Elementor Cloud Website is Elementor’s dramatic entry into the WordPress Cloud Hosting Service business. Here is what you get:
- $90US/year = 1 cloud website “No hidden costs, no price hikes.What you see is what you get. Period.”
- Additional Elementor Cloud Websites require a subscription costing $99/year/website
- A subscription delivers 1 full Elementor Pro powered WordPress website with Hello Theme
- Google Cloud Servers with 20GB disk, 100 GB bandwidth, 100K monthly visits
- Cloudflare CDN-Content Delivery Network and SSL Security Services
- Security and daily backups [plus user initiated backups] provided by Google Cloud platform
- Exceeding bandwidth, visits, or disk space will be handled by Elementor Cloud Support
- Elementor Cloud platform has a list of 35 banned plugins currently This is like the banned plugins/tools at WP Engine and Kinsta.
- There are exceptions for some security plugins and optimization plugins that do no tsupport caching.
- Allowance of 100 outgoing emails per day but no incoming email. Email service thru 3rd party contract.
- 1 domain name registered per website subscriptioo No domain registration service yet.
- 3 Methods to transfer Elementor Cloud Website to 3rd party hosting websites:
- My Elementor Dashboard act as control for your Elementor Cloud website – backups, site lock setting, domain setting, and basic security and trouble-shooting services.
In Elementor Cloud Websites is a a nearly full WordPress offering. There are clearly missing features for website transfers, only basic email services, and some overzealous banning of 3rdparty plugins. So the next question is how well does the Development environ perform including the created WordPress pages, posts and app. $90US got some answers
Elementor Cloud Website Performance Tests
The install did not go as smoothly as expected. I had to switch on a Windows 10 PC using fast Internet connection [150mbits download, 15mbits/sec uploads]with latest Google Chrome to get the connection to Elementor Cloud going.
Since startup the Cloud Server, WordPress admin response time has been variable. Loading pages, posts, plugins and themes average 4-8 seconds while editing time for the classic editor, Elementor and Gutenberg Block editor has been uniformly fast consistently under 2seconds. All the WordPress sidebar commandsresponded in 3 seconds or less with the exception of the Customizer and Menu command average 4-6 seconds for startup and the 2-3 seconds for inner operations. This provides a good summary of Elementor Cloud admin operational performance.
Elementor Cloud Post and Page Performance Testing
The test Elementor Cloud Website is unlocked and can be viewed and tested at surveypix.elementor.cloud
There are 11 posts and 4 pages which readers can use for performance testing with tools like Google Page Insights, Pingdom, GTmetrix, WebVitals. We have been using GTmetrix and Pingdom but with crosschecks by some of the other tools.
Crosschecks have been necessary because Elementor Cloud Website performance has been surprisingly poor.
Here are the key results:
Expectations were that the Affinity Review would be 2 seconds or less.Most of the content was text without complicated components. But the test results were confirmed with Web Vitals showing a TTI of 4.3 seconds.
Having this first speed score high, the Postings page was tested with some concern.Now the Postings page is a vital in most of our website designs because it is frequently used by visitors to find posts and data of interest,
TheOpensourcery.ca has a Postings page that is more sophisticated and has double the post images; yet it is delivered in 0.705 seconds LCP and Fully Loaded Time of 2.3 seconds. Clearly, Elementor Cloud has some page and post performance problems.
The situation gets worse with Gallery and slider pages which are loaded with 16++ images. Smush-ed images and Squooshed images [with 7-8 times better compression than Smush] were used. The Gallery and Slider images are pretty but not the GTmetrix and Pingdom performance scores.
Again the Elementor Cloud Core Web Vitals are disappointing with 5.5sec LCP Total BlockingTime and Cumulative Layout Shift recording times to fix.
The Smart Slider should have better performance but…
It is worse than the gallery of squooshed images at a LCP of 6.2secons and a fully loaded time of 7seconds. In general Elementor Cloud performance fell down when multiple images are used.
