WPMU DEV recently launched a dedicated WordPress hosting service. So, to ensure our readers are up to date with the hosting world, we decided to test this service out. Like with all our web hosting reviews, we conducted comprehensive tests of the WPMU DEV hosting service to determine if they deliver.
Read on to discover what we learned. The test conducted is as follows.
A Little Background on WPMU DEV
Founded in 2007, WPMU DEV is a web hosting firm based in Australia. Originally, the company’s focus was on WordPress theme development, after which they graduated to plugins. They created a number of popular WordPress plugins, including Hummingbird, Smush, and Defender.
With their extensive WordPress background, the natural evolution for the firm was to offer WordPress Hosting. Thus, they now offer complete hosting packages for WordPress users.
Besides their WordPress expertise, another benefit to choosing WPMU is that they offer all their premium plugins for free with their hosting packages. In other words, you get plugins worth $200 – $300 per year at no cost when you sign up for WPMU DEV hosting.
WPMU DEV Hosting: Performance
WPMU DEV uses Digital Ocean cloud servers to maintain their hosting infrastructure. Digital Ocean is one of the four main providers of cloud services in the world, alongside Google, Azure(Microsoft), and AWS(Amazon Web Server). They are known to provide cheap but very reliable and performance-oriented servers.
While Digital Ocean is not as popular as AWS, for example, tests show that their performance is on par with Kinsta and WP Engine. The former uses Google Cloud, while the latter employs AWS.
Digital Ocean is mainly known for providing excellent Linux solutions for developers. Linux is the most popular operating system used to maintain website hosting servers.
WPMU: Load Times
The load time of a webpage is a vital metric because it can make or break a website. Long load times lead to loss of traffic because people expect speed nowadays.
While a lot of factors influence load time, many of which are directly related to the site itself, hosting also plays a vital part. In a nutshell, the better the servers and the quality of the hosting firm, the faster your page will load.
We tested WPMU to see how they performed in terms of load times, as well as to conduct a comparison with other top hosting providers. We’re glad to say that they didn’t disappoint. Thus, it took 2.31 seconds to load a 1.42 mb webpage. Consider that 3 seconds is the global recommended load time.
We also ran tests to see how WPMU DEV stacked up against other hosting providers. The first test was conducted with Bluehost. The latter is one of the most popular web hosting providers at the moment.
To keep things fair, we tested the exact same website we used for WPMU. We also used the exact same tool to measure, namely Pingdom.
As you can see, Bluehost had a load time of 4.5 seconds, making it more than 2 seconds slower than WPMU DEV. It should be noted, though, that Bluehost is not known for its speed.
Also Read: Bluehost Vs SiteGround Comparison
Therefore, we decided to pit WPMU against what is probably the fastest hosting service available today, namely Kinsta. The results are below.
As you can see, Kinsta achieved a load time of 962ms. If we extrapolate, Kinsta would still be twice as fast as WPMU DEV for a similar size page.
Also Read: WP Engine vs Kinsta
However, it’s not exactly fair to compare the two for the simple reason that they differ significantly on price points. For example, Kinsta’s packages start at $30 per month for a single website, whereas WPMU has packages as cheap as $16 per month for a website.
Furthermore, Kinsta offer limited resources compared to WPMU DEV. The latter’s packages offer a host of features, including a complete set of premium WordPress plugins.
In conclusion, WPMU offers far more than Kinsta. The latter is tailored for ultimate performance. However, if you’re looking for a complete solution with plenty of great premium plugins, you can’t go wrong with WPMU DEV.
When choosing a hosting firm, don’t just consider speed. There are a variety of other factors to take into account, so make sure you consider what’s best for your site.
Also Read: Fastest WordPress Hosting of 2019
They have 8 data centers, which certainly goes toward offering this great speed. You also have the option to change the location of the data center at no cost, even after you’ve purchased hosting. This is not the norm, as most hosting companies charge a small fee for a switch.
What Pricing Model Does WPMU Use?
At first glance, WPMU DEV’s pricing structure might seem quite complicated. However, we can clarify as we had to get in touch with support to understand how it works.
So, the first month is free. You then have to pay $49 per month for membership. This membership gives you $30, which you can use for hosting. In other words, you can use the $30 to buy 3 sites, for example, in the Bronze category, or one site in the Silver category, or pay an additional $20 and get a site in the Gold category.
What each category offers is shown in the table below.
Furthermore, all their hosting plans come with very useful features, such as:
#Offers automatic incremental hosting backups
- Before a WordPress update
- Before Automate updates
- When a new main domain is chosen
- When a site is transferred from staging to production
Backups use Amazon S3 cloud storage. This is the same network that serves Amazon’s own sites. Considering that the company loses $20,000 for every second one of their sites isn’t available, you can be sure it doesn’t happen frequently.
