StudioPress Sites is a new fully hosted, all-in-one WordPress website builder from Rainmaker Digital (formerly Copyblogger). It is presented as a managed WordPress host combined with the ease of use of a website builder, all with the full flexibility and power of a standard WordPress installation.
But is it the right for you?
We made the following video to help you decide…
(best viewed in full screen mode)
All the details about what StudioPress Sites includes can be found here.
So, what are our first thoughts?
- Top quality hosting – Based on the Synthesis managed hosting platform that Copyblogger has offered for years, so it is fast, secure and scalable.
- Very cost effective – especially when StudioPress Sites starts from just $24/month vs the cost of a decent host ($10/month and up), Sucuri ($17/month), StudioPress themes ($41/month amortised over 1 year), not to mention the included premium plugins .
- 1-click SSL set-up.
- Very easy to set up your site, including pre-installing and configuring WordPress.
- Includes one of the better visual page builders (Beaver Builder).
- Includes 1-click installers for a number of premium plugins.
- The biggest one is that there is no built in backup solution. Of course, you can always install BackupBuddy.
- Can’t set your WordPress admin password during signup, and it is not obvious where to find it in the Sites admin panel.
- Does not include email hosting (which is not unusual for managed hosts).
- You will need to purchase your own licence for the premium plugins if you want support for them.
- Password reset emails ended up in our junk folder in Gmail, although the signup email landed in the inbox.
- Only the first word of the site name you enter in the sign up is transferred to the WordPress settings (this can be updated in the general settings tab).
- Theme previews for the included StudioPress themes show all the widgets set up, but when you install and activate the theme the widgets aren’t actually set up. Given that these themes come with an XML file to set up demo content, I would have expected the “pre-installed” themes to be set up to demo level.
- When you change your WordPress admin password, it is not reflected in your Sites dashboard.
- There are a couple of minor technical setup issues (eg, EDD configuration for nginx, auto redirecting http pages to https pages once the SSL certificate has been installed, etc). I would expect that these will be sorted quite quickly.
Who is StudioPress Sites good for?
- You want the flexibility of WordPress, without having to deal with substandard hosting companies (no need to be boxed in by a restrictive platform like Squarespace just to avoid technical hassles).
- If you’d love to have WordPress set up and running for them (if you want to do it yourself, then we have a great tutorial).
- You want peace of mind that ongoing security and software updates are taken care of for you.
All in all, StudioPress Sites is a great, value for money hosting solution for anyone who is serious about their website.