TL; DR: Entrepreneurs and eCommerce novices often find it difficult to create and maintain WordPress sites. Beyond the challenges of setup and design, the sites can fall prey to many common issues — including downed servers and traffic overloads. Namecheap, a Los Angeles-based web host, recognized those shortcomings and built a solution: a cloud-based managed WordPress hosting platform called EasyWP. It leverages the Namecheap cloud to provide users with data and hosting reliability bringing cloud benefits without complexity. Instead, EasyWP offers intuitive tools and managed service at a reasonable price.
When developing his own WordPress websites, Matthew Russell, Chief Cloud Officer for Namecheap, found that WordPress hosting was typically robust and expensive or affordable and basic. But he didn’t find an effective solution that fell into both categories.
“A few years ago, I personally had a handful of WordPress websites and plenty of hosting experience, but they were still a headache to manage,” he said.
In managing those WordPress sites, Matthew said that it’s time consuming to setup and deploy WordPress in a traditional way. It’s also a headache managing multiple WordPress websites with different cPanel control panels, logins and more He also didn’t want to deal with typical hosting failures — including downed server or nosy server neighbors.
“I just wanted it to work intuitively with no clutter, so I thought about how we could improve the WordPress process,” he said.
With that goal in mind, Matthew used his experience with Namecheap — which offers affordable domain names and hosting services — to create a streamlined WordPress hosting solution. The final product, Namecheap’s EasyWP, simplifies hosting for users who manage several websites and offers intuitive templates for users who would have hired a third party to build their platform.
Further, EasyWP is backed by the power of the NameCheap Cloud, so users gain benefits — including reliability and the ability to deal with surges in traffic — with no need to upgrade their plans or running out of server resources.
“I wanted real cloud benefits that users could enjoy without having to understand everything about the cloud,” Matthew said.
EasyWP caters to both solo practitioners and small-to-medium business owners who rely on WordPress to accomplish their goals. As its name suggests, the primary feature EasyWP offers to users is simplicity.
And with EasyWP’s focus on the most useful tools and a cloud developed from scratch, the company is poised to help businesses establish an online presence for years to come. Though EasyWP is currently in beta, it expects to be ready for wide release in Q1 2019.
Simplicity Is Key: Offering Streamlined Plans for Busy Clients
In developing EasyWP, Matthew stumbled across the “Jobs To Be Done” theory, by Clayton Christensen of Havard Business School. This theory helped frame Matthew’s vision for EasyWP in abstracting any difficulty, and deliver a product that understands a user wants to use WordPress to build and manage their web presence, without any fuss.
In Matthew’s experience, many WordPress hosting companies offered WordPress on older technologies, like shared hosting, or managed WordPress at very high prices. In his company, Matthew wanted to explore what customers were trying to do — and offer only the services that would be useful to them.
“With this view in mind, I wanted my platform to be simple and easy,” he said.
To accomplish that goal, EasyWP offers specific features for every customer. The setup and installation process takes 30 seconds and just a couple of clicks. Connecting it to a domain name is much easier than it has been in the past. And some other offerings include easy backups and restores, FTP file access, and a WordPress website that’s functional immediately.
Users can customize their plans depending on how much storage they need and how many visitors their websites see each month. The EasyWP Starter plan offers 10GB SSD storage and the capacity to host up to 50,000 visitors monthly. The medium- and high-level plans provide 50GB SSD storage and hosting capacity of 200,000 visitors per month and 100GB and hosting for 500,000 visitors, respectively.
The company is already building new plans to accommodate other workloads as well. EasyWP is so functional because the company offers one of the largest cloud platforms available, with tens of thousands of containers constantly running. That computing ability provides the company with many opportunities for growth and addition of features and capacities.
“Our cloud platform will open many doors, some of which are hard to predict,” said Matthew. “What we are certain on is by doing the hard work by building our own cloud platform and building this expertise in house, we’ll be well positioned to offer exciting opportunities to our customers.”
Delivering an Optimized User Experience at a Reasonable Price
Though EasyWP offers a considerable number of features, the company has kept its pricing structure affordable. In developing the company, Matthew wanted to balance the benefits of cloud hosting with affordability to make the service accessible.
“A lot of industry experts don’t realize how expensive the cloud is. There’s always an unpredictable element when using it. It’s quick and easy to get started but you then can suffer from vendor lock-in, and pay the public cloud tax,” said Matthew. “But you should have the opportunity to model just how many resources you expect to use.”
This is why managed WordPress hosting can often be expensive. For EasyWP to remain affordable, Matthew recognized that Namecheap needed to develop its own cloud. So the company built one from the ground up so it could offer more reasonable prices than those of other hosting solutions.
“We accomplished it. We only charge $3 to $4 a month, rather than some products at price points of $15 or $20 a month,” he said
Prices for EasyWP start at only a few dollars a month, and range to $12 monthly for increased storage and top-tier traffic. If users pay for the solution for an entire year, they pay less than they would for the month-by-month plan and realize savings of nearly 50%.
But the biggest benefit for EasyWP users is that they don’t have to leave WordPress because hosting options are too expensive.
“I tried a few initial blogging platforms, and I’ve been in awe of how popular WordPress has become,” said Matthew. “There are other hosting offerings, but they’re expensive — mostly because they’re built on a public cloud.”
EasyWP: A True Managed Solution, Not a One-Size-Fits-All Product
A desire for a simple, affordable managed WordPress option led to the creation of EasyWP, but the solution goes beyond just lumping customers together on one-size-fits-all hosting plans. While that is a cost-cutting measure for similar hosting platforms, EasyWP provides its customers with more control.
“We’re a truly managed solution,” Matthew said. “You’re not on a shared server with many others, and we are delivering four, if not five, nines of reliability already.”
Performance, reliability, and security are EasyWP’s guarantees and the company has an impressive track record of reliability. Matthew said EasyWP can offer such reliable service at a low price because it is in control of its own infrastructure. Its updated infrastructure also stands in contrast to the offerings other WordPress hosting companies may offer.
“There is a fair amount of concern about data in the public domain. We treat it with extreme care,” Matthew said. “We do not lock users into a walled garden as they may experience with some of the site builders. And users of EasyWP benefit from Namecheap’s steadfast stance on all things data protection and privacy.”
Simplicity, security, and affordability give Namecheap’s EasyWP a triple threat of appealing options to offer customers. WordPress users looking for a robust solution should consider EasyWP as an alternative to more expensive — and less reliable — hosting solutions.