#Features STFP and SSH
Provides Free CDN via the StackPath network that features over 30 locations all over the globe. A content delivery network is essential. It spreads out cached copies of your website’s images and other content on a network of servers around the world. When someone visits your site, the CDN ensures they receive content from the closest server to them, which improves speed significantly.
Offers SEO services through their SmartCrawl Pro plugin. This plugin features SEO optimization strategies that have been proven to work. Using it you can do things like automatic linking, connect social accounts, customize titles and meta descriptions, integrate with Moz for reports and comparison, and much more.
One of the major features they offer is multisite hosting. In fact, they’ve been one of the largest multisite hosts online since 2005, with over 5 million websites and 1,000 networks. They offer full white labeling, analytics, reports and round the clock support.
They also offer free migration using their Shipper plugin. If there are issues, they will manually transfer your website for free.
WPMU DEV also offers an email hosting and forwarding service to any account, including Gmail and Yahoo.
They also take advantage of the performance boost offered by Object Cache at the database level. This feature is active by default on all the sites they host. Object Cache reduces the server load for queries that WordPress, plugins, and themes frequently call, thereby improving performance.
WPMU DEV offers a unique feature known as the Hub. The Hub is basically an interface that allows you to manage every aspect of multiple WordPress websites from one dashboard. You can do everything from running performance scans, backups, improvements, updates, and much more on all your sites from one screen.
For anyone who has tried to manage multiple websites before, you’ll know how painful it can be. You switch between screens and windows, hope that you’ve done everything right, and still you end up forgetting something. With the Hub, that will no longer be the case.
#No cheaper plan for a single website might be considered an issue.
Is WPMU DEV a Reliable Hosting Service?
It’s become standard to offer 99.99% uptime, but the question is whether they deliver on their promise. Of course, we tested it, though the test is relatively short since they’ve only launched their service recently.
Thus, we conducted a one-month test and found that they not only meet the average of 99.99% but exceed it. In fact, we were quite stunned to discover their uptime was 100%. Okay, it’s a new service and we’ve only had one month of data, so things might change. However, even for a new service, these figures are surprising.
To make sure, though, we will continue to monitor their uptime for at least another month and will update the results here.
What’s WPMU’s Security Like? Do They Protect Against Hackers and Other Attacks?
As we’ve already stated, WPMU uses Digital Ocean’s servers to host their clients’ websites. Digital Ocean is among the top cloud service providers in the world, along with Google, AWS, and Azure.
Of course, this means they have serious security in place. They have things like round the clock physical security to guard the data centers, physical entry restrictions to their properties and facilities, file auditing and intrusion detection systems, and much more. In fact, you can check out their extensive security measures in this blog post.
They also have a unique account isolation feature. This means your website is protected from other harmful sites that might be hosted on the same server or in the same data center. Besides this, WPMU also offers a premium plugin called WP Defender, which is very popular and effective with over 100,000 installs in the WordPress plugin directory.
WP Defender features a slew of security features that will keep anyone out, including the most determined bad actors. These include security scans, vulnerability reports, audit logs, 2-factor authentication, IP lockout devise, blacklist monitoring, and more.
We feel that WPMU DEV are worth an A+ rating in terms of the quality of security they offer, compared to other hosts in the WordPress industry.
What’s the WPMU Support System Like?
WPMU DEV offers a 24/7 live chat, along with a ticketing system, and comprehensive documentation. They are dedicated to offering great customer support and are very quick to respond. We verified these facts by actually testing their support team.
We were highly impressed with their support. They were extremely fast to respond – it took less than 5 seconds to connect. They also responded within 40 seconds to all of the messages we sent.
With other hosting companies, one live agent manages multiple clients at the same time, which can cause significant delays in responses. This was not the case with WPMU as they responded quickly, which indicates they handle one customer at a time.
What Are Users Saying About WPMU DEV?
As you can see, users speak highly of the company and their services. We weren’t able to find a lot of reactions pertaining to their hosting service, though. This is because it’s a relatively new service and people are still testing it. However, so far, people seem to be quite satisfied with it.
Do We Recommend WPMU DEV?
It depends on your requirements and the needs of your website. If you want to be able to manage multiple WordPress websites on a single managed WordPress platform, then WPMU DEV is the best option available right now.
No other hosting service currently provides nearly as many features as WPMU DEV. You’ll also save quite a bit of money on all the premium plugins that come for free with their hosting. The plugins are great at improving site speed, improving your Google Page Speed score, increasing your Google ranking, and much more.
However, if you have a team that is knowledgeable enough to handle of the technical aspects of your websites, and they have sufficient time, resources, and budget to do so, then you might find better options. For example, Kinsta is a far better choice in this situation thanks to their high speed.
Keep in mind, though, that WPMU DEV is a relatively new hosting service. We believe that it won’t be long before they catch up to Kinsta and WP Engine in terms of speed, which will make them a powerful competitor.