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Is This A Better Host Than WP Engine?

Rocket.net is a relative newcomer to the WordPress hosting space, but it has made strides to win over the type of user who has usually looked towards companies like Kinsta or WP Engine. In this Rocket.net review, we tell you all you need to know about this new hosting offering. 🚀

So, what makes Rocket unique? Is there anything? 🤔 And, more importantly, should you use them over some of the more established companies in the WordPress hosting space?

We’re going to find out in the following Rocket.net review. Here’s what’s to come:

What is Rocket.net?

Rocket.net launched in 2020 in the middle of the global pandemic, which perhaps didn’t naturally feel like the best time to start new projects of this magnitude, but nonetheless. 🤷‍♂️

There are a couple of differentiating factors that make Rocket’s offering unique when compared to some mainstays of the hosting industry.

First off, Rocket hosts only WordPress websites, and it does so on 18 different tiers – in terms of features and pricing.

Secondly, although Rocket.net is a new provider, the platform’s founder, Ben Gabler, has more than 17 years of experience in the web hosting industry. He regularly consults and speaks on topics that influence web hosting solutions, such as cloud computing, content delivery networks (CDN), web application firewalls, site security, performance, and more.

As you’ll discover in this Rocket.net review, Gabler has brought all this knowledge and experience to the project. No surprise Rocket offers this many performance, security, and custom-made features that make your WordPress site work faster and more reliably.

Rocket is also the first managed WordPress host that integrates with Cloudflare Enterprise across all its plans. Typically, users would source this feature separately from their hosting arrangement. Enterprise CDN from Cloudflare would cost over $200 a month on its own.

Value offering

Rocket’s primary value offering comes down to these:

  • Security: Rocket prioritizes security over everything else. All users get an SSL certificate, SSH access, SFTP, and on-demand hack and malware removal.
  • Site speed: Rocket offers site optimization solutions across all its plans. Users get access to a CDN with over 200 global locations, WAF for traffic control, and database and font optimizations. They even offer edge network through direct peering relationships with ISPs to help connect website visits to content directly.
  • Instant support: You’ll get round-the-clock live chat and email support on all plans.
  • Automatic WordPress management: Rocket offers a range of automatic or WordPress-native site management solutions. Users get automatic compressions through a GZip alternative, Brotli Compression. Additionally, plugin, theme, and core WordPress updates happen on autopilot.
  • Complete control: Users can use Git for version control, site staging for managing feature and function additions to their sites, on-demand backup, hands-free migrations, and more.

Throughout this Rocket.net review, you’ll see how this offer plays out for users…starting with what most of you probably want to know:

Rocket.net review: features and pricing ⚙️💵

Rocket’s catalog of hosting plans is rather uniform and only differs in a couple of key areas. We’re going to discuss those first:

What to expect from Rocket’s hosting plans?

Rocket’s Managed Hosting plans are not all that hard to understand:

✋ First of all, the platform hosts WordPress websites only. To say this another way, if you’re planning to host a website built on any other script or engine, Rocket is not going to be a solution for you.

With the system narrowed down to WordPress, you can predict that your experience across Rocket’s tiers of hosting is going to be pretty much the same, except for differentiators like:

  • 🔢 The number of WordPress websites you want to host
  • 🚦 Traffic volume you expect to get every month to your sites
  • 💾 Disk space you need for file and data storage
  • 📡 Bandwidth for how much network transfer you’ll need each month
  • 📍 If you need to store and manage multiple websites from a single location

You can settle for Rocket’s lowest price tier if you need only a little of these things. However, you’ll pay more if, for instance, you need a lot of bandwidth and disk space as well as expect a ton of traffic.

That being said, these have been only the “managed hosting” plans that Rocket offers. There are also higher-level tiers for agencies and enterprise hosting.

In practice, however, although Rocket calls those plan categories “Agency” and “Enterprise,” they are just loose expressions to mean they accommodate sites and users with bigger demands.

As we’ve found out in this Rocket.net review, those top-tier options only help you increase coverage if you need significantly more traffic, network load, disk space, and websites. So, for example, users on those plans would typically want to remove any traffic cap and expand their network load to allow, say, 1,000 GB (1TB) or higher.

