If you’re looking for a good value WordPress service with advanced features when you need them, EasyWP may be the company for you.
Easy to manage multiple websites
Simple but basic backup options
No free trial
Intimidating advanced features
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EasyWP, like its name suggests is a web hosting 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’s purpose is to make managing of your WordPress site(s) more effortless. When we first looked at the service back in March 2019, it was still in beta and some sections were still pretty rough around the edges. Have things improved since then?
Pricing and registration
Straight off the bat, their landing page has a very short video showing you how quick and easy it is to set up an account and have a website ready to use. They’re also extremely proud of the hardware they use to run their business, claiming to offer the fastest ‘fully loaded time’ and ‘time to first byte’ when compared with Bluehost, GoDaddy, WP Engine and Kinsta.
But if that doesn’t sound impressive to you, they may get you on the price difference, which is incredibly attractive.
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.
When registering for the first time, you’ll notice you need to create an account with Namecheap. Since it fully owns EasyWP, your username and password will work on both websites. The process is a lot more streamlined than it used to be.
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). Free trials are in the works, but aren’t as yet implemented.
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 preferred name followed by a random strong of numbers and letters such as -61086f.ingress-alpha.easywp.com.
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.
You do have the option to customise your installation, which is where you can change your site’s name, username, email and password, along with the Wordpress theme and plugins you want, but you can also change all of this once the site is set up.
Make any changes you wish, if any, or just click on “Create WordPress Website”.
This sends you to your main EasyWP account page. Minimalism is the order of the day here.
The main part of the page lists your active websites (yes you can run more than one at a time, more on that later). Top right is a big power-like button which is where you can access your account or log out. Next to it is a button to add another website to your portfolio, conveniently named ‘new website’.
Click on any of the websites from the list see an overview of your site.
There’s also a big ‘Admin’ button, top right. Clicking on it takes you to the traditional WordPress Dashboard for that website. 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. 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 shows you how much storage you have available, which version of WordPress is currently running, when your subscription is due for renewal, that sort of thing.
You can also manage your URL - migrate away from the default one to a more recognisable domain name for instance, either directly through Namecheap or from another provider.
Your website status should be set to ‘Online’. You can change it to ‘Maintenance’ should you wish to make big changes to your site. None of these changes will go live until you get the status back to ‘Online’ and until then, visitors will see a maintenance page when checking your site.
Backing up is easy to do
As the name suggests, the Backup option is where you can backup your entire site. The process is very simple: type in a name, click on ‘Create Backup’, and you’re done. It’s definitely much easier compared to the beta version.
Although much easier, there’s still room for improvement, such as automatic incremental backups, and the ability to check the backups from all your websites in a single location.
There are instructions for setting up automatic backups should you want to do this, but the Knowledgebase instructions are far from simple and involve manual configuration of your database by copying and pasting a script. For a service with the word ‘Easy’ in its name, such configurations, although possible, will definitely put off people not comfortable with doing this.
Files and database
The ‘Files & Database’ section is where you gain access to your site’s files via SFTP, or to its Database system.
This process isn’t as easy as it could be. Clicking on “SFTP Access” or “Database Access” 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.
This isn’t something most who are looking for an easy website maintenance system will be doing a lot of the time, if at all, so we don’t see it as too much of an issue that access to this area is more complex than any other section of EasyWP.
As mentioned earlier, you can manage multiple websites from EasyWP’s interface. This is one clear advantage to this service: if you own and maintain 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 “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.
EasyWP has improved greatly since we last saw it. It offers a robust service at a truly excellent price, and everything works as advertised.
Creating and managing websites is straightforward, and so is switching between them. The backup system has been amazingly simplified, but we’d really like a built-in automatic means of backing up - as with everything, there’s always room for improvement. But considering what you get for the price and how much it has improved in less than a year, this is a great service worth checking out.
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Steve has been writing about technology since 2003. Starting with Digital Creative Arts, he's since added his tech expertise at titles such as iCreate, MacFormat, MacWorld, MacLife, and TechRadar. His focus is on the creative arts, like website builders, image manipulation, and filmmaking software, but he hasn’t shied away from more business-oriented software either. He uses many of the apps he writes about in his personal and professional life. Steve loves how computers have enabled everyone to delve into creative possibilities, and is always delighted to share his knowledge, expertise, and experience with readers.