Good or Not? Trial with Exabytes WordPress Hosting & How to Start?
Not too long ago, we wrote about some note-worthy all-in-one website host. If you had not come from this page, its worth checking out. If you had, then you probably read our feature review on this host provider called Exabytes. So, if you had checked out Exabytes website and their plans, and somewhat keen to find out more, you are on the right page! We are going to bring you the answers to some of your most burning questions at this time. Yeah sure! We know how you think, because we are customers and users of web hosts too!
To draw focus, we shall look at the popular WordPress Hosting offered by Exabytes. So, how good is Exabytes WordPress Hosting really is? How easy is it to get started in Exabytes? Who is Exabytes suitable for? We shall answer all of that and more in this article!
This review article is initiated by Exabytes. Although the content, layout and everything else is written and produced without Exabytes’ influence. Besides, everything in this review is written from the experience of the writer and his own true honest thoughts. Still, this article had been ‘fact’ checked with Exabytes on their offerings to ensure the integrity of what is written about it. For appreciation of this article, Exabytes had offered a small monetary token for the writer, which had been accepted.
The world wide web is huge, and yet you had stumbled on my site looking for something. I hope you find it as we had taken huge efforts to create them. Best of all, its FREE! Hence, some of our content may include affiliate links (i.e. whenever you click on the links and purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra costs to you!). No worries! Some of these links may look like phishing, but I assure you they are not! Lastly, the affiliation does not affect my reviews towards them. Enjoy!
- Criteria to Choosing a Good WordPress Host
- Getting Started with Exabytes WordPress Hosting
- The Exabytes Promise
- Exabytes WordPress Hosting Plans
- Final Comments
2. Criterias to Choosing a Good WordPress Host
Throughout our experience, we had used somewhere between 3-4 other web hosts, including those undertaken directly with website builders (e.g. Wix), but excluding Exabytes itself. Hence, in choosing a web host, these are what we usually look out for in no order of importance. We bring these in for discussion as we go into Section 5.2: Buy Factor!
- Customer Support
- Online Knowledge-Base for Self-Troubleshooting etc.
- Speed of Website in Relation to the Service Region
- Friendly Control Panel
- Control Panel Support Powerful Installation of Apps (e.g. CMS, CDN, Cache etc.)
- Pricing vs Features Provided (i.e. no. of websites, email accounts, storage, backups, domains, SSLs etc.)
3. Getting Started with Exabytes WordPress Hosting
3.1 Signing Up for An Account & Purchase Plan
- First of all, sign up for an account Here: https://billing.exabytes.sg/mypanel/register.php
- Then, proceed to order the WordPress Plan you want: https://www.exabytes.sg/web-hosting/wordpress-hosting.
(Comment) For us we are going to choose WP 12 Business (SG$ 7.99/mo for 36-months Subscription) and use the Promo Code from Exabytes.
- You will be asked to ‘Choose a Domain’. If you have an existing Domain already, you may transfer it over. Otherwise, ‘Register a new domain name’. Key in your desired Domain then proceed for payment (if you had ordered WP 12 Beginner).
(Comments) For all other plans other than WP 12 Beginner, you will get a Domain for free. In fact, as long as you renew your plan with Exabytes, you get your Domain free for your lifetime. Think of the Domain Name you want for your website before ordering your plan.
- Next, you will be asked to Key in your NRIC Name and Number, of if you are a registered company, then your Company Name and UEN etc.
(Comment) This applies when you are registering for a .com.sg or .sg domains only.
- Proceed to checkout and make payment.
- Once your order is completed, Click ‘Continue to Client Area’.
3.2 Installing WordPress
- Go to ‘My Services’, and Click on ‘My Products / Services’. Locate the plan you brought and, Click the ‘Manage Product’ next to it.
- At your ‘Manage Product’ page, Scroll Down and Click ‘Manage My Hosting’.
(Comment) You may have noticed that ‘No SSL Detected’. This is really easy to install, but for flow of article, we will continue on and finalise our website first. The steps to installing SSL is in Section 3.6.
- Now, you had reached your Plesk Control Panel! Look to the Left-Hand Sidebar and Click ‘WordPress’.
(Comment) The Plesk Control Panel is very important. Here is where you can setup your websites, email accounts, create backups, update WordPress engine etc. Learn all about Plesk Here. The other popular web hosting control panel offered by other web hosts which you may come across in your search is called cPanel. Both are equally good in our opinion.
- Oh hey! There is already a site installed with your chosen Domain Name! In the next step, we will install our Theme on it!
(Comment) Still remember that you can install multiple websites with a single plan? All you need are more Domains which can be easily purchased via Exabytes. To Install a new website, just click on ‘Install’ and Key in the necessary information.
