Pagely is a great service that will take care of your every website need. It's price tag, however, may make you blanch.
By Jacob Roach – Last Updated: 10 Jan'18
Finding a managed WordPress host that matches your exact business needs can be a tricky proposition. Some providers tailor plans for small sites like personal blogs and simple e-commerce stores. Other hosts build services around more ambitious, big business needs. During this Pagely review, we’ll be looking at a host that’s leading the way in that category.
Pagely is a completely managed WordPress solution with large networks of sites in mind. It succeeds as a big business and enterprise web host thanks to fast server response times, on-demand scalability and excellent security and support. Some of Pagely clients include Disney, eBay and Visa.
However, this premium service comes with a premium price tag. That means single sites and small networks are unlikely to find much value, here. Were the shoe fits, though, it fits perfectly.
Read on to see how Pagely compares to our best web hosting providers. If you’re looking for something a little less pricey until your blog explodes, our growing collection of web hosting reviews is the a good place to begin.
- Great security
- Super low load times
- 100% uptime
- No traffic cap
- No solo site plans
- No phone support
Since Pagely only offers WordPress hosting, its features are pretty easy to run down. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of them.
All hosting is built upon Amazon Web Services (AWS). Pagely uses 11 of Amazon’s data centers to host websites through virtual private servers. The result is near bottomless resources put towards hosting your site, with nearly unlimited scalability thanks to something called Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud).
Each AWS data center runs multiple server instances simultaneously. That means you easily add more server instances depending on your needs, scaling your site within minutes.
You get Secure Shell (SSH) connectivity which every plan. In short, SSH lets you remotely access your server through an encrypted channel. If you want to learn more, read the security section below.
You also get WP_CLI. This is a command-line interface for WordPress sites. Without opening a web browser, you can do things like update plugins and delete transients.
Last of all you get the Press suite. That’s not an official name, but each of the four features start with “Press,” so it seems appropriate.
First is PressDNS. This routes requests to connect, on the DNS level, to any of the global cache nodes Pagely has. This is a technique known as geo-routing that improves speeds for those further away from the central server.
Another feature is PressCACHE. It works like a content delivery network (CDN), but is specifically designed to cache and serve WordPress pages. A request will be served by the closest Point of Presence (PoP), so that page load times, again, are decreased.
PressCDN does something similar, but for static assets on your site. The network is built upon multiple different providers to ensure that there is a short distance no matter where in the world someone is connecting to your site.
Instead of speed, the last Press feature, PressArmor, is focused on security. It combines a web application firewall with real-time malware scanning. Should your site become compromised, Pagely will assist you in restoring it, free of charge.
There are many other features that Pagely offers it’s clients. However, those mentioned offer a pretty good representation of what Pagely is all about. The service is built for security and speed and, because it’s dedicated just to WordPress, succeeds on both accounts.
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Pricing is where things get interesting for Pagely. Normally, we’d evaluate the value for the customer. For example, a WordPress plan with Bluehost is a little more expensive than with Dreamhost, but has a lot more features. Because of that, it still holds a good value despite the higher cost (make sure to read our Bluehost review and Dreamhost review for more on both services’ pricing).
The same can’t be done for Pagely as it sits well outside the scope of pricing typical of most web hosts. Even for managed WordPress hosting, there are only a few competitors in this price bracket. WordPress VIP, for example, start plans at $5,000 per month.
If you run a single site, or even a small network of sites, the pricing simply doesn’t make sense. Pagely’s scheme is built around enterprises that run multiple sites and handle lots of traffic.
The most inexpensive plan, VPS-1, proves that point. It’s designed to support up to 30 sites and costs $500 a month. If you have only one website — or even a handful — then going with a managed WordPress provider like Flywheel, which has single-site pricing, will save you considerable money.
Just because the price is high doesn’t mean Pagely doesn’t offer value, though. All plans come with rock-solid security and ultra-fast loading times.
Unlike some other managed WordPress hosting providers, there’s no limit on how much traffic your website can handle, no matter what plan you choose. Additionally, you can add resources to your plan anytime. Simply expand your bandwidth, disk space or CDN package.
The price is high, but the needs of Pagely’s target audience are well met. It’s an ideal match for businesses with big aspirations and need for an exceptional WordPress web host.
As mentioned before, Pagely only does one thing, which is WordPress hosting. However, it does WordPress really well thanks to good plan options built around resource needs.
The entry level plan is VPS-1. This plan is the base on which all other Pagely plans are built. Key features include SSH access and WP_CLI on an SSD-backed Amazon c4.large instance.
VPS-1 supports up to 30 sites, with 50GB of disk space, 200GB of bandwidth and 3.75GB of RAM.
