Overall
4/5
Features
4/5
Performance
4/5
Usability
4/5
Support
3/5
Pricing
5/5

Runcloud is a very fine and cost-effective platform for managing virtual private servers (VPSes). Unfortunately, it is not completely tailored to WordPress.

  • Many developer functions
  • Affordable pricing
  • Runs on most VPS providers
  • No limits on WordPress installations
  • No limits on visitors
  • Great team manager
  • Clumsy process to install WordPress
  • Pricey backups
  • No Staging Environments
  • Not optimized for WordPress
  • Problems with redirects
Runcloud Basic From $ 8 monthly
UpCloud VPS From $ 5 monthly
Runcloud Pro & Upcloud From $ 13 monthly

In this review, we will look if Runcloud.io is suitable for running WordPress. But what is RunCloud exactly?

RunCloud is a hosting control panel that is used alongside Virtual Private Servers. It supports most of the VPS providers out there, such as Vultr, Digital Ocean, Linode and Upcloud.

RunCloud can be installed on your server. Subsequently, you can manage your server from their control panel. RunCloud will take care of all technicalities, such as the installation of software and packages on the server. Essentially, it makes server management a breeze.

Is Runcloud WordPress hosting?

RunCloud supports all kinds of applications. Obviously, WordPress is one of these applications. Therefore, it can be used to manage and host WordPress websites on your own VPS.

So, in essence Runcloud is not a WordPress hosting provider. It is a WordPress hosting panel.

But, is RunCloud also a good WordPress hosting panel? Is managing WordPress with RunCloud also a breeze? Let’s go ahead with this RunCloud review.

RunCloud Review

A video walkthrough of RunCloud

In this review, we have tested RunCloud.io with a combination of a 1GB/1C VPS from UpCloud. We believe RunCloud is aimed at WordPress professionals, and not so much at WordPress beginners.

  • Looking for WordPress hosting reviews? We have a selection of in-depth WordPress hosting reviews. We started reviewing WordPress hosting because we found many reviews lacking the necessary details.

In this review, we examined RunCloud being a WordPress hosting control panel. That means that we did not focus on running and managing servers in general.

Hosting Review Procedure

As I review WordPress hosting providers, I follow a certain procedure. In this review, we will look to the following aspects:

  • Features: the specific features offered by Runcloud. What does it offer?
  • Performance: the actual performance of Runcloud. How many visitors can it handle?
  • Usability: how user-friendly is Runcloud?
  • Support: what can we expect from Runcloud’s documentation and support staff?
  • Price: is Runcloud asking a fair price for their service?

For who is Runcloud?

In my opinion, Runcloud is aimed at WordPress professionals. First, you have to set-up a VPS yourself. Secondly, you have to be able to run some commands on a server in order to install Runcloud. At last, you have to be able to execute optimizations on the server side.

Elaborate Features

RunCloud offers all the necessary features to run a performant WordPress website. However, it is more aimed at managing applications in general.

General Features

RunCloud on itself is not providing hosting or servers. We coupled it with a 1GB and 1 core VPS from Upcloud. This package has 25gb of SSD storage and 1TB of bandwidth. The following features are inherited from RunCloud:

  • Unlimited WordPress installs (as many as the VPS can handle)
  • Application and server manager to manage servers and applications.
  • Offsite backups for applications and databases
  • Team Manager (only for Business Subscriptions, $45/month)
  • Server statistics, health checks and information
  • Pre-installed services such as NGINX, PHP, MariaDB, Redis and Memcached. Just everything you need to run WordPress.

Safety Features

RunCloud incorporates a couple of well-needed safety measures:

  • One-click SSL certificates for applications
  • Isolated web applications. This prevents other applications from getting vulnerable if one application is compromised.
  • Fail2Ban to prevent brute force SSH attacks
  • Server firewall with a strict ruleset
  • Server access through SSH
  • As mentioned, back-ups up to a 30-minute interval. Backups are retained for one month and can be restored to any server.

