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StudioPress Sites: The Next Step in DIY WordPress Site Builders?

UPDATE – July 2020

The StudioPress Sites Product ended with the acquisition of StudioPress by WP Engine.

It was terminated because with the integration of WP Engine and the Genesis Framework, there was no longer a need for a separate hosted solution. These themes are now built into every WP Engine hosting account!

They also released a new page builder plugin, Genesis Pro, that integrates with WP Engine and Genesis Themes.

StudioPress is bringing yet another fantastic product to the table, StudioPress Sites. “The ease of an all-in-one website builder with the flexible power of WordPress.

The best way I can think to explain this is, WordPress ready hosting with the power of the Genesis Framework built in.

When you sign up, you’ll have WordPress already installed and the Genesis Child Themes from StudioPress already installed, that means you won’t need to purchase Genesis or the Child Themes separately.

My initial response to the news of StudioPress Sites was mixed and I had two initial questions.

  1. Why would Rainmaker Digital roll out another hosted WordPress solution when they already have the Rainmaker Platform and Synthesis?
  2. Is this a DIY website builder solution designed to compete with the other DIYselfer builders (i.e Wix, GoCentral, Squarespace…)?

Before I jump into the answers I want to make sure that those of you reading, know right upfront if StudioPress Sites is even something that is a fit for you!

Is it right for you?

In their own words…

It’s perfect for bloggers, podcasters, and affiliate marketers, as well as those selling physical products, digital downloads, and membership programs.

I know, it’s kind of a broad list and while you may feel you fit into one of these categories you could still find StudioPress Sites not the right solution for you.

My recommendation would be to give it a try. Before making it your new home permanently, fire up an account a play with it for a month. The introductory price point makes it pretty affordable at $27 to $37 per month.

Keep reading, as I go over the features and discuss the answers to my initial questions above, I think you’ll find a bit more clarity.

The answers to my initial questions…

  1. Why another hosted WordPress solution?

As I review the feature list and compare StudioPress Sites to Rainmaker and Synthesis, it became pretty clear.

Rainmaker and Synthesis are a locked down hosting solution, meaning you can’t add your own themes and plugins. However, with StudioPress Sites, you will be able to upload your own Genesis Child Themes and those from approved developers like Appfinite.

You’ll also have the flexibility of customizing the StudioPress Child Themes.

As for uploading your own plugins, StudioPress Sites will come with hundreds of “approved” plugins ready for a 1-click install and from what I gather you will still be able to add your own plugins, as long as they pass the test! Keep in mind not all plugins are developed equally.

  1. Is this a DIY website builder?

From what I’ve seen and read the short answer is, No.

Not in the way that Squarespace, Wix, or GoCentral are drag and drop builders.

Now one of the preloaded and available plugins will be Beaver Builder (Lite), which allows you to customize your theme from the front end without code.

I think the real key to StudioPress Sites is the tech free hassle with top notch support! Allowing you to just focus on creativity and selling.

What you can expect from StudioPress Sites…list of features

  • The Genesis Framework
  • 20 Mobile-Optimized HTML5 Designs
  • Fast Loading Performance
  • Zero “Hosting” Hassles
  • Rock-Solid Security
  • Advanced SEO Functionality
  • Automatic Plugin and Theme Maintenance
  • One-Click Install of Included Plugins
  • World-Class Support

I want touch on just a couple of these because I think they’re what really separate StudioPress Sites from other hosted WordPress options and from a self-hosted option.

  • Zero “Hosting” Hassles

This is nice because the last thing you want to deal with is issues with the hosting. Hosting being the service you’re using to store your website.

You should have confidence in the performance and not be expected to pay additional fees because your site is growing and your success is increasing.

With StudioPress Sites they’re saying there wont be pesky upgrade fees for more storage or bandwidth.

I feel pretty confident that these guys have hosting figured out. They built Synthesis to ensure they could build a solid hosting environment before launching the hosted solution Rainmaker and now after Rainmaker has been on the market for four+ years they’re launching another hosted solution.

  • Automatic Plugin and Theme Maintenance

I’ve used a lot of WordPress hosted solutions like WP Engine, Flywheel, and Manage WordPress (from GoDaddy) and they all force WordPress core updates. I’ve never seen one actually give you the option to allow them to maintain your theme and plugin updates as well.

Out of date WordPress, themes, and plugins is the primary cause of sites being hacked and infected with malware so this is a huge benefit to the individual who doesn’t want to deal with it.

This will be optional and something you can opt-out of. However, I wouldn’t recommend it! If you do, you should really get me on call!

  • Rock-Solid Security

Going beyond the security protocols already built into Genesis and the plugin and theme maintenance feature they’ve take even more steps to ensure a secure environment.

Just to name a few, intrusion prevention, continuous scanning and monitoring for malware (probably with Sucuri), distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection, and much more.

You don’t really need to understand all of these things, just know it’s a ton more then the cheap hosted solutions provided by the big companies (GoDaddy, BlueHost, etc) are offering.

  • World-Class Support

The point of these StudioPress Sites is to remove the technical issues that are often experienced by self-hosted WordPress sites. However, you will have access to one of the best support teams to help you when things do go wrong.

Just a heads up, it’s not likely that you’ll be able to call support. For sure email, but possible chat. And it will be 24/7.


For the price point of $27 – $37 per month, it’s worth giving it a try. If you’re a fan of really good products from really awesome companies, this will be one of them! Like everything else Rainmaker Digital has done, they do it to perfection!

Now, this will not be for everybody. I wouldn’t suggest running your multi million dollar commerce website with StudioPress Sites. You should be in a dedicated environment and this will be a shared environment.

It’s no secret that I host all of my websites at WP Engine and recommend them to everyone, and it’s also no secret that I only use the Genesis Framework for website development so…I will be rolling out my own StudioPress Sites account to see just how awesome it really is!

And with that said, you can expect more from me on the platform.

But seriously, you should go give it a test drive for yourself. There’s probably going to be a 30 day money back guarantee (which you won’t actually need to use 😉 )!

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