Managed WordPress Hosting is an ADDICTION! Trust me, you just can’t go away from Managed WordPress Hosting once you use it. I am a user of Sitegorund Hosting for the last couple of years. Recently I had a chance to test Rocket.Net Managed WordPress Hosting. And Voila! What a great hosting Man! I am highly impressed. So, let’s get into in and out of Rocket.Net Hosting Review and find if it’s the right hosting for you.
Do you know that if your website is taking more than 3 seconds to load, you might be losing more than 50% of your traffic? That’s a huge number. Right?
Recently Google has announced that going forward from May 2021, the loading speed of your blog would be a ranking factor. Yes, it’s true that earlier, speed was not directly hampering your blog ranking but that concept is going to cease soon.
Google is going to consider the ” Speed” as one of the ranking factors along with other “ Web Core Vitals“. So the early you prepare for that, the better it is for your blogging career.
Before we get into the detailed Rocket.net hosting review, first of all, let us know what Managed WordPress Hosting actually is. I would say that most of the readers might know about managed hosting but giving a short introduction does make sense for newbies.
What Is Managed WordPress Hosting?
Many of us, including me, do not know much about how a web hosting process works. We don’t know how to get the best out of a web hosting service. The result is ” We start blaming our web host“
That’s not fair at all. To overcome these kinds of issues, most of the web host nowadays offers a service called Managed Hosting. What does that mean is that each and everything of your web hosting service will be maintained by some experts from the web host company itself?
They will decide how the server should be optimized, they will decide the key variables and the best settings that your hosting environment should have. In a nutshell, they will give you the best possible setup for optimum performance.
Now when we talk about Managed WordPress Hosting, your web host goes one step extra and optimizes your hosting environment to suit the requirement of WordPress and as a result, you get the best speed and experience from your WordPress blog.
Rocket.net Hosting Overview
Rocket.net is fairly a new entrant into the already overcrowded web hosting arena. But they are not the least experienced. Rocket.net was started and backed by Aaron Phillips and Ben Gabler who are considered to be veterans in the web hosting industry.
Both Aaron and Ben have decades of experience in working with industry leaders like CPanel, Go Daddy, Hostgator, etc, before they seeded their dream to start Rocket.net during the summer of 2020. Please Keep in mind that both were at the peak of their career at a very senior level position when they started their entrepreneurship.
The Rocket.net hosting is privately owned and the team is highly experienced. They are eager to deliver perfection and that may help in your business. What I found is that they treat you like a partner rather than a customer. That’s something I like about Rocket.Net hosting.
Rocket.net is one of the best Premium Managed WordPress Hosting providers for bloggers, eCommerce stores, and publication houses.
Price Currency: USD
Operating System: Linux
Application Category: Web Hosting
Rocket.Net Hosting Business Portfolio
Rocket.net believes in ” Simply The Best“. They are the experts in WordPress and only offer Managed WordPress Hosting. No unnecessary clutters of plans.
Along with WordPress hosting, they also offer WooCommerce hosting. But logically speaking, both are the same. While creating a site in Rocket.net, you will get an extra option for installing the Woocommerce plugin. That’s it.
They also offer white level reseller hosting through which you can sell WordPress hosting to your clients. You will be provided with a payment gateway, invoice facility, custom forms, and other basic facilities that a typical reseller’s hosting company offers.
Please make a note that, as of December 2020, Rocket.net does not offer any email hosting. That may be a problem for some people but considering the kind of service they offer, I would be happy to host my emails somewhere else.
Currently, they do not offer a domain registration facility and dedicated server hosting. Hopefully, they will come up with these features shortly so that Rocket.net can be a one-stop destination for all your web hosting needs.
Rocket.Net Managed Hosting Features [10 Key Features]
Rocket.Net is one of the fastest Managed WordPress Hosting. This is possible due to their state-of-the-art servers, Enterprise-grade CDN, Sophisticated caching mechanism, and most importantly the experienced team. Here are a few of those key features of Rocket.net hosting that are too tempting.
1. Enterprise Grade Servers
Rocket.net uses enterprise-grade servers comprising of all SSD drives, 256 GB RAM, 16 core CPUs, and most importantly multi-gigabyte connectivity to the internet exchange.
