Update: StudioPress Sites is live.
Below is the summary of this hosting service from what I gathered in the various social media channels:
- We can install our own themes and plugins and customize the themes with FTP access, unlike the manual submission/approval process involved in Rainmaker.
- Includes 20 of their top selling Genesis child themes. It should be safe to assume that the parent Genesis theme will come standard. The child themes are going to be updated to make them play nicely with WooCommerce. These updates will also be available to all themes’ customers.
- One-click install of these plugins: WooCommerce, Design Palette Pro, AMP, Beaver Builder Lite, OptinMonster, AffiliateWP, Soliloquy Lite, Easy Digital Downloads, Restrict Content Pro, Ninja Forms, WPForms Lite. All the included plugins need separate purchases from the plugin authors if you want updates and support.
- Automatic plugin and theme maintenance. It is not clear for now as to whether this applies just to the officially supported/included plugins or others as well. As to theme maintenance, am guessing that the parent Genesis theme will be kept updated automatically.
- Performance should be better than cheaper shared hosting.
- Built-in security features like intrusion prevention, continuous scanning and monitoring for malware, distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection.
- No charges for short-term traffic spikes.
- Free SSL via Let’s Encrypt.
- Two pricing tiers: $27/month and $37/month (less when paid annually). The lower plan is meant for content sites whereas the higher plan is for e-commerce sites. The price is per site.
- Login is via your My StudioPress account.
- Affiliate amount is $150 during the launch period.
- Staging <-> Live feature is on their roadmap
- As of today, automatic/manual backups is not planned to be included.
This is a great move by StudioPress to put together the best of their Genesis themes, lessons from Synthesis and experience with Rainmaker service into one budget-friendly GenesisWP hosting offering competing with the likes of WP Engine and Pagely.
The features which I find missing are backups (scheduled automatic and on-demand manual ones) and the ability to quickly clone sites to staging environment.
I’ll keep this post updated during the launch.