The back-up feature is great, but adds additional costs. Backups cost $0.06 dollar per day for a single WordPress installation and database. The first 30GB of backup space is free! However, afterwards it may cost up to $49.60 per month for just 1TB of backup space.

Developer Features

RunCloud WordPress Server Management
The server manager in RunCloud, showing memory and disk usage

RunCloud offers the following features that may be interesting for WordPress Developers:

  • Atomic Git Deployment. Code pushed to a Git Repository will be deployed on an application without any downtime. If errors occur, this code is not deployed.
  • Control on server services and packages such as PHP, MariaDB, Redis, Memcached.
  • A manager for cronjobs
  • A database manager for easily adding and managing databases
  • Management of SSH Keys for server access
  • Server health checks and notifications
  • Script installer for WordPress
  • File editing from the interface
  • Selection of webserver (Nginx or Nginx + Apache)
  • Easy to read server logs
  • RunCloud API to manage RunCloud with external applications
Detailed server overview for this RunCloud review
Detailed server overview

Speaking about email and others

Now, looking from a WordPress perspective, there are a couple of comments to make on the features of RunCloud.

The first thing to be aware of is that RunCloud does not set-up an email server. This means that you will not be able to have email accounts registered through Runcloud. Additionally, transactional emails will not send. These are e-mails sent from your WordPress application, such as form submissions. For this, a service like Mailgun is needed.

The other thing is that RunCloud lacks is an easy tool to create a staging environment. It is possible to clone a WordPress installation using the back-up feature. However, this is not a one-click tool for creating a staging environment.

Relatively Fast Performance

The performance of RunCloud + UpCloud is relatively fast, especially because the latter is a fast VPS provider. Out of the box, RunCloud is not optimized for WordPress. Server configurations have to be manually tweaked to improve performance.

RunCloud and UpCloud’s Technology

Many managed WordPress hosting providers offer shared hosting. In essence, this means resources are shared to all WordPress websites running on that server.

On the contrary, RunCloud is run on a VPS. Essentially, meaning all resources are at your disposal. Of course you can run multiple WordPress websites on a single VPS. However, the level of (relative) performance is usually great in such setups.

Now in this RunCloud WordPress review, we combined it UpCloud. UpCloud is utilizing quite performant CPUs and SSD disks. Actually, they are one of the fastest VPS providers out there.

On top of this server goodness, RunCloud installs NGINX, the latest PHP version, Redis and Memcached. Moreover, it supports HTTP2 and Brotli compression. The foundations for a fast running WordPress website. So how will it perform in practice?

Performance Results

In our performance test, we set up WordPress with a bloated theme and WooCommerce. No optimizations outside the provided caching are done. Then we test the site on various performance indicators.

WordPress websites on RunCloud are performant, but not as performant as expected. Other control panels such as GridPane offer much better performance for cached pages. Out of the box, RunClouds caching mechanisms look like they’re not optimized for WordPress.

Maximum Concurrent Clients: 200

How many concurrent clients can a server handle using caching, providing the response time is under 2 seconds? After performing a load test, we found out this server can handle up to 200 concurrent clients. The average response time for this test was 253ms.

Loading Time Average: 0.53s

Testing from the nearest location to the origin server using Pingdom, the loading-time averaged 0.53s.

Maximum Uncached Clients: 5

In this test, we measure how many clients a server can handle without caching. For each client, the response time has to be under 2 seconds. So what are the results? If caching is turning off, this server can handle up to a maximum of 5 users continuously firing requests.

Other performance Remarks

In our extensive performance testing, RunCloud + Upclouds 1GB/1C VPS scored the following:

  • Time to First Byte: 26ms
  • GT Metrix Average: 3.3s
  • WebPageTest Average loading time: 3.22s
  • WordPress Performance Test server score: 8.528
  • WordPress Performance Test queries per second: 423
  • WordPress Performance Check benchmark score: 4 (lower is better)

Performance Comparisons

How does Runcloud scale up? I tested various VPS configurations from Upcloud to see how Runcloud would handle it. In the following table, you can discover the details for each plan.