Please make a note that, no matter what bells and whistles web hosts offer unless they use word-class servers, all are in vain. Luckily Rocket.Net did not miss that chance.
2. WordPress Optimized Stack
Rocket.net offers optimized stacks considering the WordPress environment. The result is faster load time, enhanced protection, and more benefits to customers. Here is the key configuration of their stack.
- Latest PHP version
- Server level micro catching
- Asset proxy
- Optimized MySQL
3. Edge Cloud
If you choose to host your website on Rocket.net, your site will be hosted on edge cloud, which is about 2-3 times faster than a typical cloud platform. Rocket.net hosting has optimized edge cloud servers at 20 different strategically chosen locations that will allow you to get closer than ever to your website visitors. Here are a few of the features of their edge cloud.
- Powered by NGNIX
- Built-in caching
- Guaranteed Resources
- Multi Terabyte Network
- Optimized for WordPress
- 20 edge cloud location
Edge Cloud Locations
4. CloudFlare Enterprise CDN
Do you know that all websites hosted on Rocket.net will get the benefit of Cloudflare Enterprise CDN service? With over 200 strategic locations, your website will be much faster, no matter from which location it is getting accessed. The best part is that the Cloudflare Enterprise CDN plan is FREE for every Rocket.net customer. Here is a couple of feature of Cloudflare CDN that is integrated with Rocket.Net
- 200+ Catching & security PoP’s
- Enterprise-grade firewall
- PCI compliant servers ( Must for eCommerce stores)
- Dynamic full page caching
- Image Optimization
- Code Optimization
- Third-party script proxying
- DDoS protection
- Direct Edge peering
5. Dedicated Resources
Rocket.net is not like any other hosting provider that sells normal shared hosting in the name of managed hosting. With Rocket, you will be getting resources like dedicated RAM, Dedicated I/O. Dedicated CPU cores. It’s more than shared hosting.
One point to note that there is no way to check how much resources are allocated to you. Apart from a few usage statistics, there is no other data shown on the dashboard.
6. Free Migration and Premium SSL
All your websites will be migrated from other hosts for free of cost. What you need to do is to raise a ticket with your WordPress admin login information and FTP details. Once you provide this information, it takes about 30 minutes to migrate the website. Currently, there is no other way to migrate a website except raising a ticket. There is no way to create a database by users, so you can’t transfer a website using the Duplicator plugin
Do you know that all websites on Rocket.net will be provided with Sectigo SSL for free? That’s a saving of about $600 per year.
7. Intuitive Interface
I am a big fan of the custom hosting interface. Frankly speaking, people are bored with the C Panel interface. Rocket.net dashboard is a big shift from the boring interface that other hosting providers offer.
The interface is clean, navigation is smooth and you will find everything that you need to run your website. As of now, rocket.net does not offer any web-based file manager. You need to transfer your file only through FTP. However, adding a web-based file manager is planned and will be implemented shortly.
Currently, if you are using CPanel, then you will find the interface very pleasing to your eyes. I moved from Siteground and I still feel like the Rocket.net interface is a bit better than the Siteground interface
Here are a couple of feature of Rocket.net account dashboard.
- Launch WordPress
- One-Click staging
- Usage Analytics
- Manage users
- Access support
- One-Click backup
8. One Click Staging
For those who love to test new themes or plugins frequently, then Rocket.net is a great option. Because Rocket.net comes with a single Click staging function. With a single click, you can create a copy of your website where you can do all your testing and once you are satisfied, you can deploy the same in the live environment. Here are the things that you can do in the staging environment.
- Try new plugins
- Try new themes
- Single click clone
- Debug issues
- Work on bugs in the code
- Backup of live websites
9. Bullet Proof Security
In 2020, security is a great concern for any website. On top of that, if you have an established website or running an eCommerce store, then the risk is more. I am happy that Aaron and Ben have prioritized website safety over anything else.
Cloudflare Enterprise CDN comes with an advanced firewall for your website apart from brute force protection. Rocket.net has gone one step extra and offers free malware scanning, malware removal, automated not protection, etc. You don’t need to buy any security software or service that usually costs $1500-2000 per year.
Here are the security measures that rocket.net uses.
