These days the options for hosting a website are increasing in both number and complexity and choosing the right one can make or break your project. Fortunately, you are not alone in having to make this decision as over 350 million other website maintainers have already voted for WordPress. It offers an outstanding mix of functionality, speed, and ease of use that have made it the number one content management system in the world. Once you’ve settled on WordPress as you CMS you need to consider how and where to host it. You can self-host on a bare-metal Linux server but you’ll need some serious Linux chops for that. You’re far better of using a trusted WordPress managed hosting provider to look after all the nuts and bolts so you can on with creating a beautiful website.
Rocket.net is an exciting new WordPress managed hosting provider that is causing a stir in the WordPress community. And for good reasons. Let’s take a look at why.
Time To First Page
This is a personal metric that I use to evaluate the speed and efficiency of a hosting provider by looking at the ease of their onboarding process i.e. going from a brand new client signing up to having a test page live on the internet. I have found that this is very indicative of how well a hosting provider has its processes and systems dialed-in. If you’re left hanging around when you’re trying to sign up then you can expect those sorts of hold-up all throughout their service.
Rocket.net really excels here. The signup and payment process is a single page that took (literally) a couple of minutes to fill in. That done I created a brand new WordPress site and spun it up in another couple of minutes. In fact, the longest wait was for my DNS provider to catch up and resolve my domain to my new IP address.
The entire process, including DNS resolution, took less than 10 minutes to get a test page visible on the internet. Great stuff!
Rocket.net Control Panel – Mission Control
This is where you’ll manage all the WordPress sites that you’ve spun up. Rocket.net has a great set of tools and information pages all presented on their clean, uncluttered interface. Here are my use stats for my website:
It looks great and shows me, at a glance, what I’m using.
The most important and useful tools that the Rocket.net control panel offers are details below. In addition, to those tools, the control panel is your central location for managing all your WordPress sites.
You can spin up new sites in a few seconds and get the details (IP, hostname, etc) as soon as they go live. You can also manage all your users and the FTP and SFTP account that they use to manage your files on your WordPress sites.
Rocket.net will also record and display your site visitor statistics without you needing to install any plugins or turn to a third party. It’s all right there in the control panel. This makes your WordPress install lighter and easier to manage.
Any system administrator worth his salt will tell you that the most important first step in creating a rock-solid web presence are backups. You could use some WordPress plugin to do this for you why bother when Rocket.net provides a backup facility that can take manual and automatic backups.
You can restore from any of these backups with a single click. Even better, your data is securely stored on fault-tolerant hardware.
It’s all about the updates
A typical WordPress instance has lots of plugins and themes that, along with the WordPress core installation, always need updating. These updates provide new features and functionality and also, most importantly, security fixes. This makes it critical to update as regularly as you can.
The only problem is that updates are a chore.
Rocket.net has a built facility to keep all of the components of your WordPress site automatically updated. This frees up your time from logging in and updating your WordPress instance so you can focus on what is more important to you.
Maintaining your WordPress site is now as easy as toggling a switch in the Rocket.net control panel.
Reliability and Uptime
All of these features don’t count for much of Rocket.net can’t keep your site online. I’ve been using Rocket.net for a couple of months and none of the third-party monitoring tools have reported even a single minute of downtime. This means a greater than 99.99% uptime which is a great achievement.
This is an excellent record for any web host where transient network hiccups and hardware problems are much more common than is widely credited. I’ve been impressed with how solid the performance and availability of my WordPress site has been.
Slow-loading websites will cost you, visitors. In fact, Google found that pages that take 10 seconds to load will suffer a 123% bounce rate. That is to say that visitors will simply get bored and frustrated on a slow website and try a different site that loads faster.
I benchmarked my WordPress website on Rocket.net using the Google Lighthouse developer tool from my laptop and got this result:
Normally this kind of result takes a lot of work optimizing PHP and Apache setting, implementing a caching layer, and other arcane server settings. This was an out-of-the-box performance from my Rocket.net WordPress instance. I didn’t have to mess with anything to get this performance.
