Managed WordPress hosting is definitely the way to go when it comes to running a WordPress site. Shared hosts may be cheaper, but they're plagued with performance issues, vulnerable server infrastructures and websites you're in charge of securing yourself as well as an overall lack of quality support.
These are the issues managed WordPress hosts set out to solve, and RAIDBOXES is no different. They've created a wonderful platform easy enough for the average user to operate and flexible enough to keep developers and advanced users pleased.
Let's take a look at everything they have to offer.
RAIDBOXES Hosting Review: Overview, Performance, Security and More
Overview of RAIDBOXES' Hosting Services
RAIDBOXES is a managed WordPress host based out of Germany, making it a great choice for businesses targeting primarily European customer bases. They offer one standard form of hosting and two specialized versions: one for agencies and freelancers and one for enterprise-level sites. We will not be covering the latter two in this review.
Every site hosted with the standard managed WordPress service exists as a single instance and has its own set of resources. These resources start at 2GB of RAM, one virtual CPU core and 5GB of SSD storage. The most expensive plan gives you 32GB of RAM, 12 vCPU cores and 40GB of SSD storage.
Let's go over some of the WordPress-centric features RAIDBOXES offers as a managed WordPress host:
- Free Migration – All plans come with a free WordPress migration if you need to move an existing site to RAIDBOXES' servers.
- Automatic WordPress Updates – Updates applied to WordPress core, themes and plugins automatically.
- Malware Detection – The host scans your site for malware regularly and alerts you upon detection.
- Automatic Backups – Automatic backups are taken daily and stored for up to 30 days, negating the need for a third-party backup solution.
- WordPress in Read Only – Your file system is put in a read-only state while it's hosted with RAIDBOXES, taking away hackers' ability to write.
- WP-CLI & Git – Along with SFTP access, advanced users can use WP-CLI and Git to retain more control over the development process of their WordPress projects.
- PHP 7.1+ & 512MB Memory Limit – The latest versions of PHP are available within the RAIDBOXES ecosystem, and most plans give you a generous limit of 512MB in memory. You'll have more freedom in terms of what you can build with your site and which plugins you can use.
Two additional services we won't mention much throughout this review are domain registrations and email hosting. These will not be included in your plan, but they are quite affordable.
Let's get into the nitty gritty of what this host has to offer, starting with their user interface.
The RAIDBOXES Dashboard
The RAIDBOXES dashboard has a clean design, making it intuitive and easy to navigate. This is where you'll manage your account as a whole. You can create new “boxes” here, which are WordPress sites, as well as transfer websites.
There are also tabs for domains and emails where you can register new domains or transfer yours to RAIDBOXES and get started with the company's email service.
You'll also notice a tab designated for templates, which you can create out of existing boxes.
Creating a box is easy. The fully-managed WordPress site we created was ready to go in under five minutes. All you need to do is input a name for the box as well as your desired admin username and password for WordPress.
You'll also need to select which plan you'd like to subscribe to, but you won't be charged for it right away. You'll be given a temporary domain that keeps your site offline as well as a 14-day or four-day trial to test it. The limit depends on the plan you choose. Once you pay for your plan and connect your domain, you'll be good to launch.
This is your dashboard for an individual box:
This is the main part. It gives you an overview of how much SSD storage you're using and allows you to manage your domain, cache and SFTP access, among other things.
There are six tabs available in the dashboard of an individual box, apart from the Dashboard tab itself:
Status – Graphs containing data on your CPU and RAM usage, ON/OFF toggle for putting WordPress in and out of debug mode, and lists for your site's cron jobs and changelog:
- Staging – Utilize RAIDBOXES' staging environment.
- Backups – View recent auto backups and create one manually.
- Plugins & Themes – Manage theme and plugin updates and control auto updates (they're enabled by default).
- Settings – Manage settings for your server, cache, security, PHP, URL redirects, WordPress and cron jobs.
- WP Login – Not an actual tab but a redirect link to the WordPress login page.
