Introducing Closte, the next generation WordPress cloud hosting

Oh well, where should I start? Okay, let me first introduce myself. I have more than 15 years experience in internet technology, including both worlds, Linux and Windows as a system administrator and developer and also as an ex-hosting company owner. I never had a problem in realizing anything that I had set my mind to. It was more of a question on how much time I needed and the project worth. Two years ago, I sold my hosting company, and I was thinking about a different way of providing hosting solutions.

My first commercial web hosting was around 12 years ago, and it was HostGator. That was the first time I meet C-Panel hosting (control panel). As I was getting more experience in the hosting industry, I noticed that 90% of the Linux hosting providers used C-Panel. Moreover, my ex-company was using C-Panel. Don`t get me wrong; I have nothing against C-Panel. I must say that CPanel is very featured rich and has the best support on the internet. But wait you will get my point later, just keep reading.

Nowadays as technology grows, we see more and more specific hosting companies in some areas like WordPress, Magento, Joomla and most of them use custom made solutions. Someone is offering with regards to numbers, another company offering unlimited services or parameters, someone else offering pay per site or per number of visits.

Yeah, there are so many hosting companies and all of them are different in terms of pricing, performance, features, security etc. However, they all share one same problem.

Note: If you ever wonder how unlimited hosting is working, check this article “Unlimited hosting – behind the scene“.

So what is the problem?

My first commercial web hosting around 12 years, had the same or similar billing and offering model as any other hosting nowadays. I didn`t want that because I was so limited in many aspects. Many times I was forced to upgrade my package, change the hosting type or hosting provider, or just pay more money for things I didn`t use. I was in situations where I needed more disk space and was forced to upgrade my package, paying the full price of the new package while using just little more disk space. It was the same situation for bandwidth, power, features or anything that packages were different.

As the social network stage grows every day, it’s easy to share some viral post on the internet, and get too much traffic in just a few hours. Usually, this leads to overuse my hosting plan and lose a huge number of visitors due to my viral post. The same happened when I was running my internet marketing campaigns, and I end up spending too much time and money on advertising while my host was not able to handle that and I was forced yet again to change my hosting plan, type or even provider.

With time, another question came up. What when my internet marketing campaigns end or when I run much more aggressive internet marketing campaigns? What if I don`t have viral posts anymore or what if I have much more viral posts?

Let`s talk about WordPress developer companies having 50, 100, 200, 500 or more sites? Where can they host all of their clients? What if 48 of 50 clients are very small but only 2 of 50 are big sites? No completely flexible option exists. Options involved paying hundreds of dollars just for the huge number of sites, using multiple packages or different hosting providers, or simply failing to offer hosting services for the bigger sites.

Two years ago, I had one client who had a 10-year old WordPress online magazine site. His site was using around 90GB and for the other stats, check following images:

As you can see from the statistics, this site had the following usage:

  • 24 million HTTP requests
  • Disk usage just for the website is near 90GB
  • CPU usage is very low
  • Around 1TB monthly bandwidth
  • Around 1 million disk inodes

We tried to contact the top 5 managed WordPress hosting providers. All of them were able to host this site, but the price was on average around 1000$ per month mainly because of the real 90GB content. With backups and staging, the site needed a minimum of 200GB and 1TB monthly bandwidth. We decided to host the site on VPS and use CloudFlare in front of our VPS. This, however, ended up being a pain to manage and update the software and security as there was no control panel, no statistics, no flexible backups, no staging, etc. In one word, this was purely just a “hosting” service.

Summary of the Problems

  • Paying the full price of the package even if you don`t use the resources.
  • Requisite of more power by a single segment in a given time, for example, the memory, CPU, disk space, or a number of sites means a slow or offline site, upgrading the package, changing the provider or changing the hosting type.
  • There’s no easy way to implement CDN, Caching, Automatic upgrades, Staging or specific WordPress security.

Meanwhile, on the internet, we can find questions like “Why don’t cloud providers charge based on actual CPU usage rather than instance hours“, and answers like:

Introducing Closte

Since I had the same problems like those described above 15 years ago until today, I got my idea to build a flexible WordPress cloud platform that’s different from that of any other competitor. I spent two years from prototyping to the final product, including 500 benchmarks, testing the billing and resource usage on real world servers and sites from my ex-hosting company.

Closte is built on top of Google Cloud Platform, CloudLinux, and Litespeed technologies and it also incorporates several other commercial software. The only open source software we use is MariaDB. Our platform architecture has dynamic scaling of server processing power to ensure the best performance in a given period.

1. Pay-as-you-go billing model

With us, you only pay for how much hardware and bandwidth your account is using, aggregated by all applications. This, therefore, means no more packages and problems if you need more power by a single segment of CPUMemoryDisk, and Bandwidth.

We monitor your account activity on an hourly basis and display your usage in graphs.

2. Infrastructure

Our whole infrastructure uses Google Cloud Platform. The custom machine type and preemptible machine types were the primary reason why we choose Google, and of course because Google is the pioneer in IT technologies. Litespeed Enterprise power our web server and PHP processing and it is nearly 100% compatibility with WordPress and WordPress plugins. Cloudlinux power our user isolation and system stability.

3. Fully featured WordPress cloud platform

Closte is made by experienced developers, we provide the best features and tools designed specifically for WordPress sites. These include:

  • Automatic WordPress installations and updates
  • Automatic incremental backups
  • Google Cloud CDN
  • Litespeed caching
  • In-process object cache
  • Recursive staging environments
  • Free SSL (under development)
  • WPC (WordPress Centralized – under development)
  • Custom SSL
  • Multiple PHP versions with custom php.ini configurations and dedicated PHP process per site
  • SSH
  • SFTP
  • PHPMyAdmin
  • GIT
  • WP-CLI
  • Composer
  • WAF (Web Application Firewall)
  • Cloud Scan – Real-time advanced cloud scanner
  • DDOS protection
  • Hotlink Protection
  • Collaboration

We do not have packages for features. Every application deserves the best of the world, no matter whether the site has 10 or 10 million visitors.

4. No limits and tricks

Since we only bill for hardware and bandwidth usage, there is no restriction on the number of sites. This is where the dream for developer companies come true. We also do not limit many other parameters found in other hosting companies like:

  • PHP maximum memory usage
  • PHP max execution time

Let’s start together

It is just the beginning, and is a private site, meaning that is not visible in search engines like Google. In the next two months, my platform will be available for free testing, and I invite anyone who loves WordPress to join for free and test our features. All who will join during the testing period will receive an additional $10 credit upon account activation.

During this testing period, the platform will have very limited performance and support. If you are wondering about the performance, here is a print screen taken during the development with insane results. The test was made from Stockholm Sweden on the Closte Belgium server, blank WordPress 4.5.2 version. The performance grade is not 100 since that is how a default WordPress performs.

Also during the test period, there is no option to activate your account, that`s means that you can use real domains. However, if you want to test with your real domain, write us an support ticket and we will change it.

Free SSL and basic WPC functionality will be ready just before we go production, while the team and client members feature is planned few months after production.

Feel free to ask anything, report bugs, give us feedback or tell us some missing feature. Happy testing!