WebSynthesis Hosting Review

First off, I highly recommend managed WordPress hosting for any WordPress website out there that is beginning to have issues with speed, security, scalability, or downtime. That being said, the three tops dogs in the managed WordPress hosting arena are WP Engine, Synthesis, and Page.ly. This review will cover just Synthesis, but if you would like to see our review on all three, please visit our Managed WordPress hosting review.

The Good

Right off the bat, I’ve got to mention that Synthesis is run by Copyblogger Media, LLC. The same people that are behind Studiopress, Scribe SEO, the Genesis Framework, and much more. Copyblogger Media and Brian Gardner are some big names in the WordPress community, so you can be assured that this is going to be an amazing product.

Synthesis Screen Shot

Synthesis definitely delivers on the increased performance. Just by switching to Synthesis, we were able to notice a significant decrease in load times on our website.

When I began to dig deeper, it was nice to see that Synthesis is making use of nginx, PHP-FPM, APC, and they have a maximum of 12 websites on their shared stacks, which is all amazing!  With shared hosting you can expect one server to host 100’s of websites. It’s nice to see Synthesis caps this at 12.

Synthesis also has great security. Because Synthesis only host WordPress, they can fine tune their servers to the needs of WordPress. Synthesis also had external security audits and a slew of other safety features.

To give you an idea of how fast Synthesis is, you can visit our managed WordPress hosting speed test case study article, or check out the speed test screenshot below.

Synthesis Speed Results

As you can see, our test website loaded in 1.701 seconds, which was just slightly slower than Page.ly and WP Engine. Also, Synthesis did a great job of caching static content which would help repeat views appear super snappy, which should increase customer happiness.

Synthesis was also very easy to get running and Cody gave me some amazing support when I made a mistake with using the wrong domain name. DOH!

It Could Be Better

Synthesis is great, and I really love that it is backed by Brian Gardner and Copyblogger Media. Ideally, I would like to see more of a guarantee on security. Yes, it’s nice to hear about how secure your hosting is, but what’s going to happen if your website happens to get hacked even after all of the security? I would like to see Synthesis bring some kind of  guarantee about protecting websites from hackers. WP Engine guarantees that they will unhack your website for free if it is ever hacked. Maybe Synthesis can do something similar?

I would also like to see a few more pricing plans. As the plans are now, the lowest plan is $27 per month, and it comes with 2,500 daily unique visitors, which I think is pretty good. The next level up is 20,000 daily unique visitors at $97 per month. That’s pretty steep in my opinion. I would like to see a price plan between $50-70.

The Bottom Line

Synthesis managed WordPress hosting is definitely a great way to go for your WordPress hosting. You’ll get great performance at prices cheaper than WP Engine or Page.ly. Synthesis is also backed by Brian Gardner and Copyblogger media, so you know you’re getting a solid product. If you are having any issues with your current host, I highly recommend at least giving synthesis a look.

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Written by Eric Binnion

Eric Binnion is a computer science student at Midwestern State University. When Eric is not online, he is usually volunteering in his community or enjoying time with his family. You can find Eric on Twitter.

Comments

  • Keith Davis says:

    Hi Eric
    I took a look at the plans for Synthesis and noticed the big jump from the cheapest to the next price plan.

    “…the lowest plan is $27 per month, and it comes with 2,500 daily unique visitors, which I think is pretty good. The next level up is 20,000 daily unique visitors at $97 per month. That’s pretty steep in my opinion. I would like to see a price plan between $50-70.”

    That sounds pretty good to me.

    Also noticed that the cheapest package is not VPS, or did I misread that?

    • Jerod Morris says:

      Keith, thanks for the feedback.

      First, our Starter plans are “shared” but not in the normal sense of the Word. They are based on a variation of our VPS configuration that you only share with 9 other customers. We also group them by frameworks, site types, etc, to keep “like neighborhoods.” They will take more than the stated traffic and we do not siphon, throttle, or quash traffic. And we will let you know when you are growing out of your plan.

      Before we finalized the feature set and pricing on our dedicated VPS offerings, we really did take a step back and listen to customers as well as what the market place was offering. Reputable providers sold unmanaged VPS ranging from $70 to $100 a month. If we were just providing “managed Linux” we could probably drive that cost down to something permanently in the $70 per month range. However, in reality, the majority of our support interaction is WordPress-related as we truly do provide no-excuse WordPress support; this made it cost prohibitive to go down into that range. We are also going to be rolling out lots of innovation over the coming 6 months, which will provide even more customer-centric value add in the stack.

      Though we are always listening to customer feedback, at this point, I’m not sure we would offer a product without the WordPress support component, which would make it tough for us to offer a VPS in that price range.

      Again, thanks for the feedback and we will definitely tuck this one away for when we evaluate the topic again in our product roadmap.

  • doug francis says:

    Thanks for the insight as I was looking into this today. How long did it take to transfer your site from your previous host?

  • Jerod Morris says:

    Eric, thanks for taking the time to write this review. We appreciate all of the kind words you have for our hosting.

    I did want to clarify one comment, which you made in the “It Could Be Better” section (a statement we agree with, of course, because there are always ways it can be better!):

    “Ideally, I would like to see more of a guarantee on security. Yes, it’s nice to hear about how secure your hosting is, but what’s going to happen if your website happens to get hacked even after all of the security? I would like to see Synthesis bring some kind of guarantee about protecting websites from hackers. WP Engine guarantees that they will unhack your website for free if it is ever hacked. Maybe Synthesis can do something similar?”

    We are actually rolling out worry free “de-hacking” on July 1. It makes good sense to provide customers a policy-based sense of security.

    We will, however, continue to charge additional fees for migrations that require de-hacking as the cases we see come in are typically quite severe and require multiple iterations to fully eradicate all back doors and related issues.

  • Karen W. says:

    Thanks for the post, Eric. It is posts like these that convinced me to switch to Synthesis and I have been thrilled thusfar.

    I was a bit hesitant at first because my site doesn’t make all that much but I figured it had a better shot of it was faster . . .

    I also love the piece of mind because as mentioned Synthesis did introduce a “de-hacking” feature.

    For me while the front end of the site has a noticeable speed increase for some reason I noticed the difference the most in the backend – it really screams.

    Support thus far has also been fantastic.

    The only knock on them now as far as I’m concerned is what you mentioned: the lack of options between $27 and $97 but I guess if I decide to work on another site I can just add a separate account making my total $54 a month.

    Thanks Again!

    • Eric Binnion says:

      I’m glad you’re liking it Karen! Thanks for leaving a comment with your experience :)

    • Jerod Morris says:

      Karen, I always love reading kind words about our service at Synthesis, so thank you for writing the above comment. It also compels me to let you (and anyone else who reads this) in on a little secret. We do actually have a new plan, which we don’t advertise on the site, to fill the gap between the Starter and Pro Plans. It’s called Starter-Plus, and both the capabilities and cost are right in between Starter and Pro. If interested, just ask in the Help Desk and someone can provide more details. Eventually we’ll make it “official,” but right now it’s something we suggest on a case-by-case basis.

      • Eric Binnion says:

        Thanks for the information Jerod!

      • Leo says:

        Just wondering. Am on the 3 months Synthesis trial. Do you have any sites hosted with you on Synthesis which has about 40 WooCommerce extensions?

        Am having some 504 timeouts on WPE and not sure if migrating the site over to Synthesis would solve that =)

        Thanks!

        • Eric Binnion says:

          Hi Leo,

          I do not have any websites that meet those specifications. I’m sorry.

          If you do decide to move, I’d like to hear how it works out for you.