The features all Rocket.net hosting plans get

As we’ve mentioned earlier in this Rocket.net review, the platform provides common security, site speed, automation, and storage features across all plans. So, regardless of your plan, Rocket offers you the following:

  • ✅ Enterprise-level CDN
  • ✅ Web application firewall (WAF)
  • ✅ Automatic WordPress plugin, theme, and site updates
  • ✅ Around-the-clock customer support
  • ✅ ISP direct peering
  • ✅ Automatic WordPress database defragmentation
  • ✅ Daily backup, on-demand backup, and 14-day backup retention
  • ✅ Hack and malware removal
  • ✅ Free SSL
  • ✅ All PHP versions, including legacy options
  • ✅ Site staging and SSH access
  • ✅ File compression
  • ✅ Version control with Git
  • ✅ Cron jobs
  • ✅ Built-in visitor analytics
  • ✅ Secure file transfer protocol (SFTP)

Just to reiterate, you get this set of features regardless of the hosting plan you get and its price.

Your choice of exact hosting plan will depend on the volume of traffic you’re expecting and the number of sites you want to host. Which brings us to:

The price of Rocket.net WordPress hosting

As we’ve found when writing this Rocket.net review, Rocket actually offers 18(!) different pricing tiers of their hosting. This all depends on your needs and whether you’re looking to host your own sites or other people’s as well (e.g., in an agency model).

There are three main categories of Rocket.net hosting:

  • Managed Hosting: For small businesses, bloggers, and website owners in general.
  • Agency: Designed for agencies who’d like to host their clients’ sites.
  • Enterprise: For large companies or businesses that need extra hosting resources.

Here’s what you need to know about each of them:

Managed Hosting

There are four main tiers in this type of hosting:

Plan Starter Pro Business Enterprise
Storage 10 GB 20 GB 40 GB 50 GB
Visits per month 250,000 1 million 2.5 million 5 million
WordPress Installs 1 3 10 25
Bandwidth 50 GB 100 GB 300 GB 500 GB
Price / mo. (billed monthly) $30 $60 $100 $200
Price / mo. (billed annually) $25 $50 $83 $166
  • Rocket also offers WordPress Multisite support for all plans except their Starter plan. This gives you option to host your multiple WordPress websites either as standalone installs or part of a larger Multisite setup.
  • Also, Starter and Pro users do not get phone support – only email and live chat.

⚡ Btw. Rocket.net is running a special launch discount. You can get the first month of any Rocket.net hosting plan for just $1 by clicking here.

Agencies

This hosting category is where Rocket really spoils us for choice. There are ten(!) different tiers of hosting available.

The idea behind all agency plans is that you are able to host multiple WordPress sites and hand off each one to a different client.

In practice, what you’ll find here are all the features that Rocket offers in their Managed Hosting packages plus additional perks to support your agency needs.

Therefore, all agency plans give you access to the following features:

  • ✅ Multisite support
  • ✅ Round-the-clock phone support
  • ✅ Unmetered visits
  • ✅ Agency Toolkit

That Agency Toolkit consists of:

  • White-label branding: Set your own brand logo and color across the control panel, DNS, and CDN Cache plugin.
  • Native WooCommerce integration: WooCommerce comes pre-installed with each new WordPress instance that needs it – making the setup overall quicker and hassle free.
  • Expert support: Rocket promises to provide round-the-clock support to help your agency business thrive.

Here’s a summary on the pricing of these agency plans and what you can expect from each:

Plan Storage WordPress installs Bandwidth $ / mo. (billed monthly) $ / mo. (billed annually)
Tier 1 50 GB 10 200 GB $100 $83
Tier 2 75 GB 20 500 GB $200 $166
Tier 3 100 GB 30 600 GB $300 $249
Tier 4 150 GB 40 800 GB $400 $332
Tier 5 175 GB 60 1.2 TB $600 $500
Tier 6 225 GB 100 1.5 TB $900 $750
Tier 7 300 GB 125 2.0 TB $1,100 $916
Tier 8 325 GB 150 2.5 TB $1,200 $1,000
Tier 9 350 GB 175 3.0 TB $1,400 $1,166
Tier 10 375 GB 200 3.5 TB $1,600 $1,333

If you’re reading this Rocket.net and thinking that being able to host 200 websites on a single plan is not enough 🧐 then you’re in luck! Rocket has even more powerful hosting plans available. They come in their enterprise tier of hosting:

Enterprise Hosting

Rocket’s enterprise plans are meant for users who need some heavy resource-intensive solutions, or who have found classic web hosting setups to be underwhelming or simply not good enough for what they have going on.