VPS-2 builds on VPS-1 by improving resources. You get all the same features, but now have twice the RAM, up to 60 sites and 300GB of bandwidth. The extra RAM and bandwidth will speed up load times, making it ideal for ecommerce sites or those with membership systems.
Those two plans can be boosted with what Pagely calls High Availability (HA) configurations. HA pairs two VPS nodes in separate zones for better uptime and more simultaneous connections. You get the same number of sites and disk space for each respective plan, with double the bandwidth.
Pagely also offers six pre-configured enterprise plans. The plans start with 50GB of disk space, up to 60 sites and 2TB of bandwidth. These plans also use HA, as well as replication between data centers to speed up load times.
The premier plan sold by Pagely is the Pulsar package. This single-production site package gives you total network isolation, as well as dedicated support through a private Slack channel and full-time site monitoring.
While on a normal review I would dock points for not offering more variety, I really can’t here. Pagely isn’t a hosting company that can be compared to more consumer-focused options like HostGator (HostGator review) or BlueHost. It only offers WordPress hosting with options for companies that need to think on a global scale.
You handle all aspects on your site through Pagely’s Atomic Core. cPanel isn’t available, but doesn’t need to be. Since Pagely offers managed WordPress hosting only, options in Atomic Core are limited to the hosting side of things.
With Atomic Core, you can view things like how much bandwidth you’re using or how much disk space you’ve occupied. It’s simple to add a new site to your configuration from the “sites” tab.
Next down the list is the “tools” tab. You can view the configuration for both PressCDN and PressDNS here. From the DNS page, you can easily add a new zone in a process similar to adding a new site.
After that, there are really no other options for managing your site. There are tabs for both ticket-based support and live chat, but that’s it. The limited configuration isn’t a bad thing, though. Pagely focuses on one thing: ultra-fast WordPress hosting. Because of that, the options you need are in front, with little other to fuss with.
Of course, each individual site will have options for SSH access, resetting your plugins and theme to default and changing up hosting options such as your PHP version.
Using Atomic Core is streamlined, with only the options you need. If you’re coming from a provider that uses cPanel, then you may find the options a bit limiting. However, that doesn’t mean that Atomic Core is difficult to get around.
If there’s anything that’s executed exceptionally well at Pagely, it’s security. Clients like Visa and eBay are a testament to that.
The core of Pagely security is PressArmor, a tool that keeps your site protected on every front. The first part is a web application firewall. This protects servers from known exploits and limits access attempts. In the end, your site is far less likely to suffer from a DDoS or brute force attack.
Next is real-time malware detection and removal. Pagely will continually crawl your site to expose things like trojan horses, viruses, adware and more. Once identified, the malware will be removed before you would know that it’s there.
Unfortunately, nothing is completely secure and in the rare case something would happen, Pagely has you covered. If your site is compromised in any way, Pagely will clean and restore it back to working order, free of charge.
Also included with each plan is SSH. SSH is an encrypted connection between a client and a server, giving you safe access to the server without fear of interception. It also builds trust with your own customers.
With SSH, when a client sends a connection request to a server, the server sends back a key as well as opening the channel. Only then can the client can log into the server’s operating system. There are many different implementations of SSH, which you can learn more about here.
Pagely’s focus on security makes it an ideal B2B platform. PressArmor is an all-in-one security solution that further helps justify Pagely’s high cost of service.
Support at Pagely is a little interesting. For enterprise plans, it offers some of the best support out there. However, for non-enterprise plans, the support is a bit spotty.
Starting with the good, Pagely offers both ticket-based support and live chat for all customers. Ticket-based support, while old fashioned, is nice to see. Companies like Bluehost have ditched this form of contact, which can be detrimental if you need a support paper trail.
Ticketing is available 24/7. Live chat is only available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MST, Monday through Friday. Enterprise plan subscribers also get access to a dedicated Slack channel.
Nobody gets telephone support, unfortunately. Pagely claims that by intentionally limiting support channels (i.e., not providing phone support), support can be dealt with more efficiently with triaging and a funneled support process. It makes sense but will rightfully put some users off, especially giving the cost of service.
Overall, though, Pagely does a good job handling problems, and that’s true for all users.
Pagely is a top-shelf web hosting service that will appeal to business that need to safely and quickly handle large amounts of website traffic. Security is a focus and not many rival services can match speeds with Pagely.
The lack of phone support is disappointing, but Pagely delivers on other forms of support, especially for enterprise members.
Pagely is one of the best managed WordPress solutions out there. The price is high but so is the performance. It’ll be worth the expense for those looking to build an online empire. For those who just want a host a simple blog, though, you’ll be better off spending less on a service like Bluehost.