(Attention!) When you clicked or access your website, does it show ‘This site can’t be reached’? Your Domain is likely pending activation from the registrar. From our experience with Domains, this can take from 10 minutes to 3 hours to clear!
3.3 Installing a (WooCommerce-Supported) Theme
- Go to ‘WordPress’ from your sidebar if you are not already in this page. Click ‘Themes’, then ‘+Install’.
(Comment) Using a ready-made WordPress theme is the easiest way to create a WordPress website. For our theme, we had received it for Free from ThemeForest in their e-newsletter for subscribers. ThemeForest is an online marketplace for WordPress themes. Also, for our case, we had used an WooCommerce-supported theme to test Exabytes promise of being ‘WooCommerce Friendly’. This will be discussed further in Section 4.4.
- At this page, you can search and browse the themes you want and install accordingly. Or if you already have a theme too like us, and wish to use it, Click ‘Upload Theme’ and navigate to the theme file in .zip format. Wait for installation to finish, then Click ‘Close’ at the bottom.
(Comment) Only if you had navigated to the correct theme file, the installation bar will show at the bottom of the screen.
- Now, just activate the theme by toggling its ‘State’ to Blue. Your theme is now published!
(Comment) You may notice that there are already several themes installed in the system. To increase disk space (which are limited), you may remove it by checking the boxes next to it, and Click ‘Remove’ or Click on the ‘Bin Icon’.
3.4 Install & Activate Plugins
- So now, we want to install and activate plugins required for that theme. The easiest way to do this is directly in WordPress’s control panel. Locate ‘Manage in WordPress’. Then, Click ‘WordPress’.
(Comment) If for some reason you are unable to access, or the page is unable to load, try keying your default login URL in your browser (i.e. <yourdomain>/wp-admin). For example, shopbrayn.sg/wp-admin; Then, key in your admin email and password. Not sure what are these? Go back to your Plesk Control Panel > Websites & Domains (Sidebar) > WordPress (Tab) > Setup. A popup from the left will appear.
- In WordPress’s Control Panel, Go to its sidebar and Click ‘Plugins’. Find the highlight box that prompts you to install all required and recommended plugins for that Theme. Click ‘Begin Installing Plugins’.
- Check the box to check all plugins. Click ‘Bulk Action’, then select ‘Install’. Click ‘Apply’. Let the installation process.
(Comment) You may not need to check all plugins for installation if you know which ones are not needed.
- Likewise for activating the plugins. Check all plugins. Click ‘Bulk Action’, then ‘Activate’ and ‘Apply’. Let the activation process. After which, Done! Let’s go to next section, import demo content, so as to get a more properly formatted website before you can edit further to your needs. By the way, we won’t be talking about editing website.
3.5 Import Demo Content & Done!
- Go to ‘Appearance’, and ‘Import Demo Data’. Then, choose your preferred demo and Click ‘Import Demo’. How long the import will take depends on the size of your theme. So, wait patiently and do not close or move away from the page.
(Comment) Our Theme happens to have a ‘One Click Demo Import’ Plugin. So, the ‘Import Demo Data’ option appears under ‘Appearance’. If your theme does not have it. No worries. Check the theme’s documentation on how to import demo content. Alternatively, if you know where your demo content is in your theme files (.zip), you can go to ‘Tools’ (sidebar) > Import.
- Once the import looks like its done, go to the top left corner and Point to the name of your website. A small pop-under will appear. Click ‘Visit Site’. Your site now looks exactly like your desired demo! You can now customise it further. Enjoy! Here is our Sample site created with these steps: https://shopbrayn.sg/
(Comment) It is quite common that import may encounter an error. Sometimes it just loads forever without any error message appearing. To confirm this, Point to ‘Media’ (sidebar), and Click ‘Library’. If there are no additional media files except the default ones, it is an error. Contact your theme provider.
3.6 Install SSL
- In your Plesk Control Panel, Click on ‘Websites & Domains’. Find the Domain you wish to install your SSL on and Click it. Then, Go to ‘SSL & TLS Certificates’
(Comment) You can only install your SSL once your Domain Status is ‘Active’. Otherwise, the installation will encounter an error. To check your Domain Status, Go back to your Exabytes Account Dashboard. In the header bar, Domains > My Domains.
- At this page, you will see that there are ‘No Certificate installed’. Click ‘Install’. A left-hand popup will appear.
- Ensure that ‘Secure the domain name’ is selected, then Click ‘Get it free’. Let the system process on its own and a ‘Installed SSL….’ notification will appear on the top right corner once it’s done. Easy!
(Comment) Do consider selecting the ‘Assign the certificate to mail domain’ too for greater email security.
