Wpmu Dev Hosting Review
|Support||Help Desk-bound, Chat & Knowledge Base|
|Uptime||Excellent (100% past half-dozen months)|
|Best For||Managed WordPress Hosting|
|Strengths||High Performing Web Servers|
|Weaknesses||High Prices & No Phone Support|
WPMU Dev is a long-time member of the premium WordPress software customs. While they are best known for their plugins, they recently launched a new WordPress hosting product.
I’grand currently a WPMU Dev member and had gratuitous access to the new hosting production. The WordPress & web hosting earth is constantly evolving with new & interesting products.
Given that I use & love some of their plugins, I tried out the hosting product also. Hither are the pros, cons, use cases & alternatives for WPMU Dev hosting.
What is WPMU Dev Hosting?
WPMU Dev launched its showtime major plugin years ago. They became best-known for their multisite & network plugins.
A couple of years agone, they open-sourced most of their smaller, outdated plugins and doubled-downward on a suite of premium plugins focused on agencies, web consultants, designers & developers.
The suite includes security, backup, SEO, and grade plugins. They all work well and integrate together. I personally use the Video Tutorials plugin and their Forminator Pro plugin.
Their hosting product is just another role of that product suite. In the flight to platforms, hosting is WPMU Dev’s flight to be the platform of option for premium WordPress developers and site owners.
Background on WPMU Dev Hosting
Like about WordPress plugins & theme makers, WPMU Dev has been constantly reworking its business organization model to continue up not only with the Internet simply also with software and open-source trends.
Years ago, they sold premium plugins a la carte for a support subscription.
Then they moved to a library subscription model. And so they made all their small plugins free and switched to a subscription for plugin services model.
As hosting companies moved in on plugin & theme makers’ territory, WPMU has moved into hosting companies’ territory by bundling hosting with their plugins.
Whatever the business model, WPMU Dev has ever focused on super-loftier quality lawmaking & back up. They have always focused exclusively on the WordPress globe. I employ their plugins for critical parts of my website, and lean on their support for, particularly catchy code questions.
How WPMU Dev Hosting Works
WPMU Dev hosting, though, is a bit of a hosting hybrid. It’s hard to compare the product to anything else on the market.
When you sign up for WPMU Dev, yous go three hosting accounts bundled with unlimited access to their plugins. A WPMU Dev subscription is $49/mo.
Their hosting production is neither true cloud hosting, nor truthful WordPress hosting, nor true web hosting. I’ll get into all these in the pros & cons, but here’due south the short version.
They use Digital Ocean’s cloud to actually run your website. But it’s not truthful cloud hosting….because, well, it’s a flat rate and you lot don’t run the containers.
They take it pre-configured for WordPress. But information technology’s non truthful WordPress hosting…because, well, in that location’s no real definition for WordPress hosting. It’s
to host some WordPress websites for sure…only the betoken of WordPress is that it can run fine in a variety of environments depending on your needs & resource.
And they accept it marketed as web hosting. But it’s not truthful web hosting…considering, well, it’due south managed deject hosting with all the limitations that come up with information technology.
But it does have some upsides & use cases, peculiarly in a world of platforms. Then permit’due south look at the pros.
Here’southward who I call back WPMU Dev is a skillful fit for.
WPMU Dev Fans & Multisite Owners
WPMU Dev makes some super-useful and loftier-quality plugins. I apply & dear the Forminator Pro plugin on multiple websites. If you lot are already planning on using (and paying) for their plugins, their hosting product makes sense – if only considering it’s already arranged.
Just be aware of the limitations and tradeoffs.
WordPress Website Designers
If you run a WordPress store and want a fast, standard, quality all-in-ane package to present to clients, WPMU Dev’s hosting makes a ton of sense.
You can pay the single membership fee for your shop, but and then sell a recurring all-in-one website hosting / maintenance / security package to your clients.
If you lot stick with WPMU Dev’southward plugins, you could hands have a single client “pay” for the membership fee every month, while pocketing boosted client retainers. You could manage all the sites from a single dashboard with car-updates.
