You know that feeling when you just need that one thing, but to get started you have to fill in a ton of long forms and spend hours ingesting how it all works?

Yes, we’ve all dealt with government services before…

I was talking about websites, though :) while starting one is certainly neither expensive nor too difficult these days, some believe it should be even simpler.

One such service is EasyWP, and in this in-depth review we will uncover the answers to the most popular questions regarding this managed WordPress provider:

  • 🔎What does “true managed WP” even mean?
  • 👑How does EasyWP compare to competition?
  • 💩Any caveats you should know about?
  • 👥Who is the intended user of EasyWP’s services?

Our ultimate goal in this review is to determine whether it is worth using EasyWP for your first (or next) online project.

In order to understand and evaluate EasyWP, it first makes sense to briefly look at its history and its product/price offer – which is exactly what we’re going to do in the following three sections. For those who wish to skip directly to the impressions as well as pro-con analysis, click this in-text link.

Domain Behemoth Spin-Offs Also Want to Be Cool

It all started in 2000 with the creation of Namecheap, a US-based no-frills domain registrar; over the years it has become one of the leaders of its niche, with 10+ million domain names under its belt…

So yes, you’ve guessed it, EasyWP is another one of those web hosting services that grew out of a large domain provider (think GoDaddy or Domain.com, for example).

Between its launch in 2017 and mid-2019 the service was in public beta and maintained a rather low-key profile.

The stated aim of EasyWP is to “democratize and elevate WordPress”, which can be interpreted as follows:

EasyWP wants to be a more human-centric version of managed WP hosting, offering easy but powerful solution at lower-than-market prices.

It even goes as far as to call itself a “true” managed WordPress. Let’s break it down to avoid any confusion:

WordPress (also WP) is a so-called content management system, or, in simpler terms, a piece of software that allows you to create your own website, from content to visual presentation. To use WP for your web page, you need a place to run it – a web hosting.

Managed WP is a type of web hosting specifically optimized for running WordPress, from server settings to automatic updates and security. Managed WP hosting is often contrasted with shared hosting, which doesn’t have those features out of the box but is usually quite a bit cheaper.

“True” managed WP is, well… a web host which really has its act together, I guess. In fact, it’s not quite clear what that means, and EasyWP is not too eager to give explanations – so for the sake of objectivity let’s write this off as marketing-speak (for now, at least).

How does this all work in practice? Let’s find out by creating an EasyWP account (you don’t need to do that yourself, of course – we’ve done all the tests in preparation for this review):

The Promise of a 30-Second WordPress Site

In one of its FAQs Namecheap promises that the website setup with EasyWP takes less than 30 seconds. Let’s see if it lives up to the expectations.

Here’s how EasyWP user onboarding looks like for first-time users:

  1. We are reminded that EasyWP is not a completely stand-alone product right away: before doing anything, we need to create a Namecheap account, which requires our name, username, and password (don’t forget to un-tick that newsletter checkbox!). Overall, 10 seconds is enough here.
  2. After that, we are given a choice between three plans and two billing periods, which I’ll talk about more in the next part of this review. For now, let’s just pick the default option, i.e. the Starter plan with monthly billing and move on (+5 seconds).
  3. Oh, hello again, Namecheap! We’re brought to a payment form, where we need to input cardholder data (probably yourself again) to complete the purchase. Our amount due is a symbolic $0.01, but our card details are still being recorded right away, probably in order to maximize retention. This step will take, say, 20 seconds to complete.
  4. After the payment goes through (+5 seconds), we finally get to the form which asks us to choose the address for our new website. We can either use an existing Namecheap domain (ah, so we needed to go and buy one beforehand?) or a temporary URL which looks like yourhandle-25erg78.easywp.com. Let’s obviously go with the second option (+5 seconds):

    EasyWP setup

  5. On the next step, you can either go ahead and hit the bug green “Create website” button, or add some more customizations to your setup. This implies choosing a theme as well as pre-installed plugins, from e-commerce to forums. You can also install any of those yourself with just two clicks later on, so no particular value in this part of the wizard.
  6. Finally, our website is being created! In our case, it took about 10 seconds to spin up a new WordPress install. However, after clicking on the WP admin link, we still needed to stare at a blank screen for some additional 20 seconds, probably waiting for the final bits of the installation to complete.

Overall, our website setup with EasyWP took about 70-80 seconds (i.e. well over a minute) from start to finish, which is still a very impressive figure compared to “old-school” shared hosting like GoDaddy – but it’s definitely not ultra-easy, and still far from the promised 30-second timing.

In total, we needed to fill in some 10+ fields (some duplicate) and make several decisions on the fly (like which plan to choose and which setup options to tick); in addition to that, we also had to create a Namecheap account in the process.

But we made it, so congrats to us!

Now that we’re done with our initial setup, let’s take a closer look at EasyWP’s pricing policy and some of the less obvious things that you should be aware about before subscribing:

How Much Does EasyWP (Really) Cost?