3.7 Setting Up Email Accounts
- Go back to your Plesk Control Panel. Click ‘Mail’, then ‘Create Email Address’.
- Complete all the required fields. i.e. Email Address, Password, and Confirm Password. Then, Click ‘OK’. Let the system process. Now, you had set up your email address (with your Domain Name) in Exabytes! Test it by using another email account to send a email to it. Remember to send out emails from your new mailbox too!
(Comment) You have the option to limit the size of your mailbox in KB, MB, GB, and even TB!
3.8 Create Backups
- Now that you had setup your website for editing, install SSL, and email address in your Domain name. Perhaps its time to create a ‘Save Point’ by creating a Backup. In your Plesk Control Panel, Go to ‘Websites & Domains’. In the Domain you want, under ‘Dashboard’, Click ‘Backup & Restore’.
(Comment) You have the option to limit the size of your mailbox in KB, MB, GB, and even TB!
- In your Backup Manager Page, Click ‘Backup’.
(Comment) The Backup Manager page is where you can view all the backups created automatically or manually. You can also upload a Backup file from your system, remove any Backups created, and Schedule one across a wide variety of settings.
- Select either a ‘Full’, or ‘Incremental’ Backup. Then, Click ‘OK’. Let the system run and a Backup file will be created in Backup Manager!
(Comment) Remember that a WP 12 Beginner Plan only automatically create backups weekly? Nonetheless, you can always create backups manually when needed. So, always manually create a Full Backup before any big update (e.g. WordPress engine, bulk plugins, theme etc.).
4. The Exabytes Promise
4.1 Website Speed
The first and arguably most important thing we wish to test is our website speed. Note again that our plan is WP 12 Business with a 2 Core CPU, 2 GB Memory, 8MB/s, 2048 IOPS, and 20 EP. For the full specs again, refer to this Page. Additional things to know:
- The website (shopbrayn.sg) is hosted in Exabytes Singapore Data Centre.
- Our location is in Singapore.
- Our theme size is 4.6 MB.
- We did not activate the LiteSpeed Cache Plugin as It causes bugs with our theme. Instead, we used WP Fastest Cache and cleared the cache fully once after importing its demo.
Real-Life Test: We loaded our site using Chrome, and Edge from our Windows PC, and UC Browser from our Android Mobile. From loading to showing the first image, Chrome and Edge only recorded 2 seconds, while our Mobile UC Browser recorded 5 seconds. Pretty decent!
Google PageSpeed Insights: We ran a total of 5 times analysis. The results in terms of Desktop to Mobile are as follows: 74:33, 57:26, 69:35, 72:25, and 58:36. Hence, the average score is 66:31. Decent for desktop, but not so for mobile.
GTmetrix: We ran the analysis in 3 key locations with Chrome Desktop; Texas USA, Mumbai India, and Sydney Australia. No other settings adjusted in GTmetrix. The results for performance are respectively as follows: 35% (USA), 67% (India), and 57% (Australia).
All in all, quite to be expected. By running our real-life test, we get a good idea of the speed performance for our website hosted in Exabytes Singapore. Scores from Google PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix generally serves to reinforce what we experienced. In conclusion, the closer a website visitor to the Exabytes Data Centre where the website is hosted, the faster the website’s loading speed!
4.2 Enhanced Security
Exabytes promises a number of security features from Website Security360, Malware Scan, and 1- Click Hardening, to WordPress security. We are not expert enough to test these. But what we know is that Exabytes partners with a number of software such as Patchman, Immunify360 and Cloudflare to provide them these security specialty that mostly happens on the backend. Yet, there is one that can be toggled in their WordPress Toolkit (Dashboard > Check Security). Not recommended to adjust without expert guidance though. Nonetheless, we feel Exabytes certainly delivers in enhanced security!
4.3 FREE Lifetime Domain
This promise applies to All Plans except WP 12 Beginner. Moreover, these plans need to be subscribed to or renewed on at least an annual basis. So, if you only subscribe or renew for a month, you certainly would not qualify. We like this offer, as it means no additional costs for separate Domain purchase or renewal.
4.4 WooCommerce Friendly
We were able to install and activate the WooCommerce plugin without issue in our Exabytes WP 12 Business plan. Most importantly, all Exabytes plan support WooCommerce. In fact, the lowest-tier plan from Exabytes itself provide 30GB of storage and unlimited email accounts, enabling it to support small-mid sized eCommerce!
5. Exabytes WordPress Hosting Plans
Full Plan Comparison HERE.
