We built Evermore to bridge a huge gap between two great ideas: website/blog platforms and entirely self-hosted websites. The former gives you ease of use and protection from bad code; the latter gives you the ability to run any code you want.
Those conditions can be (and are) great for many people. Yet, there are drawbacks to both. With those platforms (like Squarespace or WordPress.com), that protection from bad code comes at the expense of being limited in functionality.
What if you want to do something the platform doesn’t provide?
What if you want to customize more of the design than you can?
You’ll have to move all the way over to having a self-hosted website. You’ll be able to get your content out of there, but you’ll have to rebuild your site completely. You’ll have to download (and possibly purchase) the theme and plugins you want—all usually from different companies. And you’ll either need to pay someone to help you set things up, or you’ll need to learn a lot to get your files loaded on the server, your database set up, and everything connected.
One of the major benefits of quality, managed WordPress hosting is assistance with all that setup. You’ll often get very good support from friendly people who will help you get WordPress installed (files and database), get your content imported, and get your downloaded or purchased theme and plugins loaded. That’s a huge help! Plus, they’ll help you diagnose issues with your theme or plugins, where cheaper hosting companies might say, “Contact the business that wrote this code.”
Evermore takes a different approach that’s designed to help you get set up faster, so you can get your website working for your business. As such, there are a few key differences between what Evermore does and what managed WordPress hosts do.
Curated, Supported Themes & Plugins
Kyle and I have spoken to countless WordPress users over the years, and we’ve heard time and time again how difficult it is to confidently choose themes and plugins for your self-hosted WordPress site. It’s difficult to choose a theme to start with, because there are so many things to consider—Kyle’s written some excellent tips already to help if you’re going this route.
The first step for most people is finding the design they want by looking at theme demos. The first issue folks run into is that it’s often quite difficult to get your new site set up the way the demo is (i.e. the way you want it to look). And that’s tough, because you don’t get to find that out until after you’ve already purchased and downloaded the theme!
The second issue is that, when picking a theme based purely on its design, code quality doesn’t get taken into consideration. That’s live code running on your website, and it directly relates to performance and security. A poorly-written theme could be sitting on an expensive host where it seems to run fairly well for the demo; when you install it on a more standard host, it slows to a crawl.
It’s also difficult to tell if, when, and how that theme may be updated in the future. I’ll give you an example of why this is important: back in 2011, there was a major security issue with a script used in many WordPress themes. Without the ability to easily upgrade themes, countless folks were left completely vulnerable (and often unaware) because of a poor quality theme.
The same issue stands for plugins, which are ways of adding functionality to your WordPress site. All you have to go on is what the author says it does, and maybe some reviews. Now, plugins are more easily updated by default, but what if the author simply stops working on it? Many useful plugins are free, and depend on the author donating time and effort.
It takes a good amount of domain knowledge and experience to truly vet a theme or plugin. It’s often easy to forget how daunting that prospect is if you’ve been working with WordPress for a long time. Managed hosts will likely help you with major bugs or security issues, but they usually won’t help you pick something great in the first place.
With Evermore, you save time and energy by having high-quality themes and plugins pre-selected (and updated) for you. Most of our designs have color palettes to choose from, and you’re able to customize other styles like the font and size. And, you don’t have to worry about them being upgraded, like we talked about, because we do that for you automatically. We’re adding new designs all the time, too, but never want to have so many that you get overwhelmed.
Plus, remember that difficulty with getting your site to look like that demo? When you choose your design on Evermore, we set up your site with temporary content and do all the setup, so that everything already looks great—all you have to do is add your content.
The plugins (features) we offer are best-in-class and secure. We also update those for you automatically. And, if there’s a conflict between multiple plugins, causing your website to break, we won’t tell you to contact the author like most hosting companies will—we’ll fix it for you first, and then contact the author on your behalf. You get to stay focused on your content and your business.
No Daunting Tools
We want you to be confident when working with your Evermore-powered site. So, you literally cannot touch anything that will break your site. No code is ever exposed to you, and we’ve customized what’s available to you in the administrative area, so that you never have to worry about “clicking the wrong thing.”
Other hosts (managed or not) can’t do this as much, because they need to allow their customers to do nearly whatever they want. We aim to let you do what you need, instead.
Latest Server Technology (Speed)
I’ll skip the nerd-talk and just cut to the chase: many hosting companies can’t run the latest versions of languages and scripts on their server. This is due to that aforementioned need to allow customers to do nearly anything, so upgrading things on the server might break a client’s work. They can’t risk that.
Evermore is able to stay up to date on server technology, giving you the best performance possible. This is directly tied to us curating themes and plugins, which allows us to always know what code could be running. We’re able to test updates across the board before making them live on Evermore, minimizing risk for you while maximizing site speed.
Cancellation as a Feature
We believe Evermore is one of the first platforms specifically designed to give the power of open-source technology to people who don’t care to control every technical aspect. Every conversation confirms the need for something like this, and our customers are happy because they don’t have to think about their website itself—just what they want it to accomplish for them.
That level of focus means Evermore isn’t for everyone. More importantly, it may only be suited for folks for a certain period of time.
If your business grows substantially, and you’re ready to spend a lot of money making a quality, custom website, Evermore will no longer be a great fit.
If you absolutely need custom integration with a service that Evermore doesn’t integrate with, your needs have changed.
We don’t pretend to be suitable for those situations and convince you to stay on a platform that doesn’t meet your needs. Instead, we help you and your business move forward. We’ll provide you with all the files you need to go directly to a new host and have your website replicated exactly like it was on Evermore. This means you can do that custom work behind the scenes without having to rebuild a single thing. We’ll make sure you’ve got all the information you need to make an informed decision about where to host your website next and what licenses you might need to buy. We’ll also work with your new host on your behalf, if you want, so you don’t have to spend your time on it.
And, since you’re never locked into a contract, you save money as well as time.
Open-source software in an incredible thing. With Evermore, we’ve taken the power and flexibility it offers and combined them with expertise and thoughtfulness. Yes, we do really care about your business, and we take your trust seriously. We’ve gone to great lengths to ensure our business model can never negatively impact your business.
That’s the most important way we’re different.
- To get an idea of who’s offering quality, managed WordPress hosting, check out these notes on Post Status.