I am used to Hostgator but I am considering Pagely for a client. How different is it to use Pagely (compared to Hostgator)? Is there a “learning curve”? And are there additional costs like getting BackUp Buddy?
Hostgator and Site5 are general hosting providers suitable for many applications; Pagely specializes in WordPress.
Pagely has configured their webservers specifically for WordPress to improve security and performance. The control panel user interface is severely cut down. It is nothing like the cPanel you find on Hostgator or Site5. There is really not much for you to do; no mail, no file manager, no DNS, no script installer, no database access. The features that are there are for monitoring performance of the site and the PressCDN cache. If you need to change the configuration then you will log a support ticket. The Pagely Support team is knowledgeable and responsive.
Pagely User Functions
What can you do yourself?
You can purge the cache by hitting a button. You will need to do this after making CSS changes on the site
Pagely allow FTP access if you need to update files. You can connect with a FTP client such as FileZilla and upload, edit and delete files.
There is a “reset” feature called Whitescreen Eliminator in case you make a PHP change kills the site. This can deactivate all your plugins or change your theme to TwentyFifteen to get the site working again. You can then go in with FTP and back out the PHP change that caused the problem, then switch the theme back and reactivate the plugins.
Pagely perform separate database and file backups. Backups are made daily and stored on Amazon S3 for 14 days. There is a facility to download backups if you need them.
Backup Buddy is a banned plugin. In fact pretty much all backup plugins are banned as are many stats plugins or anything else that is resource hungry or a security vulnerability.
A Final Word
Think of the old adage about how to run a secure data center. You need one man and one dog.
The dog is there to stop the man tinkering with the computer. And the man is there to feed the dog.
In this case Pagely is the dog and you are the man. They give you limited access so you don’t break anything!