Now, for everyone else, I remember there are a few other options that would give y’all all the benefits of WPMU Dev without the downsides.
Managed WordPress Hosting w/ Bundled Plugins
If WPMU Dev is a plugin maker that offers hosting, this alternative is to find a hosting company that offers bundled plugins. This setup is really quite mutual, especially amongst hosting companies that offer “true” WordPress hosting, rather than just web hosting with WordPress-trained support.
The upside is that yous get all the managed parts of hosting, high-quality plugins, all bundled into a improve price bespeak.
WPMU Dev Hosting Alternatives
The all-time alternatives hither are:
– They offer managed WordPress hosting with built-in staging, CDN, NGINX, and more than – just like WPMU Dev. They also package the JetPack suite of plugins (what I employ for security & more). Their interface likewise offers a WebPro linking feature so that agencies & designers can resell white characterization hosting options. All this ends up at a much better price betoken than WPMU Dev.
Run into InMotion Hosting’southward WordPress plans.
– They offering highly managed WordPress hosting with built-in staging, CDN, NGINX, and more. They as well specialize in highly technical back up. While they don’t bundle any plugins, they do bundle the super-loftier quality StudioPress themes (which I use on this site). They also have unique tools for designers and white-label options. All this ends up beingness right around WPMU Dev’s price point just with arguably more value and less lock-in.
Meet WP Engine’southward plans.
– Technically, this isn’t a hosting company. WordPress.com is a website builder platform that uses self-hosted WordPress software. This means that they have all the benefits of a full-platform with much of the versatility of WordPress software. Their Business concern Programme allows 3rd party plugins simply also comes with a huge range of built-in functionality. They operate at a lower price indicate that WPMU Dev.
See WordPress.com’s plans – though do annotation that this selection is not “apples to oranges”.
Pros of WPMU Dev Hosting
WPMU Dev hosting has a lot going for it. They are a bit of a hidden precious stone. They aren’t the biggest brand on the Internet, and not even a large brand in the WordPress world. But their size & focus creates a lot of advantages.
Platform Quality & Performance
WPMU Dev is already known for their high-quality plugins. They are also known for their loftier-quality WordPress support.
Their hosting production actually lives on Digital Ocean’southward cloud infrastructure. Digital Body of water is one of the “name-brands” of cloud hosting along with Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.
Between WPMU’southward WordPress expertise and Digital Ocean’south performance, you actually don’t have to worry about your website install. Here’s a speed exam from the kickoff, unoptimized install.
Here’s a screenshot of the backend. Information technology’s clean and fast.
Overall, the quality & performance of the product itself is right on.
Full Platform Pricing & Value
WPMU Dev structures its pricing with hosting credits. To exist a WPMU Dev fellow member, you pay $49/mo. You get access to full versions of all their plugins, plus support, plus 3 credits per month for hosting.
Now, $49/month for just a single managed hosting business relationship is super-expensive. $49/month for
managed hosting accounts is super-expensive. In fact, I’ll get to this role in the disadvantages. But WPMU Dev isn’t selling hosting. They are selling hosting equally part of a platform.
And so, looking at the whole platform, $49/month for iii managed hosting accounts plus total versions of all their premium plugins plus support plus all the built-in services that come with their premium plugins brings the full value well past $49/mo.
For instance, a subscription to a security plugin, backup plugin, and form plugin tin all run ~$twenty/calendar month. Competitive managed WordPress hosting can run ~$20/month – even more than for 3+ sites. Add in a CDN, backup storage, etc – and you’ll likely end upwardly well over $49/calendar month.
Now, you might see where I’thousand going with this, and I volition address the pricing assumptions in the disadvantages. But, for at present, the hosting product makes WPMU Dev’southward
an first-class value.
Integrations & Simplicity
WPMU Dev has all the must-have plugins for WordPress taken intendance of. One of the biggest obstacles for running a self-hosted WordPress website is but making everything piece of work well together.
If you buy into WPMU Dev’due south platform, all the plugins piece of work together, which all work well on their hosting configuration.