The common traits of enterprise hosting are:

  • ✅ Unlimited requests
  • ✅ Unlimited PHP workers
  • ✅ Free Object Cache Pro
  • ✅ Free relay
  • ✅ Free real-time backups

Here are the main tiers of enterprise hosting that Rocket.net offers:

Plan Enterprise 1 Enterprise 2 Enterprise 3 Enterprise 4
CPU Cores 8 32 64 96
RAM size 64 GB 128 GB 256 GB 256 GB
NVMe storage 1 TB 1 TB 2 TB 2 TB
Bandwidth 1 TB 1 TB 2 TB 2 TB
Monthly billing $649 $1,299 $1,949 $2,599
  • There doesn’t seem to be any discount on annual vs monthly billing with enterprise hosting.

Overages and extra bandwidth ⚠️

If you ever experience a peek in traffic or simply have a better month, you might find yourself exceeding your monthly allowance when it comes to your main server resources. In such cases, Rocket doesn’t force you to upgrade to a higher tier right away, but some overage charges will be imposed:

  • Disk space overages: $2.00 per every additional GB
  • Visitor overages: $1 per every 1,000 visitors above your allowance
  • Bandwidth overages: $0.10 per every GB above your allowance

Rocket.net review: ease of use 👐

Signing up to Rocket.net is pretty straightforward compared to the other hosting platform on the market. All it takes is just creating a new user account and picking the hosting plan that you want to go with.

Once you have your account created, you can access the main Rocket.net dashboard. It’s going to look something like this:

Rocket.net review: the dashboard

The dashboard is really simplified and doesn’t force you to shift through multiple panels until you get to the one thing that you want to do.

If you have more sites (like we do here), each of them will be listed inside a clear section in the middle, with your key server metrics on top.

You can also create new sites easily by clicking the Create Site button. All that Rocket wants from you in order to create a new site is the intended name of the site and the main server location.

Rocket.net review: creating new site

As you can see in the image above, Rocket offers a good number of data centers, which is great, since you’re most likely going to be able to pick a location that’s close to your target audience.

In the next and final step, you’ll only need to provide the login details you want to use for your site and pick from a couple of pre-selected plugins that Rocket suggests.

Rocket.net review: step 2 of installing a site

With the site installed, you can start working on it through the Rocket dashboard.

Rocket.net review: WordPress sites in dashboard

One of the more interesting integrations that Rocket offers on its higher tier plans is Atarim.io. It’s an online collaboration tool intended to help agencies and clients discuss ongoing website projects. You can trigger it by clicking on that comment bubble icon next to your site name.

Atarim.io

Of course, apart from this clever integration, you also get to manage your site in a more classic way. For instance, click on the WordPress icon to go straight to the site’s wp-admin, or on the Manage link to get a bit more in-depth when it comes to the server setup running your site plus the optimizations available.

Here’s what you’ll see when clicking that Manage button:

Managing WordPress sites

This, again, is another dashboard where you can see what’s going on with your site and perform some operations on it.

Near the top of that page, you can see a list of main sections: Overview, Plugins, Themes, etc.

This is where you can not only take care of the plugins and themes that you have on the site already, but also pick new ones and have them installed straight from the Rocket interface.

Installing themes is particularly fun since you can see the themes’ previews and even sort through the list according to design type.

Installing new WordPress themes

The next three sections in the menu – File Manager, Backups, and Logs are where you can handle some of the more traditional server activities.

Next, Reporting gives you and in-depth look at your site’s visitors and their origin. Think of this as a simpler Google Analytics. One great thing about integrated solutions like this is that you don’t have to worry about the tracking script not picking up some of your visitors.

Rocket Reporting module

Finally, the Advanced tab gives you access to all the ground-level server tools, so to speak, such as direct database management, command line interface, PHP version selection, update settings, and more.

