ServerPilot vs RunCloud Speed Comparison on WordPress

Faizan ShaikhWordPress Performance9 Comments

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ServerPilot & RunCloud are tools which let you manage your server without dealing with (almost)any command line interface. ServerPilot & RunCloud mainly focus on PHP applications. These providers help you have a faster hosting without paying high fees. This post will help users choose between the two providers. In this guide, we will be testing the which is faster between ServerPilot & RunCloud on the same setup.

The Setup for ServerPilot vs. RunCloud

We’ll be focusing on WordPress in this article. There are many speed optimization services as well as speed optimization techniques to improve your website speed; hosting is a crucial factor too. In this post, we will set up two $2.5 VPS from Vultr, with the same configuration, same setup. The only difference will be one installation will be done via RunCloud, compared to the other done via ServerPilot. We will be using website performance analysis tools like WebPagetest.org, GTMterix & Pingdom to compare the two.

For our tests, we will use Avada theme, which is one of the most sold WordPress theme, which is considered to be bloated(no offense). We will then import a demo, and then compare the results of the two setups.

Setting up a VPS on Vultr

You can register on Vultr from here. Once you have signed up, setting up a server is pretty straightforward. Go to https://my.vultr.com/deploy/, and select the desired locations. In this case, we will choose the server location as New York. Next, we pick the server OS as Ubuntu 16.04 x64 as both ServerPilot & RunCloud requires the same.Deploying a Server on Vultr

Next, we select the server size.

select server size on Vultr

Once we have launched our instance, we need to install WordPress on ServerPilot & RunCloud.

ServerPilot & RunCloud Performance Results

Before installing Avada demo, I would like to show you the performance results of default WordPress installation.

Default WordPress Installation Performance Results

Pingdom Speed results for ServerPilot

Pingdom Speed results for ServerPilot

Pingdom Speed results for RunCloud

Pingdom Speed results for RunCloud

GTMetrix Results for ServerPilot

GTMetrix Results for ServerPilot

RunCloud GTMetrix Results

GTMetrix Results for RunCloud

ServerPilot Webpagetest Results

ServerPilot Webpagetest Results

webpagetest.org results of RunCloud

RunCloud Webpagetest Results

Conclusion for Default WordPress Installation Performance

As it can be noted, RunCloud outperforms ServerPilot in all the tests. Even though, ServerPilot is in the industry since 2012 compared to RunCloud which in 2017.

Results using the Avada Theme Demo

GTmetrix Results

In this test, GTmetrix results differed a lot. At times I found RunCloud performing better, while at times ServerPilot was taking the lead. But let’s have a look at the test results:

RunCloud on Avada speed test GTMetrix

speed test of Avada on ServerPilot

Note: There is no clear winner in the GTmetrix load test since in the very next test, ServerPilot performed better. This kind of fluctuations happened in more than five tests. So nothing to conclude here.

Pingdom Results

Unlike GTmetrix, Pingdom results showed RunCloud performing better than ServerPilot.

ServerPilot Pingdom test 2 RunCloud on Avada speed test pingdom

RunCloud takes 1.58 s to load the Avada demo compared to ServerPilot which takes 1.71 s. The difference is not much, but website speed is essential & there is no reason to ignore milliseconds.
To avoid any discrepancies, I did a retest & in the retest, too, RunCloud took lesser time to load the website.

Webpagetest.org Results

RunCloud.io Results

Document CompleteFully Loaded
Load TimeFirst ByteStart RenderUser TimeSpeed IndexFirst Interactive (beta)TimeRequestsBytes InTimeRequestsBytes InCost
First View (Run 3)2.982s0.346s0.734s4.250s3156> 4.057s2.982s462,242 KB5.721s812,509 KB$$$$$

ServerPilot.io Results

Document CompleteFully Loaded
Load TimeFirst ByteStart RenderUser TimeSpeed IndexFirst Interactive (beta)TimeRequestsBytes InTimeRequestsBytes InCost
First View (Run 1)3.042s0.535s0.900s4.266s31774.118s3.042s462,231 KB6.139s812,496 KB$$$$$

As  clearly, seen from the tests, RunCloud outperforms ServerPilot in almost any test. Also, a similar comparison performed by SitePoint proves the same.