In the process of creating our website we’ve already seen the three plans available at EasyWP; all of them include a single WordPress website and differ mostly by the amount of disk space and visitors you’re allowed per month (yes, no differentiation by processing power or RAM size, which we found a bit weird – but hey, it’s EasyWP’s pricing, so they get to decide, right?):

EasyWP Plans

It’s worth noting that for the purposes of this review, we will be mostly looking at the Starter plan – not only because it’s the cheapest (and hence more attractive) option, but also because you probably don’t want to use a beginner-friendly service like EasyWP to host a website with 200k monthly visitors.

If you have that many users, you will be able to get much more value from a professional option like Digital Ocean (or Kinsta, if you absolutely need to have a managed WP host).

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Anyways, the monthly billing option (which is the default) for the Starter plan will cost you $3.88/mo, with an additional benefit of almost-free $0.01 first month.

As we’ve seen above, your credit card details will still be collected, though – so if you just want to try it out, don’t forget that you will get billed the full amount after 30 days if you don’t unsubscribe.

The yearly billing option gives you a 35% discount compared to the 12 monthly payments (at full price), but doesn’t provide a cheap testing offer because you’ll need to pay for the entire year right away. The first year will still be somewhat cheaper than the full price, though, in this case as well.

But that’s not all.

Remember step 4 in the setup process we went through earlier? In order to make your website look professional, you’ll need a domain name, and that’s not included in EasyWP’s pricing.

In other words, you will need to go and register a domain at Namecheap before you’re able to use it for your EasyWP website.

And while the domain prices at Namecheap are some of the lowest on the market (after all, they need to justify their brand), there are four things about this arrangement that’s slightly annoying:

  • Firstly, it makes EasyWP look cheaper than it really is; while this is not a problem per se, we should remember that EasyWP positions itself as a no-hassle, all-in-one WordPress hosting solution.
  • Secondly, it makes comparison with other managed WP hosts more difficult, since most of them offer free domains for up to 3 years included in the hosting packages.
  • Thirdly, you need to go through an entirely separate procedure on the Namecheap website to buy a domain name which you can then use for your EasyWP website; yes, it’s currently not possible to do this via your EasyWP control panel.
  • Finally, you can only use Namecheap domains with EasyWP; the only way to use a third-party domain name would be to either transfer it to Namecheap or to set up a redirect (which is kind of hacky for a service with smooth experience as its main selling point).

To get a clearer picture of EasyWP’s pricing, let’s combine all outlays in a single table, taking into account first-period discounts and yearly billing mark-downs:

Item Year 1 Year 2 + Increase
       
EasyWP Monthly 42.69 46.56
Domain name 8.88 10.88
SSL certificate 8.88 8.88
Total, monthly billing 60.42 66.32 10%
       
EasyWP Yearly 22.88 29.88
Domain name 8.88 10.88
SSL certificate 8.88 8.88
Total, yearly billing 40.64 49.64 22%

We’ve used current .com domain prices available on Namecheap’s official website. Note that most domain names also have promo pricing for the first year, i.e. your bill increases after the promo period ends.

Apart from a domain, you’ll also need an SSL certificate to avoid Google’s wrath (and generally make your website secure for your visitors). While a free certificate is added by default to your temporary EasyWP address, after you connect your own domain you’ll need to install your own SSL.

And yes, those are also available only from Namecheap of course, and there are only paid options; for the purposes of this analysis we’ve used the absolutely cheapest SSL available at Namecheap, the Comodo Positive.

As you can see from the table above, you should expect your real costs to be quite a bit higher than the figures printed in big bold font on EasyWP’s official website: both for the initial discounted period and for the subsequent periods.

How much higher?

For example, the first year of the annual billing cycle will actually cost you $40.64 (not the advertised $22.88), and this figure will increase a further 22% to become $49.64 after the first year is over.

While promo-pricing and other related tricks are quite common (in fact, almost ubiquitous) among hosting providers, the claims on EasyWP’s website could make you think that “they are different”. It looks like real data doesn’t quite warrant such bold conclusions.

Now that we have a better understanding of costs, here are some observations and musings on EasyWP-generated WordPress websites:

Our Impressions from Using EasyWP

The first thing you notice when you open a freshly-spun EasyWP website? It’s satisfyingly free of pre-installed themes and plugins (aka bloatware).

If you tick any extras in step 5 of the setup process though, those will all manifest as pre-installed plugins: for example, the “security” option will result in the Wordfence plugin being there when you first enter your new WP website.

Given that you can install Wordfence yourself (and for free of course) at any time, we don’t see much value in such settings, but for those who really don’t want to make additional choices, this might be a useful feature.

Apart from that, the WordPress admin indeed looks very much like clean WP install, with no limitations regarding which plugins or themes you add.

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Speaking about the EasyWP dashboard itself: this is the place where you can manage all of your websites, each of them having its own sub-section with four tabs:

EasyWP dashboard

  • The Overview tab is just that – an informative panel, mostly. Apart from checking your storage and next billing date, you can also power down or completely remove your website here.
  • In the Domains tab you can connect your previously purchased Namecheap domain as well as an SSL certificate; for a truly integrated solution, one would expect to be able to do both right there, in the EasyWP panel, though.
  • The Backups tab allows you to create manual backups of your website. You can set up automatic daily backups via a free third-party plugin (such as UpdraftPlus), but then again, what is the added value of EasyWP in that case?
  • Finally, the Files & Database tab generates credentials for FTP and PHPmyAdmin access to your website’s files and data, respectively. This feature is implemented with simplicity in mind, which is nice after the slight disappointment of the previous two tabs.