  • The visitors refers to the maximum amount of concurrent visitors, for both cached pages as uncached pages.
  • The performance test shows the results from a plugin-based test. A lower server score is better, while a higher number of queries per second is also better.
VPSVisitorsPerformance Test
CachedUncachedExecution TimeQueries/Second
1GB/1C VPS20052.36423
2GB/1C VPS40052.3423
4GB/2C VPS800122.24445
8GB/4C VPS1000152.13468

The Performance Test is running great as Upcloud delivers fast servers. However, Runcloud is not optimized out for caching of the box. The number of cached visitors is greatly falling behind competitors such as Gridpane.

Great Stability: 100% uptime

UpCloud adverts the stability of their servers, and it is true. During the testing period, we had a constant performance. Moreover, the up-time was 100%. Great!

Fine Usability, but not for WordPress

The first impression of RunCloud’s interface and usability is great. The screen loads effortless. The design is great. And it’s quite easy to find and manage settings. Managing domains and applications is great. However, installing, cloning and staging WordPress is a little tedious.

Managing WordPress & Domains

Managing WordPress in RunCloud is actually done through adding a web application at the server. When adding this application, the WordPress script can be installed.

The Applications Overview Screen in this RunCloud review
The Applications Overview Screen

It’s nice a script installer can be used, but WordPress will not yet function. Secondly, you have to add a database and a database user. Subsequently, this database user should be connected to the database.

Databases for RunCloud WordPress
Databases have a seperate manager

Now that a database is set up, you manually have to edit your wp-config.php file and add the database details. This seems a little tedious to install WordPress. In the last month, RunCloud was updated with a one-click WordPress installer. Great!

Managing domains for Runcloud WordPress review
The domain management screen

Managing domains however, is quite easy. All the domains attached to a web application (in this case, WordPress), can be managed from a single screen. This is shown in the example above. However, the urls within WordPress itself are not updated when changing a domain.

Installing, Cloning & Moving WordPress

At the time we were using RunCloud, there was not a native clone feature. Cloning, however, was possible through using the backup function. So how does cloning work in Runcloud?

  • Create a back-up of your application and database
  • Create a new web application (using WordPress)
  • Restore the back-up to this new web application
Restoring Backups with Runcloud
Restoring Backups with Runcloud

Now this works fine. However, in terms of usability lacks compared to having a direct clone feature. And that brings us to the following point:

No One-Click Staging Environment

Yes, you can create a staging site through the back-up procedure. Runcloud even wrote an article about how to create a WordPress staging site. But it is a very tedious procedure, far from being a one-click solution. It should be made easier. Logically, we consider a staging functionality an essential feature for WordPress hosting.

Managing Team-Members

Now there is one feature that we love, also considering the price. And that is the team manager.

Runcloud review team manager
The RunCloud team manager

With the team manager from RunCloud, it is very easy to add additional users. These users can have varying access levels to servers, web applications and several functions. This is a marvellous feature when working together with other developers or clients.

So far in this RunCloud review, we’ve written about usability, features and performance. Let’s move on to support!

Okay Support

RunCloud support is okay. We’re pleasantly surprised that a VPS Control Panel offers. However, we miss live chat support. Secondly, RunCloud is a platform for all kind of applications. Most likely, support is focused on WordPress.

Ticket based support

RunCloud offers ticket based support from their control panel, usually replying in a couple of hours. We love the a fact that there is support. But it lacks the speed of live chat support – in our opinion a must have for a serious WordPress hosting provider.

Not necessarily WordPress Experts

We prepared a couple of questions for RunCloud with WordPress related problems. Now the communication on these issues was good, but the answers not always satisfying.

For example, RunCloud and WordPress multisite will not function properly out of the box. It will give redirect errors. This is an issue that can be resolved within the configuration files for Nginx.

Unfortunately, we were not able to solve this matter with the support staff. We only found out that RunCloud does not support WordPress multisite, but no actual solution was given.

Good general documentation

That having said, there is a lot of things you can figure out yourself. And basically, that is because of their extensive documentation, knowledge base and blog.