5.1 What is Included in the Lowest-Tier Plan, WP 12 Beginner?
As you could see from the pricing plan in Section 5, the lowest-tier plan from Exabytes, WP 12 Beginner, is quite neat. The essentials for any website, albeit even an e-commerce one, are there namely:
- Disk Space of 30GB for Maximum 30 Websites
- Unlimited Email Accounts
- No Cap on Monthly Data Transfers
- Unlimited subdomains
- Unlimited Mailbox Size
- Free SSL
- Support WooCommerce
- 24/7 Online Helpdesk, Live Chat, & WhatsApp Support
Then again, any possibility to use a single plan for the number of websites are limited by the disk space.
Additionally, we know that this plan does not provide free lifetime domain unlike the other higher-tier plans. So, additional charges occur.
Other than the above mentioned two, the other factor we care about that can mean a whole lot between taking a lowest-tiered plan and others is its processing power and speed (shown by its CPU, Memory, IO, IOPS, EP, and NPROC). In Exabytes, the higher your plan is, the greater is its ability in handling larger web traffic, faster loading, lesser crashes etc. Read more about IO, IOPS, and EP Here.
5.2 Buy Factor
Base on our experience using 3-4 other web hosts, we recommend a ‘BUY’ for Exabytes based on the criteria stated in Section 2. Here is why:
#1 Customer Support
With 24/7 support offered via Online Helpdesk, Live Chat, and WhatsApp for any plans, Exabytes represent a smart choice for any entities without an IT department. These could include small-medium businesses, associations, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and even agencies who would benefit from the expert support. In fact, we tried their Live Chat and received help from a human agent within 2 minutes!
#2 Online Knowledge-Base
The online knowledge-base from Exabytes isn’t that many and complicated in our opinion. Articles are not a lot, but there are video tutorials too. However, their 24/7 support easily supplement any shortcoming.
#3 Speed of Website in Relation to the Service Region
Exabytes have 4 data centres; namely in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and USA. If your customers are anywhere in or near these countries, your website loading speed will be enhanced. Nevertheless, consider using a Content Delivery Network (CDN), which in this case, Exabytes readily supports Cloudflare.
#4 Friendly Control Panel
The Plesk Control Panel from Exabytes is easy to navigate around and definitely friendly for users of any levels. Just ask yourself; ‘How long did you take to familiarise with the interface?’
#5 Control Panel Support Powerful Installation of Apps
Exabytes’ Plesk Control Panel comes pre-installed with a host of powerful apps for the hosting of WordPress sites. In our WP 12 Business Plan, there is no one-click option to install additional apps such as those for CMS, CRM, SEO etc. After all, if you need these, you could still install them, albeit via a process involving FTP and MySQL database setup. That said, any Exabytes’ WordPress plans does support majority of CMS.
#6 Pricing vs Features Provided
We had suggested enough in this article that Exabytes’ plan, even its lowest-tier ones, provide sufficient for hosting WordPress sites. The unlimited offerings across all plans such as email accounts, data transfers, subdomains, and mailbox size keep a whole lot of headaches away when web traffic starts to build up and your website/ecommerce needs to scale. What more? Free SSL! Exabytes’ plans are definitely value and even more with a 36-Month Plan!
5.3 Things to Note
These are more of a reiteration if you had read from Section 4. Regardless, here goes.
- Exabytes WordPress Hosting Plans are really catered to hosting WordPress sites. If you think you might need to create sites using other CMS such as Magento, then consider Exabytes Business Web Hosting instead.
- Furthermore, Exabytes does not have its own website builder.
- For best possible site speeds from anywhere in the world, using a CDN is recommended. Although its best possible, not best speed. To get best website speed in Exabytes, the only way is to go for the highest-tier plan. Although, do know that some web hosts provide on-demand or add-on for ‘Speed’ resources.
- There is no option to choose which data centre you want your website to be hosted in Exabytes four. To overcome this, purchase the Exabytes Plan in their respective country websites; e.g.
- if you want to host in Malaysia, go to exabytes.my
- for Singapore, exabytes.sg
- Indonesia, exabytes.co.id
- and USA, exabytes.com
5.4 Who is Exabytes for?
Businesses of all levels, associations, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and even agencies will have no problem with Exabytes’ choice of 4 WordPress Plans. That said, startups will find that Exabytes’ plans enable them to scale without needing to upgrade to the next tier so quickly. Above all, websites with a service region in Southeast Asia would greatly enjoy the enhanced website speed due to its 3 scattered and well-equipped data centres.
6. Final Comments
Exabytes WordPress Hosting represents a viable and value choice for all businesses with a Southeast Asia audience. Getting started with Exabytes is a matter of clicks, and getting used to their Plesk Control Panel takes no longer than hours. Specifically, we enjoy their 24/7 support offered via Online Helpdesk, Live Chat and WhatsApp. If any part of this article resonates with you, we say; hesitate no more and give Exabytes a try!
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