- Sectigo SSL certificate for free
- Advanced firewall
- Brute force protection
- Malware scanning
- Malware removal
- Captcha for automated bots
- Weal password protection
- Two-factor authentication
10. Experienced Customer Support Team
Fortunately, we have Aaron and Ben who are still handling the customer support team. They are very prompt in responses and they know what needs to done to fix issues. No matter whatever the problem is, be it is a WordPress related or hosting related, they are eager to solve it.
A few days back I requested Ben Gabler to transfer my website. It took roughly two hours to transfer the website. Ideally, it does not take more than 30 minutes but since I placed the request during a very odd time, so there was a slight delay. But overall I am very happy with their technical support team.
Rocket.Net team is available through live chat, support ticket, emails, or through direct calls 24X7. So you will always have them ready to support your business.
Personally, I set Siteground as a benchmark when it comes to customer support. Rocket.net technical support is close to Sitegorund if not better.
Rocket.net Hosting Plans
Rocket.net offers four Managed WordPress Hosting plans. Although the basic offering is the same among all the plans but the only difference is the number of websites you can host, the number of visits, the SSD space, and the bandwidth.
Cloudflare Enterprise CDN, Sectigo Premium SSL Certificate and Advanced WAF is free across all plans
Disclaimer: The launch offer is valid for a 1-month term only. After one month, you need to pay the regular price. Prices are shown as per annual billing. Although we try our level best to show the current price, it advisable to check Rocket. Net website to see the latest price.
The starter Plan allows one instance of WordPress installation. Comes with 10 Gigs of SSD space. This plan is good for 25K traffics per month and the bandwidth is limited to 50 Gigs per month.
You may feel that 10 GB of space is only good for a personal site or small blog. But just for your information that even a very reputed blog with 200-300 articles hardly consume 2-3 GB of space. So 10 GB of space should be more than enough for a regular size blog.
All key features of rocket.net hosting like Free CDN, SSL, and Web application firewall is available in this plan. This is something really good as most of the web host does not offer much in the basic plan.
The starter plan starts at $30 per month. However if your pay annually then you will get two months free. So ideally it will be $25 per month. Currently, rocket.net is offering a launch discount through which you can try this plan for just $1 for the first month.
I personally believe that $1 is worth spending to try rocket.net hosting. If you are not satisfied, you can always terminate the plan. They have 30 days money-back guarantee also.
You can install three instances of WordPress in the Pro Plan. You will be offered 20 GB of SSD space. This plan is good for 100K visits and the bandwidth is limited to 100 GB. The Pro plan also comes with multisite features. All features of rocket.net are also available in this plan.
The Pro plan is good for the small to medium-sized blogs, corporates, developers, etc. Although everything is fine in this plan I am little concerned about the 100K visits. The visit limit does not justify the price tag.
The pro plan costs $60 per month. However, if you pay annually, then they are offering two months free. So ideally it will cost you $50 per month. Similar to the starter plan, you can try the pro plan by paying just $1 for the first month.
This is the plan that can easily run medium to large side blogs. The visit limit is 250K which is fairly good. You can install up to 10 instances of WordPress with an SSD space of 40 GB. The bandwidth is limited to 300 GB.
Other features are similar to what we already discussed in the starter and pro plan.
This plan costs $100 per month. However, if you pay for the whole year, you will get two months free which comes down to nearly $83 per month. Like other plans, you can try the business plan for just $1
This plan is suitable for large publications, high traffic blogs, or eCommerce stores. Agency Plans have a traffic limit of a massive 500K. You can install up to 25 copies of WordPress with an SSD space of 50 GB. The bandwidth is limited to 500 GB.
Although the 500K traffic limit is massive but the 40 GB SSD is a concern if you are running a photo/ video blog or you want to run a large publication house.
The cost for this plan is $200 per month. But similar to other plans, you can get two months free if you buy for one year. You can try this plan by paying just $1 for the first month.
So it would be the best bet to try rocket.net as it just costs a dollar. I believe you will be extremely happy with their service. Even if you are not happy, you can easily opt-out of the plan.
Rocket.Net Hosting Review [ Performance & Test Results]
Special thanks to the Rocket.net founder Aaron for allowing me to test their hosting. I had a chance to test for 2 weeks and below are my observations in terms of speed and performance.