Yous won’t have to worry about your SEO plugin conflicting with your backup plugin and both of them burning through your server limits.
Data Centers & Features
WPMU Dev has a whole suite of “sweet” hosting features. Past using Digital Ocean, you become a choice of data center location for each website. That’s a huge appeal for anyone & everyone ex-US or with a global readership.
They take plenty of avant-garde developer-friendly features like staging. migration tools, free SSLs, etc.
If you build WordPress websites for clients, they are a very appealing option. All their features are a value-add for the client but don’t add to your workload at all.
Fifty-fifty though they do not have telephone support…and their knowledge base of operations is still getting built out. They do have stellar chat & forum support.
Every interaction that I’ve had over the years has resulted in above & across support. All the back up agents specialize in WordPress and have the actual developers who build the plugins on call.
Like I’ve said in other best WordPress hosting reviews, support is a bit anecdotal. Commonly, I effort to look for a “proxy” for good customer support. Here though, I’ve been a customer of WPMU’s plugins for and so long that I feel like I tin say that their support is solidly top notch.
Cons of WPMU Dev Hosting
Every product is going to take complaints online. Every product will have tradeoffs. Sometimes complaints & tradeoffs come from a poorly designed or executed production. Simply often it’southward considering the production does not fit the customers’ needs, goals & resources.
That’s especially true with WPMU Dev’s hosting product. The production is well-designed & well-executed. But…it has quite a few disadvantages when it comes to customer fit. Let’due south swoop in.
Utilize Cases & Pricing
Similar I said in the pros department, WPMU Dev’s pricing is expensive for hosting. Just their pitch is that they are
than hosting. They brand plugins, have add-on services, and have amazing general WordPress support.
Merely all of that assumes that you’ll actually be using their plugins and add-on services.
I’m a long-time customer, merely I don’t utilize many of their plugins & services…considering I don’t like some of them.
Their SEO plugin is solidly fine….but anyone serious about SEO will be using RankMath or Yoast at the very least.
Their Hummingbird / CDN plugin is solidly fine…but I find it to be clunky and not comprehensive. I pair WP Fastest Cache with MaxCDN / Stackpath.
I use JetPack for security & backups instead of WPMU Dev…considering I utilize it anyway because they have a WordPress Android app in add-on to Related Posts and more.
And I however don’t utilize their hosting, even though it’south technically “gratis” for me, because I just don’t like the limits or workflows…and I don’t want to go locked into a platform anyway.
Platforms are great…just the big reason I utilise self-hosted WordPress instead of a website builder or even WordPress.com is because I don’t want to exist locked into a platform.
Once you lot beginning to add up WPMU Dev’due south pricing with other services…it doesn’t make a lot of sense.
And fifty-fifty for stand-alone pricing, it’s expensive. Hosts like InMotion have truthful, managed WordPress hosting with staging, developer features and everything else (including a JetPack subscription) for half the price of WPMU Dev’southward fellow member price.
There’s but one employ example where WPMU Dev’s pricing makes sense – and that’south for a consultant, bureau, designer (or solo site operator) who has several sites (ie, for clients) and wants to dramatically simplify site management.
In fact, if I was still doing pure-play WordPress spider web design for clients, I would likely just run the whole thing on WPMU Dev. They would let me to white-label and pecker out everything under my proper noun, and it would reduce my workload.
That use case makes a lot of sense…but I don’t think that use instance is also common.
But outside of that utilise case, the whole single cost for a single membership to get bundled hosting is but not a good value.
Upgrades & Pricing
All that said, their hosting upgrades & pricing are even so expensive regardless of use instance.
You can become fully-featured managed WordPress hosting elsewhere for a much ameliorate price…or at least more flexible.
The sites that fit their hosting specs are pretty specific. For instance, If you run a media-heavy web log, you’ll have to pay extra attention to your WordPress settings to continue your install in line….which leads to the next disadvantage.
Jargon & User-friendliness
To be “easy” and mutual website software, WordPress has a lot of jargon. About hosts lean into removing that jargon and making it user-friendly.