Clearly in its current incarnation, Elementor Cloud Websites reminds one of the Minimum Viable Products that that characterize the Automattic Guttenberg Block Editor and now FSE-Full Sight Editing products. Is the WordPress Revolution now so competitive that MVP-Minimum Viable Products are essential?
Why Minimum Viable Products ?
Yes, Elementor Cloud Website is has some viable traits. It packages all the Elementor Pro capabilities onto a Google Cloud hosting environ that delivers Cloud security, backups, plus basic CDN and domain registration. The Cloud Dashboard has the makings of a viable WordPress multiple website Control Center – but dubious WMU and Buddy Press support, But both development operational speed and definitely Page/Post runtime speed are at the minimum viable end of the performance spectrum.
Likewise Elementor’s list of banned WordPress tools in its Cloud seem capricious. Why ban all of the top PageDesigners and ThemeBuilders? Is Elementor afraid that Oxygen Builder or Thrive Theme Builder could create some better performing and/or more attractive apps in the Elementor Cloud? And the banning of Backup, Migration, and Staging lugins just adds to the workload of making Elementor Cloud viable for these vital backend tasks.
So once again, why deliver a truly Minimum Viable Product with Elementor Cloud?
Lets start with WPengine’s WordPress Economy study:
Yes, WordPress generates over 1/2 trillion dollars in revenues world wide, A number of factors contributed to the size of the market including growth in online shopping and pandemic spurred remote work. But underlying the WordPress market is the delivery by WordPress vendors of point & click, easy to create and use interfaces with “NO Coding Required” development tools.
Enterprise development tools like Oracle, Microsoft Azure and IBM Progress have caught wind of the “Low Code Application Development” markets and are gearing their offerings to blunt the 43% market share of WordPress in the “NO Coding Required” market. Gartner has a Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms (LCAP) Review where startup vendor like OutSystems and Pega have mobile savvy PageBuilder tools that rival the best WordPress PageBuilders.
However, another major factor in using MVP systems by major WordPress vendors is the internecine warfare that has broken out among WordPress Players:
- Automattic/Gutenberg have engaged in several takeaways that impact PageDesigner and Theme Builder vendors who have to be concerned about the implications. Consider the Classic Editor workaround and non-guaranteed support, the Widget interface’s move to blocks, deprecation of the Customizer, changes to support for shortcodes, jQuery and replacing PHP components in the page display model. The WordPress backword compatibility reputation is being strongly tested;
- Major Hosting vendors like Godaddy, WPEngine, and Kinsta are buying plugin and/or theme vendors. They also have significant lists of banned plugins that can be used on their hosting services. How could thos bans be extended?
- Namecheap hike Godaddy has added to its domain registration business with hosting and more extensive email services;
- Cloudflare has added domain registration, security software with extended services, remote hosting, and performance enhancements to its basic CDN-Content Delivery Network.
So in reaching for a bigger chunk of the WordPress Economy, one can see Elementor acting defensively. Elementor has had to rush a MVP hosting service so it could not be crippled onmajor hosting services or become victim to more draconian takeaways by Automattic/Gutenberg.
Remember WordPress is poetry but also Putinesque in its major player scurrent strategies.
Elementor Cloud Websites has landed squarely on the Minimum Viable Product side of the evaluation ledger. And with variable development operations performance plus frankly poor post & page speed. Elementor Cloud is weak on responsiveness where it cannot afford to be in comparison Gutenberg blocks and other PageBuilders.
And just as a Elementor test website, the Cloud offering with its $99/year/website charge for added subscriptions [another domain for testing]cannot match say BoldGrid Cloud WordPress service which provides 20 websites for $60US/year and without any banned plugins. As a Boldgrid user I can say its response time is comparable to Elementor Cloud – 10-20% better response time but worse Web Core Vitals for Boldgrid.
So watch for Elementor Cloud to improve response times and take advantage of its bulk but utilitarian Elementor dashboard. I have a 30day money back guaarantee for Elementor Cloud which I will NOT take advantage of so I can readily follow Elementor Cloud hosting for the year.