reads in 12mn in normal speed, and 5mn if read fast.

Envato, the company behind ThemeForest and CodeCanyon, has launched their own hosting service, associated with their themes marketplace, baptized Envato Hosted.

The service

Envato Hosted consists on a managed WordPress hosting for $19/month per website.

The service includes:

  • Instant setup of your WordPress theme, hosting and domain name
  • You’ll get 24/7 ticket and email support, and if you have an existing site, we’ll help you migrate it over for free.
  • Fully managed and secured WordPress hosting. We’ll handle WordPress core upgrades, provide base level security, monitor your site for errors, back up the site daily, and more.
  • Run on Amazon AWS infrastructure with 99.9% uptime
  • Included in your plan are 100,000 monthly visits, 5gb of disk space, and 100gb of monthly bandwidth

The service doesn’t include email hosting or management.

They also offer a 2h worth free set up and basic customization service as described in the following list:

  • Assist with the initial setup, including bundled plugin configuration, appearance changes, page layouts, branding (if provided), widgets and theme settings & styling
  • Removal of any unwanted elements
  • Change the demo content or assist you in creating a unique page layout of your own
  • Advanced feature configuration. Including contact forms, store setup (Woocommerce, Easy Digital Downloads), service pages, testimonials and advert integration
  • Modify site media (if provided) for use on your new Hosted website
  • Offer help and guidance to get you started!

It doesn’t include:

  • Modify the theme framework or plugins
  • Translate the WordPress Administration Panel or site contents
  • Customize or modify third-party plugins
  • Install additional themes
  • Create site content or custom extensions

This customization can only be claimed no the first 30 days.

SourceEnvato Hosted landing page and Envato Market Help.

First impression

It’s a managed WordPress hosting service. Which means, on the $19 monthly fee, they charge a management fee of some aspects of your WordPress set-up. Is it worth it? Well, let’s find out!

The good about Envato Hosted

There are some very useful things about their service, and any Manager WordPress service by the way, like:

  • WP’s core updates taken care of, probably the theme’s too if it’s not customized
  • Monitoring the website for errors
  • A basic level of security is covered
  • A daily backup
  • Up to 100k visits per month

The initial setup is also a great deal. Lots of people have the assumption that building a website using a premium theme is a piece of cake. But the reality always proves them wrong.

For me, the best benefit is the themes they ship with it. So far, we have:

Only the best-seller themes so far, and the list is still growing.

The theme’s cost is actually included in the $19/m. So, you won’t need to pay ~$59+ for the theme itself.

The bad about Envato Hosted

I love the Envato ecosystem. But I love fairness, realistic and reliable products and services above all. There are some aspects of the offer that doesn’t fit what I would pay $20/m for.

2h customization only

2h is a very short timeframe to efficient setup and customize WordPress. While the customization seems overwhelming, I’m pretty sure that in 2h time, only the initial set up will take place.

What I don’t like about it the hope it gives to inexperienced users. They will assume that they will get something good going from the get go, but realistically, they will find themselves struggling to finish the setup or have to hire a freelancer to take care of it.

Like any ecosystem, Envato will always point to their services first. So, they naturally link to Envato Studio. It will cost a couple of hundreds to get the website fully configured, and a couple more to customize things to your liking with limited revisions.

Envato Studio is not the cheapest place to look for WordPress clerks.

There’s no hint about using a child theme

If you will perform a more in-depth customization, having a child theme is critical. The service description or help does mention anything about it. I believe it’s something that can be asked for once you join.

5Gb storage

While it’s still a good capacity to get started, this might be a bit of limit for more established blogs with extensive archives.

No specs shared

I tried hard to find any intel about what kind of setup they use. All I could find is that AWS fuels Envato Hosted.

It could be a t2.nano worth $34 a year (if paid upfront, 1 CPU, variable ECU, 0.615Gb RAM, non-SSD storage) as it can be a higher end instance user as a shared hosting environment.

At any case, I estimate the price per unit would be ~$50/y, probably less, that they bill ×4 times the cost at $200+/y.

No performance guaranteed

Most of managed WP hosting platform will brag about performance on their sales pitch. Managed hosting costs way more than it should, so, there should be some sort of compensation. Performance can be an attractive feature.

All Envato Hosted pages don’t speak about performance in any way. A fair assumption would be that they didn’t yet implement any.

Which leads up to the excessive price for the service

$19 is a bit too much for a 5Gb storage on a non-performance-ready environment.

Is it worth it?

When compared to managed hosting, Envato Hosted stands in between of the high range (WPEngine, Pagely, or WebSynthesis), and the crappiest ones (Godaddy, Bluehost, and similar).

If I can sum it up in one sentence, it would be: Envato Hosted is a mid-range hassle-free WordPress hosting if you are getting started with WordPress, shipped with a best-selling premium theme.

I can’t stress out enough that it’s still pricey for what it gives.

For the half the budget, you can get a decent VPS (from DigitalOceanVultr, or Ramnode), or even a free one! (AWS free tier/first year), where you can host multiple websites. There will be an initial charge to set up the server and fully optimize it for WordPress (I personally charge $90 for that), and a yearly maintenance plan to keep the server, and WordPress, up-to-date and secure (around a $100 per year).

I honestly believe that it’s a better deal compared any managed WP hosting service, including Envato Hosted.

You pay a fair amount of money. You better get the best out of it.

Make sure you check it out, though. They do have a 7-day trial period.

That's pretty much it!

Envato Hosted launched officially in early December 2016, after running some beta tests for nearly a year. We don’t have much data about the performance, and how the customers feel about it as far as their experience goes.

Let’s wait and see 🙂

In another side, this is the second time that we say a theme sold as part of a service. A similar approach is done by on their higher end plan (Business plan for $24.92 a month) where they offer premium themes with no additional charge.

That would be interesting if theme authors started selling managed WordPress hosting too, with may be a customization flat rate, and a full maintenance services. It wouldn’t be a bad idea at all!