We have received a couple of other questions from interested partners about the difference between Dollie and other WaaS services. Both aim to offer a service that feels like the customer is getting a brand new fresh website through an easy sign up process, although they don't really compare. Here is why:
UltimoWP and others
These are plugins which automate the addition of sites into your existing WP multisite install. The plugin streamlines the manual steps required to do this while also adding a sign-up flow for potential clients and a subscriptions panel inside your WP install.
The issue with multisite is that it is essentially one large instance with all your sites/services running inside them. If PHP breaks, all your sites break. All it takes hackers to hack one site before they are inside all of the sites on your instance. This doesn't scale for enterprise level customers. You can't allocate resources to individual websites. You increase the risk to all of your sites from a security POV, but also a performance POV - if a site hogs resources, it ruins the performance of the other sites.
Safe to say, this is a simple way of achieving a WaaS service. Also there are some benefits, like being able to quickly activate plugins across all sites or add/removing functionality quickly. Multisite powered WaaS solutions can be great, and we're not trying to knock them!
How things work with Dollie
With Dollie things are quite different. Most fundamentally it is built from the ground up to do one thing: Serve and deploy lighting fast individual WordPress sites in the most efficient and secure way possible, and
How is this done? Through Docker containers. Every WordPress site is housed in its own isolated container, which has all of the software resources required to run WordPress optimally (Nginx, PHP, MySQL and when needed Redis/Memcached). We then give you the tools as partner to manage these containers through your Dollie WordPress install and additionally through our container manager. In addition to these, each WordPress install comes a host of developer tools such as the Code Editor, WP-CLI, MySQL database and more.
All of your containers are self contained “applications” that are self healing and optimised for WordPress. You will have the ability to make changes to the container when needed. For example reducing or increasing the maximum amount of allowed RAM or CPU cycles. Or increase or restrict bandwidth. If you are an experienced developer you can also login to each container via SSH and update individual PHP/NGINX configs.
Comparing the two
Each of these services aim to offer a beautiful and seamless experience in offering a WaaS service. Multisite solution attempt to create this experience through adding more sites into a single WP install.
Dollie does this by deploying actual individual sites and giving them their own isolated container.
The difference in performance and scalability is night and day. A Multisite WaaS Platforms can't offer the functionality or the same level of control to each individual WordPress install as Dollie can, purely because of how they are built.
So to make a long story short, Dollie and other WaaS services achieve a common end goal in completely different ways. We hope after reading this you’ll have a better understanding in what makes Dollie different when it comes to offering your customers a reliable, enterprise level WaaS service.
- All Customer Sites are hosted in one WP Multisite
- Scales only vertically (adding more global resources for the single WaaS install)
- Restricted to one (massive) server/hosting, with great complexity when needing to expand (DB clusters etc)
- Easy to make quick changes to all sites quickly via Multisite Admin (install/disable plugins)
- One breach/security issue affects all sites and can cause massive damage
- One bad actor in the network can cause serious performance issues and downtime.
- Each customer site deployed in isolated high-performance container
- Horizontal scaling (add more servers/nodes at any time)
- Vertical Scaling (control RAM/CPU per site)
- If one site gets hacked none in the network are affected
- Performance issues for a single site won't affect the network
- Making global changes takes more planning but is supported. (more tools coming soon)