Let’s compare WPCS and WPUltimo, highlighting their critical differences in terms of features and functionality, helping you make an informed decision for your specific needs.
Both enable users to streamline their website creation and management and potentially offer their clients WordPress as a service (WaaS).
Both platforms provide valuable features to help businesses grow, but their distinct capabilities and use cases set them apart.
Multi-tenant WordPress Cloud Platform vs. Multisite Management Tool
The most significant difference between WPCS and WPUltimo is that they don’t operate on the same level. Technically, you don’t even have to choose (and we’re working hard to make that possible for everyone).
The fact is that WPCS is a serverless cloud platform that provides hosting of multi-tenant WordPress installations. Within the platform, many features enable you to develop and maintain individual WordPress sites centrally.
Though WPCS caters to a broad range of use cases, centrally developing and maintaining sites make it uniquely suitable for a WaaS or WP-SaaS. This is why WPCS and WPUltimo are often mentioned in the same breath.
WPCS offers a serverless platform, meaning you don’t have to worry about scalability. Every site scales up and down depending on your traffic, and you only have to pay for what you use.
Automatic site provisioning via the API lets you turn the platform into a selling machine via a connected storefront. Additionally, the API and CLI also enable safe deployment via Github Actions, a CI/CD process, or just local development.
WPUltimo, on the other hand, is a tool to turn a multisite network into a WaaS. It does not include hosting. It helps you manage a multisite network and provides a toolset to sell and manage WaaS (Website as a Service) subscriptions. This includes billing of customers, templates, etc.
In that sense, the differences between WPCS and WPUltimo aren’t totally fair because some features that WPCS provides cannot and will never be provided by WPUltimo (like the versioning system and serverless hosting).
Additionally, some of the downsides that are often ascribed to WPUltimo aren’t technically their fault. WPUltimo does a great job of managing a multisite. However, WordPress multisite has severe restrictions and limitations, making it virtually impossible to safely and effortlessly scale any WaaS or WP-SaaS safely and effortlessly.
If you’d like to know more about the reasons why not to choose a WordPress Multisite: read this article.
However, as WPUltimo currently does not provide integration for WPCS (yet), budding WaaSpreneurs must choose: Multisite with WPUltimo or multi-tenant WordPress with WPCS.
To that extent, we’ll describe and compare the features of both methods to build and scale a WaaS.
The Website Creation Process
WPCS’ External API for Automated Website Provisioning, Tenant Snapshots, and User Roles
WPCS shines in its ability to automate the website creation process with its external API. By enabling users to create new WordPress sites and deploy them quickly, WPCS streamlines the creation and management of multiple stand-alone WordPress installations. This is particularly useful for businesses and agencies requiring rapid and efficient website deployment.
The external API enables any company to build a storefront (you can also do this using our free plugins; see knowledge base) or implement site provisioning into any existing deployment line. You can provision sites using WooCommerce, Slack, any forms, etc. – endless possibilities.
WPCS provisions tenants (websites) are always based on a Snapshot that you’ve created. You can make as many Snapshots as you like to provide your customers with endless starting points. A Snapshot can be compared to a WPCS-specific zip file in which you’ve put the blueprint for a new site.
Any newly provisioned site will receive everything that’s in the Snapshot, much like a backup: code, database, plugins, themes, etc. The beautiful difference between WPCS and any other backup is that you can continuously and centrally update and upgrade all sites after provisioning by simply creating new Snapshots. This is the magic of multi-tenant WordPress.
User roles allow you to upsell functionality to your customers after the site creation automatically. By communicating with the API and giving your users access to an “add-on store,” as some of our users like to call it, you can upsell new plugins, upgrades, etc., to your customers without manual intervention.
To summarize, the API, Snapshots, and user roles enable you to build and launch a fully equipped, low-touch serverless SaaS based on multi-tenant WordPress.
WPUltimo’s Template-based Site Creation
WP Ultimo offers a template-based approach to creating new sites within a multisite network. Users can create site templates with pre-configured themes, plugins, and settings, making it simple for their customers to launch new websites with minimal effort.
While not as robust as WPCS’s external API, WP Ultimo’s template system simplifies the website creation process and streamlines multi-site management.
Comparison and Key Differences
The primary distinction between WPCS and WP Ultimo regarding website creation lies in the level of automation provided. WPCS’s external API allows for rapid site creation and continuous deployment, which is ideal for businesses that require scalable solutions.
WPUltimo’s template-based approach simplifies site creation for users within a multi-site network but does not offer the same level of automation or scalability as WPCS. The website created by WP Ultimo are subsites on a multisite network, whereas websites created by WPCS’s API are stand-alone WordPress installations with their own database.
Centralized Dashboard and Management
Both WPCS and WP Ultimo provides centralized dashboards for managing multiple WordPress sites. The WPCS Console offers a comprehensive overview and management console for multi-tenant WordPress sites, featuring essential tools like version control, plugin management, and backup management.
Because WPCS caters to many use cases, it does not provide services such as billing to end-users included. It does work with several integrations and partners that enable this. It’s a bit more set up, but that allows you to choose based on your requirements.
On the other hand, WP Ultimo’s dashboard is designed for managing multisite networks and offering WordPress as a Service out of the box. It includes features like site templates, billing, subscription management, and premium client add-ons.
Although both platforms offer centralized management, their specific tools and functionalities differ based on their intended use cases. WPUltimo offers a complete solution out of the box, and WPCS provides more freedom to choose based on your requirements.
Billing and Subscription Management
WP Ultimo’s robust billing and subscription management system is one of its standout features. This feature allows users to offer WordPress as a Service, enabling them to charge customers for access to premium features, themes, plugins, and support.
WP Ultimo’s built-in payment gateways and customizable pricing plans make it an attractive solution for businesses that want to monetize their WordPress offerings and don’t mind being boxed into a specific way of doing it.
In contrast, WPCS does not include built-in billing and subscription management features, as it is a cloud service first. However, any existing plugin or solutions within the WordPress ecosystem can be integrated to cover billing and subscription management functionalities if needed.
Version Control and Staging Environment
WPCS offers a robust version control system and staging environment, ensuring safe updates to WordPress sites, themes, and plugins. This feature is critical for maintaining site stability and security while keeping the site code current. Developers can track changes, test updates in a staging environment, and revert to previous versions if needed.
WP Ultimo, on the other hand, does not provide built-in version control or staging features. Users who require these capabilities may need to integrate additional plugins or tools for version control and staging management.
In addition, the underlying architecture of WP Ultimo ensures that any solution built with it is unscalable by nature, as it is reliant on one database, one filesystem, and one server infrastructure.
Final Thoughts: Choosing the Right Solution for Your Needs
In conclusion, both WPCS and WP Ultimo offer valuable features and benefits, each designed to cater to specific needs.
If you are looking for a solution that focuses on offering WordPress as a service to clients with template-based site creation, built-in billing and subscription management, and premium add-ons, WP Ultimo may be the right choice for you.
However, it’s essential to remember that WP Ultimo relies on WordPress multisite, which has limits in terms of scalability.
On the other hand, if you’re seeking a cutting-edge, cloud-based solution designed explicitly for managing thousands of WordPress sites and scaling applications built on WordPress, WPCS may be a better fit.
With an emphasis on providing advanced features tailored for WordPress site management, such as the external API, version control system, and staging environment, WPCS offers a robust and scalable solution to help you stay ahead in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
Try the power of multi-tenant WordPress today – sign up for your free trial.