Apart from creating new websites and sending referral links to your friends, that’s about all you can do with the EasyWP hosting panel – and, frankly speaking, it feels more than enough for most users if you ask us!

Is the service easy to use? In many areas, certainly.

Is it SO easy as to justify this word in its brand name?

Until domains and SSL can be purchased from inside the hosting panel, and backups are automatic – we believe it’s not quite there yet.

But before we can issue our final verdict on EasyWP, it makes sense to take a bird’s eye view at all the satisfying and annoying aspects of this hosting service:

Pros and Cons of EasyWP

In this part of the review we’ve summarized the main advantages and weaker sides of EasyWP, focusing on those which distinguish it from other similar providers. For example, the list doesn’t include items like “automatic WordPress updates” since any managed WP hosting should by definition have those.

  • Pure SSD (fast storage) cloud hosting based on Namecheap infrastructure, optimized for running WordPress websites.
  • Simple and genuinely useful hosting admin panel, with all relevant management features for each website grouped neatly into four tabs.
  • You can add any number of WordPress websites (each at separate cost) from inside the EasyWP hosting dashboard.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee lets you try out the service risk-free – if you remember to cancel in time, of course.
  • Surprisingly little pre-installed plugins or themes; the user is free to install whatever extras they need, i.e. both free or premium third-party extensions.
  • Possibility to upgrade to more storage and monthly users if your website grows beyond the limitations of the Starter plan.
  • 24/7 support via live chat with the Namecheap team, which is known for its fast and to-the-point replies. You can also use a contact form to get in touch.
  • Prices on their official website do not include a domain name and an SSL certificate, which are only possible to buy from Namecheap. Including those outlays can be expected to double your final costs at EasyWP.
  • That being said, you can’t buy a domain name or SSL via the dashboard – you’ll need to purchase those items separately using your Namecheap account and then connect them to EasyWP.
  • Despite the first-month price on the monthly plan being close to zero, you can’t try the service without entering your bank card information.
  • The initial setup isn’t quite as quick and easy as advertised. You will need to create a separate Namecheap account in the process as well (this is not optional).
  • Only email forwarding is included; no option to create and use your own @domain mailboxes with EasyWP at the moment.
  • Only manual backups are available from the EasyWP dashboard; automatic backups can be set up using third-party plugins, but that’s true of any WordPress install.

Our Verdict + User Comments

Namecheap had a dream. A hosting solution that would outshine all existing managed WP providers with its unbeatable value for money.

Given the current trends in web services, it needed to be simple and sleek, of course – hence the name was chosen to be EasyWP.

As any large domain name registrar, Namecheap set out to build their solution with great zeal, making good use of the existing infrastructure that already supported millions of domain names.

It had much to gain, as demand for managed WP was picking up.

And it had nothing to lose, since its vast existing domain business provided a nice cushion against any problems…

This might be precisely why EasyWP looks nice, but doesn’t feel well thought-through.

The setup process is close to being easy, compared to other managed WP services, but still takes at least 5 steps to complete, while forcing you to create an additional account at Namecheap along the way.

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On its official web page, the service characterizes itself as “streamlined” and “smart”, “true managed WP” using big, bold letterings.

By the end of our review we still have no idea what they mean by “true”, but it certainly feels neither too streamlined nor smart when you consider that domains and SSL certificates need to be purchased separately, on a different platform.

And when you include those costs into EasyWP’s pricing structure, their plans don’t look all that groundbreakingly inexpensive anymore.

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Have you already tried EasyWP or have additional questions about the service? Any comments on our review, might we have missed something important? Let us know in the comments section below!

Pour your heart out

5 comments

More of a question than a comment – I’m wondering whether to start off by transferring my namecheap domain to WordPress and doing everything through them, or stick with Namecheap and use EasyWP. I’m seeing a real mix of reviews for EasyWP, but I’d love a straight comparison with doing everything through WordPress!

EasyWp is the worst service I have ever used unfortunately. Although they said they provide backup service, they deleted my site and all backups because I forgot to renew the subcription for 2 months. And now aparently there is NO chance for me to pay and get it back

1/5

Interesting review. Some what agree but think that it’s a great service suited for someone who wants to get started with WP. I think they are still working on releasing new features every quarter – looking forward to see what next!

Good review. Comments are duly noted and you’ll be pleased to hear that the SSL installation and backup tools are being worked on as I write this. Expect a release several months for now. This will also include support for external domains, letting you use any registrar that you like.

The only thing I think your review misses is something around performance, and stability. For which we’re amongst the best in class.

great post with useful information and details, in fact, I tried easywp. It seems very nice and the UI allows to set the website easily. I think as well that it’s very fast, I mean, I don’t agree about the creation time for a website. The Namecheap account must be created only the first time. I mean, after that, you’ll be able to create and delete website almost in real-time