But before we get into the test result, Let’s have a summary of what are the mechanism set in place to boost up your website speed.
- Enterprise grade servers
- Memory level server catching
- 20 strategic edge cloud location
- Cloudflare’s 200+ global server location
- Dynamic content delivery
- Sectigo premium SSL certificate
- Account isolation
- Google font optimization and catching
- Brotli compression
- Advanced firewall
- Automated BOT protection
Please make a note that our test website was not properly optimized and still we got some excellent results. The test website has more than 20 plugins and we used few of the worst themes and plugins just to test how well Rocket.net performs in the worst-case scenario. We used WP-Rocket on our test website.
The test was performed in a very controlled environment. Your actual speed and Performance may vary based on how well you optimized your blog, what cache plugin you use, and from which location you are testing.
1. Speed Test
We checked the test website on GTMatrix, Pingdom Tools, Google Page Insights, and here is the result.
The GTMetrix tool shows an LCP of 0.8 seconds which is about 40% less than what GTMetrix recommends. What does that mean that the largest element of the website is loading within 8 seconds? Please make a note that the test website is not properly optimized for speed.
Pingdom shows a load time of 656 ms which is even less than what GT Metrix shows. Anything below 1 second is considered to be very fast.
2. Uptime Test
This is the result of the test website after a day of monitoring on Uptime Robot. A long time report is indeed pending. However, I assume that the uptime data is not going to change even if we check for a long time duration. I will update the snapshot as and when we test for a longer duration.
3. Server Speed Test
We tested the server response time on Bitcacha and the server responded in 2-3 ms which is really awesome. Bitcatcha rated the server as A+ which is the best they can rate.
4. Load Impact Test
The load test data shows a very impressive result. Around 5K requests were made at the rate of 20 req/s and the server responded in about 17ms (avg) which is simply outstanding.
5. Time To First Byte (TTFB) Test
We tested the Time To First Byte on the KeyCDN platform and the first byte was rendered in about 30-40 ms. Did you notice one thing? All locations showing almost similar TTFB. That is the power of Edge Cloud and that means that your website visitor will get similar speed all across the globe.
How To Start A Blog On Rocket.Net
Here is the step by step approach to buy a plan and host a website on Rocket.Net. Please make a note that, the below steps are only valid if you want to create a brand new site. If you want to transfer a website from a different web host, then you have to raise a ticket with your WP admin and FTP details.
Step-1: Buy a hosting plan
Go to Rocket.Net website and click on the ” Get Started ” button as shown if you want to avail the launch discount.
If you click on the “Get Started” button, that will take you to the payment page as shown. Please make sure you add the promo code ” Launch” if you don’t see the discount. Typically the discount code is auto-applied. Once you make the purchase, you will be getting the account information to your email ID.
Step-2: Log In To Your Dashboard
Once you login to the control panel using the given user ID and Password, you will be presented with the below dashboard. Click on ” Create Site” to create a new site.
Step-3: Enter New Site Name And Datacenter Location
Give a name to your site ( Not The URL) and choose the datacenter location. Try to choose the
Step-4: Enter WordPress Information
Enter all required WordPress information like Admin ID and Password, Admin email. If you wish to install “WooCommerce” you can check that option as well.
Once you click on ” Continue“, wait for a couple of minutes and you will be presented with the site dashboard as shown below. You will be given a temporary URL as shown. If you scroll down, you will see the site information and FTP details.
Now if you go to your web hosting dashboard, it will show the details like, number of websites, number of visits, space utilization etc.
Step-5: Explore Different Options On The Dashboard
Please make a note that the WordPress installation in Rocket.net comes with a couple of key plugins and themes. if you don’t want those plugins you can simply delete those after logging into the WordPress dashboard. To see the list of plugins installed, you need to click on “Plugin” in the site dashboard. You can see the theme details, backups, and some advanced information by clicking on the respective tabs.
Step-6: Go Live And Start Your Journey To Space!
As I said before, when you add a site to the rocket.net dashboard, you will be given a temporary URL. You need to add some DNS records to change the temporary URL to the actual URL and make your website live.
First Click on the ” Get Started ” button as shown to start the process of going live.
