RunCloud vs ServerPilot. We compare these two leading web hosting / VPS management applications. Which is more powerful? Easier to use? Best value?
A while back on Blog.Mother.Domains we reviewed ServerPilot and Laravel Forge. Each carried substantial benefits in the post-cPanel/WHM website / server management space, but both noted significant limitations.
For our own projects, we leaned towards ServerPilot, despite concerns of running dozens of servers proving costly. We also had a bad experience with the supposed WHMCS module.
So, we are open minded to new ideas.
RunCloud is an up and comer in web hosting / VPS management, and appears to adequately bridge the gap between the two previous competitors. We spent a lot of time thoroughly reviewing RunCloud before making a big decision for our systems.
Who will prevail? Let’s take a closer look at RunCloud vs ServerPilot.
Who is RunCloud? What is RunCloud?
RunCloud is a Malaysian-based start up, rising quickly through the ranks of PHP and web hosting management. They run over 4500 servers, 10,000+ databases and 23,500+ domains across the globe, with a rapidly growing, enthusiastic client base.
A free trial is always handy, and RunCloud offers 5 days free.
One assesses new solutions with a little bit of trepidation. If we like something enough, there is the consuming reality of time and expense to migrate everything across, educate staff and hope the feeling lasts. If we make a poor decision after such a move, it is a colossal mistake with many ramifications.
It’s natural to be skeptical, particularly at the outset.
In RunCloud’s case, every feature and element put into practice was easy, even a surprising joy.
A trial out of nothing more than respectful curiosity became increasingly serious as each feature was tested with live servers.
ServerPilot has been around a little bit longer, though their pace of development is far slower. Not much has changed in their admin panel or feature set since our last published article, though ServerPilot’s recent sponsorship of Let’s Encrypt is a wonderful step.
They feature a clean, quick interface, and easy navigation. Servers, apps and SSL certificates are generated easily enough. WordPress is very straightforward to set up.
Founded in 2012 by Seattle-based Justin Samuel, there isn’t a lot of background information on the company. There haven’t been many blog updates over the past year either.
Common RunCloud and ServerPilot Features and Benefits
Both solutions are leaders in the post-cPanel website / server management space. They make managing web applications and websites a cinch, particularly for users adept at FTP.
They each offer:
- Instant VPS server set up, with the latest, fastest web technologies – PHP7x, http/2, NGINX, various compression
- Fully charged, optimized web hosting environment. Huge performance gains over cPanel.
- Add and manage unlimited servers (one price for RunCloud, per-server for ServerPilot)
- Create unlimited apps / websites / subdomains
- Free SSL certificates deployed instantly to each of your domains and subdomains
- Automatic updates, handled by their services
- Build in server health monitoring
- WordPress set up – With a few clicks.
- SFTP for secure data transfers
- Firewall by default, and configurable options, for maximum security
- Comprehensive API for custom programming
- Easy to use backend management panels, that take none of your server resources
Keeping with the trend of cloud management software, NO email server capabilities are included in either RunCloud, ServerPilot, or Laravel Forge. Email continues to transition towards setting up @domain forwarders in cloud services like Gmail or Zoho.
RunCloud Advantages over ServerPilot
RunCloud appears to have thought about nearly everything. In addition to the default feature set listed above, RunCloud excel with the following additional features:
- Instant GIT deployment, ensuring instant updates of your self-built or open source software and SAAS
- Script installer – Prefer to use a popular third party script or content management system? RunCloud allows for quick, instant set up
- File manager and cloud editor – For easy content updates through the backend panel
- The price difference is massive. If you run, for instance, 10 servers, ServerPilot will cost you $100 per month. On RunCloud, managing unlimited servers costs $10 per month.
- Server Monitoring and usage stats are included in the price, whereas ServerPilot requires you pay for the highest package
- Instant notifications on Slack and/or Telegram
- Optional full-data backups, with generous free backup space, and super cheap additional storage.
RunCloud also impresses with the small touches – the easy “copy” of server IP addresses and other details.
Furthermore, RunCloud offers speed and performance upgrades with recent partner Wao.io.
ServerPilot Advantages over RunCloud
While ServerPilot blew away Laravel Forge in a number of areas, vs. RunCloud there are not as many advantages.
- Fast admin area. ServerPilot’s minimalist approach allows for quick loading of servers and apps
- Easy search for apps. If you run dozens of servers and hundreds of websites, finding where a specific app/site can be cumbersome. RunCloud – if you don’t know what server a particular domain is hosted on, it can take you a lot of manual time, trial and error
- WordPress is far easier to install – fill out a form, a click, and everything is set up. Database included. RunCloud needs to improve the ease of the WordPress set up process.
- SSL Certificates are just that tad bit quicker and easier to set up with ServerPilot
! Important warning on WHMCS app – Unfortunately, we paid for the ServerPilot WHMCS module. Not only does it not work, there is no support from the developing team whatsoever. Avoid the WHMCS module at all costs. !
RunCloud vs ServerPilot – The Winner?
On the verge of giving Laravel Forge a longer look for our international server network, we discovered RunCloud. Its interface and features have brought together just about every imaginable want and need that we have. Working with their team on new features and sharing global ambitions is a wonderful, rare bonus.
As ServerPilot has not evolved much from its features over the years, and the stark differential in price, the winner is clearly RunCloud.
Not only that, but we strongly believe RunCloud may eventually challenge the might of cPanel and similar web OS / management giants. The more VPS and blockchain hosting rise in popularity, the more of a need for solutions like RunCloud and ServerPilot.
RunCloud is our champion, and, with their development roadmap, we expect them to be at the forefront for a long time to come.
Stay tuned for further comparison reviews in this series.