EasyWP, like its name suggests is a web hosting and building service designed around WordPress, which aims to make the entire process much easier than it would otherwise be - or so they claim.
If you aren’t familiar with WordPress, it’s the most popular website creation and managing tool out there. The interface takes a while to get used to if you’re a novice, but once you’ve got the hang of blogging, writing pages, and customising your site’s appearance, you’ll be flying. You can learn more about WordPress via our review of that service as this is not the scope of this review.
- Want to try EasyWP? Check out the website here
EasyWP is supposed to make managing of your WordPress site(s) more effortless.
Their welcome page entices you with attractive incentives, such as easy online backups of your site, the ability to make changes across your site and release it all only once it’s ready (aka Maintenance Mode), SSL certificates for safer browsing of your site and SFTP for more secure upload to your site.
Pricing and registration
The pricing is also very attractive and the options are remarkably simple. There are three tiers to choose from: Starter, Turbo and Supersonic. These grant you 10GB, 50GB and 100GB of storage and 50,000, 200,000 and 500,000 visitors per month respectively.
If you pay monthly, each tier will set you back $3.88, $7.88 and $11.88, but your first month will be only $1, $2, or $3, which is a heck of a deal. The prices are even better should you choose to pay for the whole year in one go.
Having registered with EasyWP, you’re then directed to login with Namecheap - it’s a weird step, especially since the login you created for EasyWP then automatically works for Namecheap, and it could confuse those less experienced. Once in Namecheap, select WordPress > Managed WordPress to get back to the features promoted in EasyWP.
In order to start trying out the service, you have to pay for it - there are no free trials although you do get a full refund should you cancel the service within 30 days (this has to be done via a live chat, but there are no quibbles - they just do as you ask).
After having given Namecheap access to your credit card details, you’re given the option of either buying a domain name or using EasyWP’s free option - which would be your chosen name or word combination followed by -4ff817.easywp.com (at least that was the suffix we were given when we chose ours).
You can easily migrate to a proper domain name later on. This is a great way to start your web building experience without agonising over a domain name if you haven’t already chosen one.
Once done, click on “Create WordPress Site”.
This sends you to the main “Overview” page. Top right of that window is a big “WP Admin” button. Click on it and you’ll be sent to the traditional WordPress Dashboard. If you’re used to WordPress then you’ll feel completely at home here as the interface is 100% as you’d expect it to be. There is absolutely no difference there. Clearly, EasyWP’s job isn’t to make the creation process easier, just the maintenance of your site.
So let’s go back to EasyWP’s options and see what’s on offer. The “Overview” section displays your website’s status - this is where you can switch between ‘online’ and ‘maintenance mode’, and is also where you can delete your entire website with the click of a button.
“Domains” shows you the list of domains you currently manage. To add more, click on ‘New Site’, top right of the page. This is one clear advantage to this service: if you own multiple sites, you can control them all from this interface and only need to remember one set of username and password. EasyWP handles the rest: select the site you want to change, click on “WP Admin” and you’re in. It really couldn’t be easier.
You need to be aware though that the price you pay for the service is per domain name. Add another site and the price doubles. Three, it tripes, and so on.
Less easy, more complex
“Backups” is, as its name implies, where you can gain access to any backup you made of your site. The subtitles states “Create backups of your website regularly.” But it seems it’s an instruction for you, not something the service does automatically.
Click on the ‘Create Backup’ button to start the process each time. There are instructions for setting up automatic backups should you prefer, but the Knowledgebase instructions are far from simple and involve manual configuration of your database which will not be for the faint hearted. Put it this way, if you need a service called ‘Easy’-anything, such configurations, although possible, will definitely put you off.
Finally, “Files & Database” is where you gain access to your site’s files either via SFTP or to its Database system.
Again this process isn’t as simple as it could be. Clicking on “Access Files” or “Access Database” will get EasyWP to generate temporary usernames and passwords which last an hour by default. You can change this setting for the password to expire after 12 hours, 24, or never.
SFTP access has to be done outside of EasyWP, via a dedicated FTP application (they recommend the free FileZilla). Input the username and password created and you can see your website’s files. You can add to and delete them at your leisure. But only do so if you know what you’re doing: changing any WordPress files can seriously affect your entire website and possibly make it inoperable.
The same applies to your database. WordPress is powered by databases and this section grants you access to them. There is a link on this page to get to your site’s PHPMyAdmin, but you’d have to copy and paste the generated username and password manually, which involves flicking from tab to tab in your web browser and isn’t very user friendly, but once you’re in, you’re in.
It’s hard to know where exactly EasyWP stands. It offers services which aren’t actually easy to access and are gateways to quite advanced features. We would think that if you need access to those, you probably wouldn’t be needing a service to help you do it - especially since EasyWP’s way isn’t as straightforward as it could be.
Creating and managing new sites is straightforward, and so is switching between multiple websites though, so there’s that. The price for the service is however better value than directly from WordPress, so this might its saving grace, and you get all the rest as a bonus when you’re ready for it.
- We've also highlighted the best managed WordPress hosting