Their knowledge base and documentation covers all essentials. Additionally, their blog introduces useful tips for WordPress. Moreover, they have a Facebook community.

Affordable Pricing

One of the major advantages of Runcloud is its pricing. Especially if you are running a couple of servers or a dozen of websites, their pricing gets interesting. Compared to WordPress hosting providers, they are quite affordable.

Compared to other control panels for WordPress, they are also on the affordable side. Especially because their pricing is account based. Yup, that’s right, you don’t have to pay extra for additional servers or WordPres installations outside the subscription.

The only downsize is that unlimited servers, but also the team manager and zero downtime deployment for Git are only available from the more expensive plans.

RunCloud.io plans

RunCloud offers four different plans. Prices noted are monthly prices. Next to Runcloud, you also need a VPS. The most common VPS providers are Vultr, Digital Ocean, Linode and Upcloud.

FreeBasic ($8)Pro ($15)Business ($4)
One serverOne serverUnlimited ServersUnlimited Servers
Unlimited applications Unlimited applicationsUnlimited applications Unlimited applications
SSLSSLSSL
GIT DeploymentGIT Deployment GIT Deployment
Atomic Deployment
Team manager

RunCloud WordPress Review Conclusion

Let’s summarize this RunCloud review! We think that RunCloud is great for managing servers and applications. However, it is still mediocre for managing WordPress compared to competitors. This is mostly because of the following factors:

  • Out of the box, cached performance lags behind the competition
  • Cloning and creating staging environments is tedious
  • Redirection errors have to be manually solved in configurations

Nevertheless, RunCloud is amongst the most cost-effective control panels out there. So if you don’t mind some little server optimization yourself, it is still a great WordPress hosting panel. Otherwise, you may want to look into alternatives such as GridPane, SpinupWP or ServerPilot.

Overall
4/5
Features
4/5
Performance
4/5
Usability
4/5
Support
3/5
Pricing
5/5
Runcloud Basic From $ 8 monthly
UpCloud VPS From $ 5 monthly
Runcloud Pro & Upcloud From $ 13 monthly
Bandwidth (GB)1000
Disk Space (GB)25
Email AccountsNo
Control PanelCustom
Supported Installs999
CDNNo
BackupsYes (Paid Extra)
Developer ToolsGIT, Git Deployment, On-Demand Backups, Cron Job Manager, Database Manager
Included AddonsRedis
Notifications BotYes
Automatic UpdatingNo
Transactional EmailsYes
Site MigrationsYes
Backup FrequencyEach 30 minutes, Hourly, Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Custom
Backup RetentionOne Month
Backup RestoresDirectly
Uptime ChecksNo
Security MeasuresServer Firewall, Account Isolation, SSL Certificates, Software Patching, IP Whitelisting, IP Blocking, Two-Factor Authentication
API IntegrationYes
Disk TypeSSD
CachingRedis, Memcached, Nginx FastCGI, Opcache
HTTP2Yes
CompressingBrotli
PHP Versions5.6, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3
DatabasesMariaDB 10.3, MariaDB 10.2, MariaDB 10.1
Server TypeShared
WebserverApache
Auto-Repairing ServersNo
Vertical ScalingManual
Maximum Visitors Under 2 seconds200
Maximum Uncached Visitors Under 2 Seconds5
Average Response Time (s)253
Maximum Succesful Requests12000
Average Loading Time WebPageTest (s)3.22
Average Loading Time GTMetrix (s)3.30
Average Loading Time Pingdom (s)0.53
Time to First Byte (ms)26
Server LocationsNorth-America, Europe, Asia, Australia
VirtualizationKVM
Interface UsabilityPerfect
WordPress InstallerSoftacalous
Domain ManagementApplication Level
Server ManagementExtensive
Application ManagementAverage
Team ManagerYes
Application MonitoringMinimal
Server MonitoringAverage
Server TransfersYes
Project ManagerYes
Support TypesTickets
Support Reaction Time (min)240
Support Knowledge LevelMediocre
DocumentationMediocre
PricingMonthly
InvoicingMonthly