Enter the actual URL of your site. You can choose your protocols here like, HTTPS:// or https://www, etc. Please make sure you enter the correct protocol here.
Once you click continue, you will be presented with the following window where you will be given two CNAME records that you need to add under the DNS section of your domain registrar.
Please make a note that, You don’t need to change the nameserver. Also please add the CNAME records correctly as it will activate the SSL certificate and will connect to Cloudflare also.
That’s It. Your site will be live in about 5 minutes and you will be ready to start your journey to space using your own ROCKET!
Rocket. Net Hosting Positives
- Enterprise-grade servers [ Reduce TTFB]
- Cloudflare enterprise plan CDN [ The Deal breaker]
- Edge cloud at 20 locations [ Improve site speed]
- 200+ location Cloudflare CDN delivery PoP [ Great for speed and catching ]
- Web application firewall [ Secure your website from brute force and malware ]
- Dedicated resources [e.g: CPU cores, RAM, I/O]
- Sectigo SSL [ Offered for free- Savings of $600 per year]
- 14 days backup
- One-click staging [Great for testing]
- Intuitive Dashboard [ No more boring C panel dashboard]
- Experienced customer support team
- 30 days money-back guarantee
Rocket.Net Hosting Negatives
Please make a note that Rocket.net is not for everyone. Rocket.net is for those who have an established blog and earning a decent amount. So these negatives of rocket.net may not be considered as negative because their service is in line with other Web hosting providers like Kinsta and WPX.
- No Domain registration facility [ A must to be considered as one-stop web hosting destination]
- No email hosting [Nowadays no one really uses email hosting from the web host. You can use GSuite or any SMTP provider ]
- No web-based File Manager
- No Transparency on dedicated resources
- No way to create a blank website [ A must for those who wants to start from scratch]
- Support is not available 24X7
- Live Chat shows third party branding [ Not Cool as they consider themselves as a premium host]
- Pricing is a bit on the higher side [ To compete with WPX, Kinsta, or WP Engine, pricing should have been a bit low]
Conclusion: Rocket.net Hosting Review
No doubt, Rocket.net is one of the fastest managed web hosting that I have experienced. It is really fast, more secure and the overall experience is really great. Though I did not get a chance to test Kinsta, I tested WPX hosting and I can say that rocket.net is a perfect alternative to WPX if not Kinsta.
However, Rocket.net is fairly a new company with a lot of space for improvement. Hopefully, they know the area where they need to excel and come up with a plan. Down the line, rocket.net is going to give a tight fight to WPX and Kinsta for sure.
WPX and Kinsta are the two best alternatives to Rocket.net. The reason is, Rocket.net hosting plans, pricing, and server infrastructure are more or less similar to WPX and Kinsta. I did not consider Cloudways and Digital Ocean because their business model is completely different.
Kinsta is still the king of premium managed WordPress hosting. Started in 2013 and within a very short time, they expanded their business like anything.
Kinsta uses Google Cloud which is one of the fastest clouds. They are tied up with KeyCDN to deliver the content to different locations. Their container-based account approach isolates every account to make it more secure and fast.
With state of the art hosting infrastructure, advanced-cache mechanism, free migration, free optimization and not to forget their excellent support made them one of the best premium hosting available right now.
In contrast to Kinsta, Rocket has everything set in place. But I am worried about rocket.net pricing. Since Kinsta is already the king, so the rocket team needs to deliver more at a lesser price. I understand that those who choose kinsta or Rocket are the premium customers and they don’t really care about how much money they spend.
But I still believe rocket.net pricing should be more completive to overtake Kinsta in the long run. Kinsta has their pricing starts from $30 per month and it goes all the way up to $1500 per month.
WPX is one of the most popular managed hosting available in the market. People usually choose WPX when their shared hosting could not bear the load of traffic.
One of the best things about WPX is its own custom-built CDN. That changed the ball game altogether. I had a chance to test WPX and they are simply the best when you talk about the price to feature ratio.
They also follow a container-based approach for account isolation. They also use an NGNIX server instead of aged Apache. Coupled with this great server, sophisticated server-level cache, and great support, they have established themselves as a great host in recent years.
Compare to WPX, Rocket.net has better infrastructure, better features but again when we talk about price, people may have mixed opinions.