Welcome back to Top Dog Apps and another one of our reviews. This time I am reviewing Wordops, a tool I have become familiar with over the last year or so. If you have been looking for software to get your own servers up and running for blogging, read on to find out if Wordops is for you!
What is Wordops?
Wordops is a tool that makes it simple and easy for you to setup your own WordPress Server. It is essentially a command line tool that you can attach to a server, to run some preset commands to get a WordPress install up and running quickly. Wordops is a fully open source and community run tool.
The origins of Wordops lay in another open source community run server deployment and administration tool called Easy Engine. When Easy Engine moved to version 3 a part of their userbase didn’t like where the project was headed. They took a snapshot of the Easy Engine code from a period they liked and then started morphing this into their own tool called Wordops.
Main Features of Wordops:
- Easy Installation of WordPress using a simple automated installer.
- All Best Features in one install. Includes optimized Nginx configuration with caching support.
- Server Monitoring Features with Netdata.
- Security Included. UFW firewall comes with the installation.
How Does Wordops Work?
Simply buy a cloud server yourself. I recommend Vultr at the time of writing, as they have amazing High Frequency servers for as low as $6 a month. Click HERE to sign up with Vultr and get $100 in credits to use for your first 30 days with them.
After you have got your cloud server set up, you will need to connect to the server with a command line prompt. I like to do this with a software called PuTTY.
When connected to your server, you will use a series of Wordops commands to install their software on your server and get your WordPress install up and running.
As a word of warning, make sure to read the Wordops install guide, so that you get a server compatible with Wordops and understand the exact commands you need for the type of WordPress install you want.
How Much is Wordops?
As stated above, Wordops is an open source and community run service. All of the code from the project is available over at Github. These means it is a totally free service.
What We Like About Wordops?
Blazing Fast Stack
I have to say that I have been incredibly impressed with the WordPress Stack that Wordops offers. For those not technically minded, the stack is just the combination of software and associated settings that make up the WordPress installation. Wordops have optimized theirs to be blazingly fast.
After extensive use of WordPress installations from paid server hosts in the past, I have to say that Wordops offers something right up there with the most optimized and fastest on the market. And it’s free!
The funny thing is, I have tried out some paid server management tools that have a much more bloated and slow WordPress installation stack. Just goes to show how good Wordops is!
Simple to Use
Don’t get me wrong, this is still a command line based tool. This means you need to connect to your server through a command line server admin panel and type a series a commands.
But as far as these types of tools go, Wordops has been simple to use. They have a series of commands that you can learn to install and maintain your WordPress installation. My favorite is the maintenance command. I simply connect to my servers every month or so and type one command to maintain and update my servers! Simple!
This grouping of key tasks into single executable commands is a lifesaver for those that don’t know the technical details themselves!
To give some background to myself, I have been using technology all my life, so am in a good place to learn this tool. However, I usually shy away from anything that requires the use of command lines and/or programming of any kind. When I see something ‘code like’ I usually run for the hills 🙂 I feel that if I can learn this software most other people can with a little reading and research.
The Wordops community is awesome and provide some kind of support when you hit a problem or are unsure of something. For the first few months of using Wordops I would regularly read the forum on the Wordops website to hear about the type of problems people were having and the solutions they used. I found this a great way to educate myself on the Wordops tool, as it was the first time I had used something like this.
I have been so impressed with the amount of updates and feature improvement I have seen from Wordops, especially as it is a free and community run project. They even have a roadmap publicly available to see what features they have in progress.
You wouldn’t always get this level of updates from a paid tool, so I am frankly blown away seeing it on something that is free. As a nice little bonus, each update usually gets accompanied by a short post on their blog.
What We Don’t Like About Wordops?
Not for the Technophobe
I know that I stated above Wordops is easy to use and that, frankly, if I can learn to use it anybody can. However, if you are a total technophobe that struggles with most modern software, delving into the world of command line based tools probably isn’t for you!
What I would recommend if you are a technophobe but are wondering if you could learn Wordops is to set up the cheapest $5 a month server on Vultr and play around with trying to use and learn Wordops. Whatever you do, practice on a meaningless empty server before you try to use it on any real valuable website assets 🙂
If Things Go Wrong You’re Alone 🙂
The thing is, if you have any kind of paid service when you have a problem you are often one email and a few hours away from a solution. This is not the case when you are using a free community based tool. Yes, Wordops do have members of their community that are very helpful, but this will never be on the level of a paid service. And yes, you can search for people with similar problems on the forum to help you find a solution, but this can be a hit and miss affair.
If you worry a lot or are a technophobe, you should go for a paid service to give you peace of mind 🙂 More on that below….
Load Balancing is Not Simple
Load balancing is where you take multiple servers and combine them into one entity using a load balancer. This could be because you have a massive site with too much traffic for one server or it could be to help you dynamically distribute resources around your different web assets.
Load balancing is possible on Wordops, but it is pretty complex to do involving the use of scripts and such like. If you are wanting to go down the route of load balancing and are not technically minded, a paid service would suit you better.
Make Sure Everything is Ready Before You Deploy!
When using a tool such as Wordops, you need to make sure everything is in place before you start the installation process, as changing some things down the line can be quite complex. An example from my own experience was regarding domain names. If you try to setup an install for a specific domain name and you don’t have that domain pointing towards the server you are using to install with Wordops, the install with hang. And if you are purely using Wordops, it can be a bit of a pain to change your domain names down the line.
More Hands On Than a Paid Service
With the paid alternatives I am using to setup WordPress installs, everything is pretty much on auto pilot. I can setup server backups and server patches automatically.
Although Wordops does install security patches automatically, you still have to go in on a monthly basis to update other patches and do basic maintenance. Server backups are also a bit complex to setup using Wordops, so if this is a feature you require and you aren’t technically minded, a paid service might be better.
Should You Use Wordops?
I am going to put this very simply. If you are fairly competent with IT you should be able to learn Wordops pretty quickly and be up and running saving a lot of money on your server costs. This is what I have found in my experience, go look at the cost of Vultr servers and similar specification managed hosting packages and you will see what I mean 🙂 It’s often 3 or 4 times less!
If you are, however, a technophobe or somehow scared of messing around with command line prompts and logging into your server with Putty, you should look for a paid service. Nothing worse than messing up a valuable website and not knowing how to fix it!
At the time of writing, I would recommend you go with the host Cloudways. What cloudways do is take raw servers from the likes of Vultr and help you manage them. They will put their own Cloudways skin over everything and make it an idiot proof setup. You will also have premium support when you have issues. And Cloudways are still cheaper than a lot of other managed cloud hosts out there.
To check out Cloudways for yourself, click HERE to check out their official website.
And for those of you that have lost the ability to use Google, HERE is the link to the official Wordops website 🙂