WPMU Dev’south hosting production is clean and well-thought-out…just information technology still puts a lot of trust in their average user’s knowledge. I even had to look up terms when working with my install.
Additionally, since it’s hosted with Digital Ocean…and they don’t operate their own DNS…there’due south an extra layer of setup to connect the domain to the DNS to the actual website.
Many of the features that could brand operating a site for a non-programmer or non-advanced WordPress utilise (like site staging) however come with prompts that assume cognition or direct to a concise, but not quite comprehensive knowledge base of operations.
Like the value pricing, the production is user-friendly….for a certain type of user. For a broad market appeal, it has a bit too much jargon to truly exist user-friendly.
Versatility & Usefulness
Since WPMU Dev’southward hosting product is part of their platform and not a stand-lone product…information technology does non have the versatility or usefulness that a Linux web hosting account or even a stand-lone WordPress hosting account would take.
Since the unabridged production is congenital around the primary apply case that I mentioned earlier, they prioritize the not-sharing of resources as the master priority. That’south fine and all, but it leads to tradeoffs that non everyone may realize. For instance, here’south what they say in regards to the depression storage limits.
It’s as well of import to empathize that the speed, security and stability of WPMU DEV hosting relies heavily on a highly-structured server environment in which each member’due south files exist in a dedicated virtual private server. When we refer to “your files” we’re not talking merely nearly your content, simply also your WordPress core files, backups, staging sites, plugins, integrations and themes—all of which are protected in their own virtual world with nada shared resources.
Again, that’south fine. And it’s a pretty typical setup for VPS plans. But their plans are very low because the price betoken that they are operating at ($49/mo)…that it’s hard to decide how much it’due south truly worth paying.
Stand-alone hosting products take known limits that you can cross-compare. You can factor in offloading email to Google or running local scripts elsewhere…but since WPMU’s product is so focused and and so specific, it’due south hard to really judge versatility and usefulness with costs.
Product Novelty & Company Structure
While WPMU Dev has been around as a plugin and theme maker for years, their hosting product is very new. They launched it in 2019, and still seem to be making changes to the product based on client feedback.
In fact, their system of hosting credits is even more recent than the product itself. Since the visitor is originally a plugin maker, not a hosting company, I would await a continued learning curve equally they sympathise the market better.
Additionally, WPMU Dev every bit a company has been continually moving upmarket and upwardly the pricing ladder in the past few years. My pricing has been grandfathered in thanks to a Black Fri deal several years ago (I pay $19/mo for my plugins). Hosting seems to have been paired with a push to the $49/calendar month pricing tier.
Again, I think the value is nonetheless at that place for many utilize cases but I am curious just how much further they will effort to push the membership fee. Cost increases and abiding business model changes are office of whatsoever Internet business. Simply for a production like hosting where I but want information technology to work – and work for a long-time, information technology’s a fleck disconcerting.
Bundled Plugin Maker w/ choice of hosting
This pick is what WPMU Dev used to be (and technically still is). Here, you’d commit to a maker of a suite of plugins such as:
- WPMU Dev
To go on your costs consistent and then pair it with a WordPress host that fits your upkeep.
Your costs will be your costs – they might exist higher than WPMU Dev with hosting, but they will likely be lower
you’ll have the versatility to move & switch as needed.
A la Carte du jour Everything based on Needs / Upkeep
If reading this has made yous budget-conscious and worried virtually the costs of running your website, don’t worry. The dazzler of WordPress is that the software is gratis. All you need is a practiced host that fits your budget, a domain proper noun, and the wherewithal to build your site and purchase premium products equally needed. There are more enough free themes & plugins out there to run a solid website.
And if yous are a budding developer or designer, note that you can requite Digital Bounding main a run on their ain – or through a cloud hosting manager similar Cloudways.
WPMU Dev hosting is an interesting & welcome improver to the web hosting globe. If you fit in the right employ cases, information technology’s an incredible production. Simply if you aren’t in their target market, you volition likely find more affordable and more versatile options elsewhere.
Explore their product line.
Check out other WordPress hosting options and other WordPress plugins.
Wpmu Dev Hosting Review