Even though RunCloud supports a slew of VPS which include major ones like Digital Ocean, Vultr, Linode, AWS, and Google Cloud Platform, to name a few, Digital Ocean seem to be a crowd favourite among the developers as well as their customers, for a few obvious reasons. And once you have made your choice on Digital Ocean for hosting your websites and web apps, then comes another question of how to connect the Digital Ocean droplets (which is what they call their virtual machines) the easiest and most efficient way. ServerPilot seemed to be a top choice for some developers when it comes to automating Digital Ocean deployment but newcomer RunCloud can give it a run for its money, and gaining popularity for a number of reasons that we will share later.
For a person without in-depth knowledge in PHP programming, setting up a Digital Ocean server may be a daunting task but with RunCloud, armed with only basic SSH skill, it can be done in a few easy steps as demonstrated in this 5-minute video in one of the blog entries. Long gone were the days of setting up your cloud hosting that would have taken some developers a few days to setup and and configure.
Now onwards to why you should choose RunCloud over ServerPilot!
Free trial period and free account
RunCloud offers a full-fledged trial period of 5 days, with all the bells and whistles. But by the time the trial period ends, you will feel like some of the paid features are worth paying for. Go here and register if you want to have a go at RunCloud Business Plan which is the highest plan being offered at USD45 per month. No credit card is needed for the registration so you don’t have to worry about auto-billing when the trial period lapses.
There is however, a forever free version where multiple WordPress pages or web applications and unlimited domain names can be deployed on 1 server.
ServerPilot, on the other hand no longer provide any more free plans so if you would like to take a test drive with ServerPilot, you must be subscribed to their basic plan which is USD5.50 per month, for 1 server and 1 web app.
Basic paid version offers more
RunCloud offers 4 plans: Basic Plan (USD0), Basic Plan (USD8), Pro Plan (USD15) and Business Plan (USD45).
The Basic Plan which goes for USD8 per month actually has more to offer compared to the ServerPilot basic plan of USD5.50 which only comes with only 1 server and 1 app, and additional app costs USD0.50 while each additional server costs USD 5. Meanwhile, for RunCloud, just like the free plan, you can deploy multiple WordPress sites or web apps on 1 single server on RunCloud Basic Plan. For the Pro Plan USD15 per month, you can have unlimited connected servers with unlimited web apps and domain names.
For USD8 also, RunCloud also offers 24-hour server health monitoring & notification whereas for ServerPilot, the server monitoring features only come with their Business Plan, which starts at USD11, which again, is only for 1 server and 1 app.
A lot of people are happy enough with the RunCloud USD8 plan, which comes free with SSL cert by Let’s Encrypt as SSL is now almost considered a must as Google prioritizes SSL websites for their SEO rankings. The SSL provided from Let’s Encrypt complies with PCI-DSS, HIPAA, and NIST.
We know how dependent the developers can be on the GitHub, Bitbucket, GitLab or their own custom GIT Servers. Because RunCloud was created by developers, the developers have made it possible to deploy from Git repository to the RunCloud servers using Git Webhooks. This feature is super handy when you have created a staging operation running on any Git repositories so when it comes to testing it in real world cases or creating another staging branch in the RunCloud servers, you don’t need to deploy it through SSH as with ServerPilot or other third party softwares. RunCloud even comes with an online editor for the developers to make changes on the fly.
Support from founders
RunCloud was conceived by 3 Malaysian developers who understand well the pain of getting support from the providers when hit by problems and complications, before, during and after the setup of the servers. Since the whole organisation is still largely considered a budding start-up, any problems arising are closely followed by the founders themselves and suggestions are taken into consideration. Compared to ServerPilot which has been around since 2012, and has not evolved much recently largely due to being generally stable, RunCloud is more robust and are able to kick out more new features. The founders themselves would engage with the their users on social media and being in the developer community, founder involvement is a big plus when it comes to solving issues that crop up. RunCloud recently has established a team for dealing with issues and problems and developed a ticketing system for users to submit their problems.
Slack and Telegram Integration
We all know that communication plays a big part within an organisation that is in the midst of setting up servers as well as maintaining them. And developers as well as users love to use Slack and Telegram for notifying each other. RunCloud can even send instant notifications on whatever that is happening on the server side such as adding of new users and server health alerts through Telegram or Slack. Just provide the Slack Webhook URL or chat with the @RunCloudBot at Telegram. You don’t get that with ServerPilot!
Intuitive and simple UI
For someone who is not a code warrior and relies heavily on clicking when setting up servers but want to be in control, intuitive UI plays a big role in choosing which providers to choose. Here’s a side by side comparison of the UI for ServerPilot and RunCloud. As you can see, RunCloud offers a more holistic view of what users can configure on their servers. Whereas for ServerPilot, users might need to dig around more just to get to do a certain task.
Pic 1: RunCloud UI
Pic 2: ServerPilot UI
Well, those are just some points to be taken into consideration when choosing between RunCloud and ServerPilot when it comes to deploying Digital Ocean within minutes. RunCloud is perfect for developers or users who do not want to deal with the nitty gritty part of deploying PHP servers. Granted that ServerPilot do have their plus points but RunCloud, being a new kid on the block, can sure challenge the big boys, as proven by their track record of users who are running almost 9000 servers and close to 30000 web apps.