We'll go over some of the features within these tabs throughout this review.
Page Speed & Performance with RAIDBOXES
RAIDBOXES utilizes a sophisticated server setup to ensure your WordPress site runs as smoothly as possible without extra plugins and code. They use Nginx-based servers with server-side caching, which is quite a few steps up from the PHP-based caching offered by caching plugins. Brotli and Gzip compression are implemented on all plans as well.
In the Settings tab of the dashboard, you can disable caching, clear the cache and set up advanced rules.
Your site is stored on an SSD as a single instance, meaning you don't need to share resources with other sites. The latest versions of PHP are available, and HTTP/2 protocol is used.
Up to 12 CPU cores and 32GB of RAM are available depending on the plan you choose.
The demo site requires HTTP authentication by inputting a username and password that differs from your RAIDBOXES and WordPress login credentials, so you won't be able to test the performance of your site with most tools before you pay and activate your plan.
Fortunately, GTmetrix lets you to input these credentials to allow its performance application to bypass this issue. You also can't access nameservers for the temporary domain, so you aren't able to integrate your site with a CDN while its in the demo stage. This is unfortunate as RAIDBOXES' data centers reside in Germany.
Nevertheless, we were able to achieve speeds of 2.0 seconds when testing from GTmetrix's Vancouver data center, which is pretty impressive as GTmetrix tends to report higher speeds than those reported by a tool like Pingdom.
RAIDBOXES protects your site in a number of different ways. First, they offer a free SSL certificate from Let's Encrypt to ensure any personal data that passes through your site stays private via encryption.
The host's WordPress configuration also restricts write access, making your site read only to reduce the likelihood of malware injection should a hacker slip through its security defenses. Login protection is included as well, and you can even configure settings for this tool.
Speaking of which, RAIDBOXES offers hack and malware detection and notifies you immediately in the event they find something. Unfortunately, malware removal is charged as an extra service on most plans at rates between €80/hour and €100/hour. This service is only free on the Fully Managed plan. This is in comparison to hosts like Kinsta and Flywheel who offer malware removal free of charge across the board.
Fortunately, RAIDBOXES' security features don't end there. While automatic updates for WordPress core, themes and plugins have become native features of WordPress itself, they're still available as part of RAIDBOXES' interface for the time being. You can even disable them from the host's dashboard, as explained earlier.
You can also create a staging environment for your site to test updates and other changes. Push the changes live whenever you're ready, but be sure to delete the staged version afterward as it exists on the same server as the live version of your site and shares resources with it.
As an extra layer of security, RAIDBOXES offers automatic daily backups and stores them for durations between seven and 30 days, depending on your plan. Manual backups are included as well.
Use the host's one-click restoration feature to restore your site to a previous backup if something goes awry.
All in all, RAIDBOXES is an impressive host with a powerful server infrastructure, great performance and affordable pricing. Best of all, they've managed to make a sophisticated platform behind the scenes that's incredibly easy to operate on the frontend by creating a clean UI that makes managing your own site as simple as can be.
But going back to that affordable pricing we mentioned, let's go over RAIDBOXES' pricing structure. Pricing for plans that host one WordPress site start at €15/month. There are seven plans in total, and you can even work with sales if you need a custom plan for an enterprise-level site not suitable for any of the base plans.
RAIDBOXES is upfront about what each plan can accomplish. For instance, your site will not be optimized for WooCommerce until you upgrade to the third tier at €50/month. Similarly, high traffic and BuddyPress optimization do not occur until the fifth tier at €150/month.
Domain registrations are available at €18/year for .com domains and €12/year for .de domains. More extensions are available at various prices. The host's email service starts at €1,50/month for one mailbox, 10 aliases and 1GB of storage.
Once again, you can get started with RAIDBOXES free of charge and with no credit card for four or 14 days depending on the plan you choose.
- RAIDBOXES – Managed WordPress Host: RAIDBOXES