Lightning Base Profile: Managed WordPress Hosting

Wed, 10th June 2015, 16:59

Managed Wordpress Host Lightning Base Logo

Lightning Base is a managed WordPress hosting provider known for their consistent focus on value, customer service, and performance. Since its inception in 2011, the Minnesota-based company has grown to host thousands of WP websites from their hosting location datacenters in Amsterdam, Chicago, Frankfurt, Las Vegas, and Melbourne.

At present, the company is small and offers personalized services that can grow a website whether it’s one large website or thousands of small sites. Often, the founder himself will work with clients to develop premier web solutions

The hosting environment was designed from the ground-up to provide fast, stable, and secure access to WordPress sites. Lightning Base creates a fully serviced experience on top of maintaining your WordPress installation, backing everything up, and providing custom support.

A random quote from the web..

“Lightning Base launched publicly not long ago. The response was encouraging, but website visitors made it clear there were some features they wanted – and that they were looking for lower prices” said Chris Piepho, founder of Lightning Base. “The company exists to serve WordPress users, and version 2 was designed with their requests in mind.”

Another random quote we found on the Lightning Base website...

“Chris is the founder of Lightning Base. You'll find him all over around here - writing on this blog, providing customer service, and handling whatever else needs to be done. You can reach him easily by filling out our contact form and addressing your message to Chris.”

Founded: 2011 by Chris Piepho. Privately Held

Company Size: 1-10 employees (courtesy of LinkedIn)

Headquarters: 5040 Edinbrook Lane, Edina, MN 55436, USA


Acquisitions & Brands

Lightning Base



Lightning Base offers managed WordPress hosting services. As the name implies, they are really superfast and their services are optimized to serve beginners are well seasoned veterans in the business.


Hosting Solutions

Every plan includes Lightning Base premium hosting setup. WordPress sites include basic management, with per-site backups, caching/CDN setup and configuration/transfer assistance as required.

All plans include:

  • Auto WordPress Updates
  • Lightning Speed
  • Managed WordPress Hosting
  • Making WordPress Fast
  • Stable & Secure Hosting
  • Supported and Maintained

Personal $9.95/mo
1 WordPress Site
10,000 Pageviews
1 GB SSD Storage
10 GB Transfer

Small $19.95/mo
3 WordPress Sites
25,000 Pageviews
3 GB SSD Storage
25 GB Transfer

Medium $49.95/mo
10 WordPress Sites
100,000 Pageviews
10 GB SSD Storage
100 GB Transfer
200 GB CDN

Large $99.95/mo
25 WordPress Sites
250,000 Pageviews
25 GB SSD Storage
250 GB Bandwidth
500 GB CDN


Couple More Details...

Lightning Base is happy to provide plans for more pageviews, sites, storage, or bandwidth. Contact them for details. Pricing was accurate on the day we copied it from the Lightning Base website. We’ve included the plan pricing as a point of reference only and like everything in life is subject to change without notice.

More detailed information about features included in Lightning Base web hosting packages is available on their web hosting plan pages.


Unlimited and Limits in the Terms of Service (ToS)

(editor’s note: unless a webhost uses the term “unmetered” then there is likely a limit somewhere)

“Each Lightning Base plan receives a set amount of resources, and they run tests with real WordPress sites to determine the traffic a plan can handle. Lightweight, highly cached sites can easily exceed these numbers – but if you choose to keep all pages uncached or use heavyweight plugins you may fall short. The best way to know is to give it a try – we’ll transfer your site over for free, and if the service doesn’t meet your expectations, will refund your first month’s charges, no questions asked.”

Other terms and stipulations outlined in the ToS appear to be standard generic stuff which, at least at the time of writing, shouldn’t shock the average individual. And yes, you should read the ToS in its entirety prior to purchasing any service.


Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Possibly one exists but it doesn't appear to be something Lightning Base actively promotes.


Acceptable Use Policy (AuP)

Again everyone should read that fine print for themselves but it would appear on a glance that Lightning Base AuP is generic in nature and pretty much constitutes the same jargon found in other AuP. Nothing shocking but like others is subject to change with little or no notice.


Additional Information & Features

Domain Whois: Privacy is NOT enabled on the domain whois. Contact information is readily available.

Control Panel: No Frills powered by a basic cPanel setup.

Script Installer: When you purchase the service, it comes with one WordPress install included. This install can have multi-site (which allows a single install to host multiple websites) enabled with a simple request, at no charge. They also provide full support for multiple WordPress installs in packages above the personal plan.

Which Version of PHP: Although It is possible to customize the version being run using the selector in cPanel - default options include 5.4 and 5.6. Lightning Base can also offer 5.3 but strongly discourages it use due to security issues. Lightning Base expects to begin offering PHP 7 (PHP-NG) in the near future as an option for users that want to see if their site will run with a much faster version of PHP.

Site Migration: The first step in Lightning Base suite of services is the installation or transfer of your site. When you order a site, they’ll setup a new WordPress install and configure it to work with their CDN and serve static cached pages directly via Nginx. Lightning Base can also install their suite of recommended plugins or a selection that you have chosen. If your site already exists elsewhere, they’ll work with you to get it transferred over – whether you want to provide login details to your existing hosting, or send a backup of your site for installation on their system. Lightning Base will also help minimize any downtime associated with the changeover.

Automatic Back Ups: Every site needs backups and Lightning Base provide them on multiple levels. Their server is backed up daily, and these backups are copied off-site for disaster recovery. Lightning Base also backup your WordPress install itself. This provides an important layer of protection, allowing them to restore from disaster – whether on their end or an errant click on your part. By default, full backups are taken weekly and database backups taken daily – and all are sent offsite. These can be made more or less frequent upon request (individual site backups consume your bandwidth), and can also be sent to your own storage account if you want full control over your the safety of your site. You won’t find a more complete backup routine.

Customer Support: “We only do WordPress, and that lets us provide much more comprehensive service than most hosting companies. Anyone you interact with at Lightning Base will have extensive experience with WordPress, and we’re happy to provide help. We obviously can’t devote hours to each user every day, but we’re happy to help with configuration issues, suggest a useful plugin, or improve your understanding of the software.”

Security... ProActive or Complacent: “Our servers are first protected by a comprehensive, dynamic firewall, followed by a webapp firewall configured to prevent malicious code – while still allowing the requests WordPress needs through. Each user’s filesystem is isolated from the others we host, and security scans are performed on a regular basis to find and prevent intrusions. Finally, we strongly encourage and will help setup Cloudflare for speeding DNS resolution and providing another layer of security outside your virtual machine.”

Eco-Conscious Green Meter: No grandstanding or tooting the greenhorn on Google… well at least not on the surface of Google!

Payment Options: Lightning Base accepts PayPal and Credit Card but you could also pay by Check or money order using snail mail.

Guarantee: Lightning Base will transfer your site over for free, and if the service doesn’t meet your expectations, will refund your first month’s charges, no questions asked.

User Resources: Does have a wiki style knowledgebase wiki and a blog although the latter appears to be limited to announcements type postings.

Loyalty Plan: Does not appear to be beyond the standard discount for paying annually rather than monthly.

Community Outreach: Nothing prominently touted

On Twitter: @LightningBase

Lightning Base web hosting reviews:


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Lightning Base. Reliable Managed Wordpress Hosting