Comparing Costs

Along with performance benefits, you also get better pricing options($10 a server for ServerPilot vs. $10 unlimited servers from RunCloud).

ServerPilot pricing

ServerPilot Pricing

 

RunCloud Pricing

There’s no reason I can see for one to choose ServerPilot over RunCloud. It is also worth mentioning that both providers offer free plans which are worth considering.

Comparing User Dashboard

ServerPilot User Dashboard

By this point I feel you would think  I am being biased, I understand. But I will make you the judge this time.

ServerPilot Dashboard

ServerPilot Dashboard

It’s their dashboard in 2017, and I have not made any edits to the image. Don’t trust me? Check your self!

RunCloud Dashboard

RunCloud Dashboard

RunCloud’s user dashboard seems simple, user-friendly & has some icons which will make it easier to find useful tools. I had issues creating an SFTP user, but the live chat person assisted me. One thing I would suggest them is to make some options clear like adding an SFTP user, making SSH login optional for SFTP users, etc.

Final Conclusion

I still can’t find any reason one would consider ServerPilot. Believe me, things like standalone NGINX support for WordPress weren’t even compared in this article. RunCloud offers this right from the beginning. I don’t say it’s not possible to achieve this on ServerPilot, but again, it’s complicated to do so.

It’s not like ServerPilot is the cheaper alternative here. RunCloud is much cheaper compared to ServerPilot(unlimited server pricing vs. per server pricing). Still, RunCloud excels in most of our tests. One thing I realized while setting up the server was, ServerPilot gets deployed faster, but again, that’s a one time benefit. Ultimately it’s the website speed which matters the most.

Have I missed something? What do you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

About the Author
Faizan Shaikh

Faizan Shaikh

Faizan has been working on the Internet since 4 years. He has studied B.Sc. IT. He likes helping businesses grow on the Internet & likes sharing his knowledge.


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9 Comments on “ServerPilot vs RunCloud Speed Comparison on WordPress”

  1. Hey,

    Thanks for the time spent testing! I think the test is very subjective though. I use both systems and I will pick runcloud over serverpilot if I have to pick one but your test (from all I can see) was done with Nginx on RunCloud.

    For an unbiased approach to the test, I’ll suggest you run ServerPilot with Nginx and test server load (run a test with loader.io), not page speed.

    Out of the box, the free serverpilot setup is still a lot better than runcloud for wordpress. For example, wordpress email notification works without any third party plugin. You can’t say the same for runclound.

    1. Faizan Shaikh

      Hi Dan,
      Thanks for stopping by.
      It seems like I should have mentioned about the server stack used.
      To clear any doubts, I have used the same stack(Apache+NGINX) on both RunCloud & ServerPilot to keep the comparison fare. If I had used standalone NGINX on RunCloud for comparison, the results wouldn’t have been fair.
      I agree RunCloud doesn’t support mail out of the box. But I assume that will be implemented soon since it’s growing pretty fast.

  2. Very interesting read, thanks. Have you tried comparing other panels like cpanel, cloudron and plesk?

    1. Faizan Shaikh

      Good to hear that you found it interesting. No. I did not compare cPanel & Plesk. cPanel & Plesk are panels for web hosts and not actually control the servers on their own. The performance depends a lot on how the web host configures these panels. It is not the same for ServerPilot & RunCloud. These panels are for servers with root access. These panels totally control the set up unlike cPanel, Plesk etc. Comparing Plesk/cPanel with RunCloud/ServerPilot won’t really be a fair comparison.
      Regarding Cloudron I don’t really know about that.

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