Advanced settings tab in Rocket

In simple terms, the Rocket UI caters very effectively to all levels of proficiency with server things. For example, if you just want to set up your site and not have to worry about how it all works underneath, you can do that through Rocket’s dashboard. However, on the other hand, if you want to get knees-deep in server management and optimization, Rocket allows you to do that as well.

Performance and load times 🏎️

Okay, with ease of use checked off, now it’s time to see how quick those Rocket.net servers actually are.

Here’s how we tested server performance in this Rocket.net review:

  • We started by buying one of Rocket’s hosting plans.
  • We installed a test website on that plan.
  • We installed Rocket’s recommended plugins, theme, and added some content to simulate the appearance of the average new WordPress site.
  • Finally, we tested the load times of the site from multiple locations around the globe.

Here’s what we found:

Location Loading Time TTFB DCL End Visually Complete
N. Virginia 0.98 s 629 ms 894 ms 1 s
California 0.42 s 120 ms 355 ms 0.5 s
London 0.63 s 135 ms 534 ms 0.7 s
Paris 0.7 s 215 ms 531 ms 0.8 s
Mumbai 1.64 s 483 ms 1213 ms 1.7 s
Sydney 1.24 s 350 ms 851 ms 1.3 s

As you can see, these results are very good across the board. The loading times from the US – where our server is located – and Europe stay confidently under the one second mark, while the tests from Asia still manage to not cross the two second mark.

Based on similar tests we did in our previous reviews, Rocket’s results are strongly in the top tier of hosting performance!

Customer support 🚑

Rocket offers a handful of customer support options, ranging from the traditional live chat to email and phone support.

Live chat and email support are the standard support channels available for all hosting plans at Rocket.

Phone support is available on the Business and Enterprise plans from the Managed Hosting lineup, all Agency plans, and all the advanced Enterprise hosting plans.

Rocket support ticket

There’s also a knowledge base to help you find an answer to all the most commonly asked questions and challenges that other users have faced.

Knowledge base in Rocket

Rocket support claims their staff to be WordPress experts who know their craft and understand the needs of WordPress sites. Most importantly, the platform lets you find help 24/7, which should give you a peace of mind.

Pros and cons 👍👎

Here are the main pros and cons that we’ve come across when working on this Rocket.net review:

Pros 👍

  • Offers fully managed solutions for WordPress
  • The ability to create new WordPress with a couple of clicks
  • Great staging tools
  • Easy-to-use dashboard for managing your websites
  • Highly performant servers
  • Free CDN that lets you serve not only images but standard HTML content as well
  • Automated updates and daily backups
  • Hands-free website migrations

Cons 👎

  • Hosts WordPress sites only
  • It doesn’t offer a free domain name
  • No email hosting included nor possible

Rocket.net review conclusion 🏁

Overall, our conclusion is that Rocket.net is an easy sell. Although the price is a bit higher than the Bluehosts or DreamHosts of this world, Rocket more than makes up for it in terms of the features offered, the performance, and the focus on security and easy of use.

Let’s also not forget about Rocket’s ability to grow alongside your site by offering ever-more-powerful tiers of hosing that are ready for any volume of traffic.

This host didn’t skimp on the promise to deliver a fast, secure, and reliable web hosting experience. It invested in top technologies to support NVMe storage, unlimited PHP workers, ISP Direct Peering, WAF, and their enterprise-level CDN.

🎁 Rocket.net is running a special launch discount. You can now get your first month of Rocket.net hosting for just $1 – and that’s regardless of the tier you choose. Click here to get this discount.

⚡ Pro tip; if you’re looking for a starting point, the entry-level Starter plan is going to be more than enough to get a new WordPress website off the ground and even have room for some serious growth – considering you can have up to 250,000 monthly visitors on it.

Get Started with Rocket.net

Do you see yourself giving Rocket a try? Have you used it already? Please comment below if this Rocket.net review helped you or if you want to share your Rocket experience with us.

Wp-dd.com

WordPress Design, WordPress Development, cPanel Hosting, Web Design, Web Development, Graphic Design, Mobile Development, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and more.

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