Most digital services these days offer either a free version or a trial period, which allows you to actually use the product for a while before deciding if it is right for you.
One of the very rare exceptions? 🛑 Web hosting.
Not only are there no test versions (i.e. you always pay up front) – even purchasing the service is notoriously difficult and time consuming!
Not to mention the various dark tricks and schemes that hosting companies use to lure you in, such as obviously “promotional” prices that later increase dramatically, often x2 or x3.
Apparently, hosting users aren’t the only ones frustrated by these trends – a curious company called Warpgate seems to want to reinvent what it means to be a web host in 2021.
But do they deliver?
In other words, is it really worth your time and money?
In this in-depth review, we’ll take a look at Warpgate from all angles and answer some of the most important questions about this hosting provider:
- What is Warpgate And how does it work?
- Is there something special about this host?
- Is it really cheaper than other suppliers?
- Who should use Warpgate and who shouldn’t?
We’ll start by looking at the ‘non-standard’ features and ideas the service implements, along with the philosophy behind it:
What is unique about Warpgate?
Warpgate calls itself ‘human and planet friendly accommodation’. Rather ambitious, yes! What can they offer to support this?
Here are some of the things about Warpgate that are hard to find in the web hosting industry:
- A new onboarding experience focused on speed and simplicity: you can build a WordPress website in 15 seconds and start working on it immediately – because …
- Warpgate is free for the first 30 days, and does not require any map details to complete your prep website setup.
- Once the free month ends, you are offered fixed and predictable price with no hidden costs or subsequent price increases.
- Besides functionality, it’s refreshing to see a company paying so much attention to social responsibility: Warpgate keeps its operations carbon neutral – while supporting nonprofit causes such as educating children and fighting COVID.
The last item is always a good idea, if you ask us …
But like the other three, we’ll need a closer look to form an objective opinion. Let’s start by creating your own website on Warpgate:
The integration experience
While Warpgate is still technically a web host (a managed WordPress host, to be precise), the process of building a new website here is more like a site builder – maximum simplicity, no upfront commitment ⚡
To get started, you will need to enter the desired subdomain and your email address in the form on the official homepage:
Configure your website with Warpgate ›
After clicking on the big purple “warp in”! button, you will receive an email with the activation link (check spam if you have nothing in your mailbox). Click the link and enjoy 10-15 seconds of cheesy status updates:
When the new WordPress site is ready (~ a quarter of a minute), you will see the link to your new preparation (i.e. temporary) address, which will look like
yourhandle.warpgate.site… Click on the link and complete the standard WP installation routines – and you’re done!
Once in your new WordPress admin, you’ll find a welcome screen to walk you through the first steps of setting up your website and exploring the features available:
This WordPress intro was tailor-made by the Warpgate team and is a serious improvement over the standard (rather drab) WP screen shown below:
Did you notice the “Warpgate” item in the left admin menu? This is the hosting panel! And yes, it is a conscious decision –
Warpgate got rid of the complex hosting admin environment and incorporated its own, greatly simplified and streamlined version right into your WordPress admin.
For the sake of visual comparison, here’s what classic old-fashioned hosting dashboards like cPanel look like:
… and here’s how Warpgate’s built-in hosting control center searches for an activated account (you’ll see a domain finder in a dev website panel):
There are many more options, settings, and features in a cPanel dashboard – but the growing popularity of hosts like Warpgate has you wondering:
… How often do most hosting users really need one of these? (if at all)
And yes, full time developers tend to need more nooks and crannies to run large websites; however, in such cases, a professional grade cloud platform like Amazon AWS is a much more natural choice.
The big retail hosts of yesteryear, like GoDaddy or Bluehost, are geared towards smaller websites that are often run by newbie webmasters – but they still use those huge, incomprehensible hosting panels you saw above.
“Most regular people never use 99% of the hosting panel stuff, so why keep it messy?” – ask the creators of Warpgate.
Following this minimalist idea, Warpgate declutters the hosting admin experience – but that’s not the whole story. The price is also suitably ascetic:
How much does Warpgate cost?
Well, it probably couldn’t be simpler: Warpgate offers a unique hosting plan with monthly ($ 3 per month) and annual ($ 30 per year) billing options.
This includes a free domain name and automatic SSL certificates for added security, which are often billed separately by hosting providers.
The most important difference, however, is the fact that the the prices do not change after your first billing period:
You pay the same $ 3 per month or $ 30 per year as long as your Warpgate account is active – no hikes, no hidden fees.
This interactive board on the Warpgate website, the long-term price advantages over popular conventional hosting services:
While some mainstream web hosts offer prices around $ 2 / month on certain occasions like Black Friday, you will inevitably see your bill go up 200-300% after the first billing cycle.
Not on Warpgate, however 💵
It’s up to everyone to decide if they always prefer to pay a little less initially then be charged several times more indefinitely – but the promise of a clear, transparent and fixed payment schedule is sure to find its own admirers.
Advantages and disadvantages of Warpgate
Let’s sum up what we learned about this host by listing all the strengths and not so strengths:
- Creating a new website at Warpgate takes less than a minute and only requires a valid email address to be activated.
- Warpgate is free for the first 30 days, without you having to leave your card details.
- You get a fully managed WordPress website with automatic kernel updates and a custom home screen for easier integration.
- The hosting management dashboard avoids the clutter of traditional panels and sits right inside the WordPress admin.
- All the sites are located on SSD servers optimized for WordPress, which translates into top-notch loading speed.
- You get a free domain with every subscription, and it doesn’t generate any hidden charges after your first billing period like most other hosts.
- The pricing structure is simple and transparent, with no hidden costs or subsequent price increases.
- The Warpgate support team leaves a positive impression, all responses we received were friendly and to the point.
- The company actively pursues social causes, including carbon neutrality, contributing to charity, and free nonprofit hosting.
- Warpgate exclusively offers WordPress (fully managed) websites, so there is no possibility to install other CMS like Joomla, Drupal or Ghost.
- The range of features is more basic than that of large hosts like GoDaddy or Bluehost, following Warpgate’s “distraction-free” approach.
- Support is only available via email, there is no phone or live chat; Expect to receive responses within 1 to 2 days of your initial message.
So, is Warpgate worth using, and if so, who should be using it? In summary below:
Our verdict: Is Warpgate worth it?
There are hosting providers that try to be everything for everyone and then there are more targeted companies like Warpgate…
Consider trying it if:
- You need a WordPress website as fast as possible, fully ready for your customizations and content,
- You like simplicity and transparency when it comes to user interfaces, customer support and especially pricing,
- You prefer brands that actively direct efforts and resources towards noble goals – social causes, environmental protection and charity.
On the other hand, Warpgate is definitely NOT for you if:
- You need something other than WordPress – a different content management system or a fully custom coded website,
- You have previous server management experience and prefer full control over your server settings and whole software stack…
One thing about Warpgate that is sure to please everyone is the fact that you can try it for free, with no obligation:
Try Warpgate for free ›
Let us know what you think of Warpgate in the comments below; if you already have experience with this supplier, please share your thoughts – let’s help each other make informed choices!