpful hints are given. Such as shown in the screen above. And that is great!
Some other comments on usability
What I do find a bit confusing is the menu on the left, which changes depending on the context you’re looking at. It would make more sense to have all major items on the left, such as sites, servers and profile. A consistent non-changing navigation menu is, in my opinion, better for consistent user experience.
For example, if you want to see everything, click dashboard on the top. If you want to see profile, click to the upper right. The left menu then changes. For me, it was too much clicking around.
More expensive plans of Spinup also have a team manager, where you can add new users. Access levels to servers and websites can be given determined per user. This is a very useful future for collaboration.
At last, extensive analytics and details for monitoring your server (usage) and website are not yet available on the platform. That would make a great addition.
Support: Very limited
Spinup WP lacks support outside bugs of their own application. However, they do have some documentation on how to work with their platform. But for the rest, not so much information is given on WordPress.
Support channels: email
There is one support channel available: email. However, support is only given on bugs and issues relating to the platform. No support is given to issues on your actual servers or on any of the websites deployed in SpinupWP.
Thus, in my opinion, support is very limited and we were not able to test support appropriately. But maybe I’m able to engage support in the future?
The positive aspect is that they do follow up and are interested in your feedback on the platform. Something that is very important if you’re building a new product.
Proper platform documentation
One of the other positive points is that Spinup WP does have some solid documentation on how to use their platform. In this documentation, basically, all the essentials of using SpinupWP are covered.
They also have a blog with some great articles on various topics, such as articles on caching. But, I am looking forward to more articles.
Some managed hosts, such as Kinsta, are for example really good in a constant output of quality articles. These articles can be really helpful if you’re running WordPress websites.
SpinupWP Pricing: Great
I think that SpinupWP is delivering good value for what they offer. The only caveat is the additional server costs of $5 per server. Especially with a larger number of small servers, competitors such as Cloudways or GridPane become more attractive.
SpinupWP Pricing Plans
Currently, Spinup WP offers the plans listed below. If you sign-up through this review, you get $50 in Spinup WP credit for free.
|$9 Monthly||$14 Monthly||$29 Monthly|
|Number of Servers||1||3*||3*|
*All the plans include all of the features offered by Spinup WP. For the larger plans, additional servers cost $5 per month. Additional team members for the team plan costs $2 per month.
In addition, you need to purchase a VPS at a cloud provider such as Vultr. Usually, these start at $5 a month. Subsequently, additional fees for backup storage may apply.
But how does SpinupWP compare to some of the alternatives in terms of pricing versus features? Let’s do a quick comparison.
|Starts from $12 monthly for one server, $19 monthly for three servers. Each additional servers is $5 monthly.||Free plan available, $15 monthly plan for unlimited servers.||Free plan available, paid plans |
|The additional monthly server fee stack ups for many servers. Misses a couple of important WordPress features.||Is the cheapest, but lacks some features and especially performance.||Offers the best features for WordPress, but the paid plan has the highest starting monthly fee.|
In my opinion, GridPane is the most interesting of the alternatives if you have just one server or if you’re running more than 3 servers.
The SpinupWP Review verdict
SpinupWP offers a great (quite cost-effective) of hosting WordPress websites in your own Virtual Private Servers. It offers most of the necessary safety and developer features.
Great! Spinup WP offers $50 in free credits, if you sign up via this link. And do you also need a trusthworthy cloud provider? Currently, Vultr offers a whopping $100 of free credits. Need I say more!?
However, Spinup WP misses some essential features such as staging and easily restoring backups. These are features which are readily available at competitors such as GridPane.
Now, in my opinion, there is one area were Spinup WP is leading the way and that is in actual Performance. From the WordPress hosting panels tested, SpinupWP offers one of the best performance.
I must say I love the visual details of how SpinupWP is designed. It’s very easy to add new servers and add new WordPress websites. But it’s also a pity that there is not yet so much support available.
So, if you don’t require support that much, it is a good control panel the start with. But at the moment of writing, I find GridPane a better alternative (if you don’t mind a little higher monthly starting fee).