Rocket.net achieves this impressive speed by offering several advanced web technologies on all their plans. These are:
Cloudflare Enterprise – A CDN is a Content Delivery Network which is a technique usually used by the likes of Netflix and Amazon to make sure that their web assets are geographically close to the end-users. This proximity of the user to content ensures that the user’s experience is as fast as possible because their data doesn’t have to travel from the other side of the world.
Rocket.net Automatically implements the Cloudflare Enterprise for all their plans. You don’t need to do anything to start enjoying the same advantages that the big boys use. Full-page caching, edge optimization, full WAF are all on by default and free of charge for every WordPress site deployed!
Caching – This technique stores your website assets in a speedy layer that sits between your visitors and your website. When a visitor requests a page the caching layer will serve it instantly speeding up their experience of using your site immensely.
Caching is supplied for all Rocket.net plans and doesn’t need any configuration or setting up. Just create your beautiful website and start enjoying the benefits.
Image optimization and asset compression – The size in MB of a webpage makes it slower to load as the visitor has to wait for all the data to arrive at their device before they can see your webpage. This is especially bad on mobile devices with slower internet connections are much more common.
Rocket.net solves this problem by automatically optimizing images, that is making them smaller without altering the way they look and also compressing the files that make the webpages. Just like everything else, this all happens automatically without you needing to worry about it.
Having a super-fast website is no use if it gets hacked. Rocket.net offers a whole suite of security tools that you don’t need to do anything to take advantage of. They are automatically offered on all their plans and protect every site you host on Rocket.net.
WAF – This slightly strange name is a Web Application Firewall. It is an advanced security tool that scans every web request before it reaches your WordPress site. If a hacker attempts to send a malicious request designed to hack your site or take it offline the WAF will block it before it reaches your site.
Network Firewall – This is the standard network firewall that filters any malicious data before it can reach your site and cause harm.
Two Factor Login – This cutting-edge security technique protects your Rocket.net login. Once you enable this then a hacker cannot just guess your password. They also need your smartphone in their hands. This makes it virtually impossible for them to hack into your Rocket.net account.
Free SSL Certificate – An SSL certificate is a technology that power secure HTTPS websites and they used to cost up to $100 USD per year. Rocket.net supply free unlimited SSL certificate for all your sites protecting your users and giving them confidence that you take their privacy seriously.
The most frustrating part of dealing with any company across the internet is getting in contact with a human when you need to. Rocket.net obviously got the memo and offer 27/7/365 support.
You can get in touch with Rocket.net by Email, live chat, or over the phone. The phone support is restricted to the upper-tier plans which are pretty standard for web hosts.
Free Website Migration
If you’ve got a WordPress site hosted somewhere else then one of the major barriers to using an alternative host is the hassle and cost of moving it to a new host. Rocket.net removes this barrier by offering website migration for all of your existing WordPress sites free of charge!
It doesn’t get much easier than that!
30 Money Back Guarantee
I love to see this offered by any company because it means that they are so much confident in the product they offer that they don’t expect to ever have to make good on this promise.
Rocket.net has obviously designed and built their systems so that they confidently expect that, once you make the commitment, you won’t think of going anywhere else.
So what are the downsides to Rocket.net managed hosting? The only negative that jumps out is the cost of hosting. The basic plan comes in at $25 USD per month and the other plans go up from there.
That a fair bit compared to a bargain-basement VM or shared-hosting account. However, the impression I get from using Rocket.net is that they are not trying to compete with the cheapest offering on the internet.
Their long list of features and the quality of their service means that this is an enterprise-class product. And $25 a month for an enterprise product, any enterprise product, is a steal. Don’t let the price put you off.
I’ve hosted a WordPress site on Rocket.net for a month and I’ve got to say I’ve really liked it. The huge list of features that just work is amazing. I haven’t got time for micro-managing technical details like wringing the last drop of performance and security from a hosting platform. That’s why I love that all Rocket.net’s features don’t need any of my input. They’re always on and always working for me.
I love it!
If you need a WordPress solution that’s got it all don’t hesitate to give Rocket.net a try.