For those unfamiliar with Wealthy Affiliate, you may be wondering what SiteRubix is. SiteRubix is a web hosting platform run by the same company that is behind Wealthy Affiliate. In this blog post I’m going to give you a little history about SiteRubix and show you what it has evolved into.
SiteRubix’s Early Beginnings
Back before Content Mangement Systems were popular, like WordPress for example, the owners of Wealthy Affiliate built SiteRubix as an easier way to create and build html websites even if you possessed little to no coding skills. This tool was a type of drag and drop template builder where you were able to drag and drop different website elements that you wanted in your website. They made this tool available to members of Wealthy Affiliate to enable them to make websites faster.
As WordPress became popular, WA introduced their “3 click” WordPress website builder that they called “WordPress Express”. With WordPress being a much easier way to build and manage a website than a static html templating system, SiteRubix quickly fell into the shadows and essentially became WA’s red-headed step-child. If my memory serves me right, before SiteRubix was launched only the equivalent of today’s premium members could build a website with WordPress Express and you had to use your own domain.
In September 2012 WA changed all that and announced that they had repurposed SiteRubix and would allow the then equivalent of Starter members to build two free websites on it, that would be subdomains of the SiteRubix domain. This essentially would be the functional equivalent of a WordPress.com site, but on the SiteRubix.com domain.
However, there would still be one more major evolution before SiteRubix would arrive at it’s present state. In November 2014 Carson announced that they had again re-implemented SiteRubix and changed how it would function with WA. As mentioned before, SiteRubix up to this point and primarily had been converted into a free WordPress site that you could build on the SiteRubix.com domain.
With this new update, WA introduced a new menu along with several different aspects of WA such as:
They also started referring to Wealthy Affiliate’s entire hosting ecosystem as SiteRubix as opposed to just the free subdomain sites as before.
SiteRubix’s Current Implementation
In its current state SiteRubix has two distinctive categories to it: Starter and Premium websites.
Free or Starter SiteRubix websites are installed as a subdomain of the main SiteRubix domain. For an example, in example.siterubix.com “example” is a subdomain of siterubix.com. Starter members at WA are allowed to have two free starter websites that they can add content to and build out. This would essentially be very similar to having a Blogger or WordPress.com website. A big difference between WordPress.com and the free SiteRubix websites are that you are able to install plugins on the free SiteRubix websites as long as you are a premium member.
Premium SiteRubix website hosting is available to Wealthy Affiliate members who are premium members. Premium SiteRubix websites are ones where you are allowed to use your own domain name. Furthermore, if you opt to install a free SiteRubix website as a premium member you can install additional plugins whereas with starter members you are stuck with the plugins WA gives you by default. Premium members are also able to set up domain email and install a SSL certificate with a premium SiteRubix website. You also get access to FTP to transfer files to and from your site, which you do not get with the free Siterubix websites even if you are a premium member.
Unique Twist On Hosting
One way that SiteRubix differs from typical hosting companies is they don’t give you access to a control panel. A long time ago you could use Plesk, but they did away with Plesk in order to increase the security of the system. This can make it very interesting at times to manage your hosting, especially if you are used to being able to manage all aspects of your hosting. However, they have made their support staff very responsive and it’s not unusual to get a response within a few minutes after submitting your ticket. Try getting that type of support with HostGator!
Other Perks Hosting at SiteRubix
Another benefit to hosting your websites at SiteRubix is the ability to use Wealthy Affiliate’s SiteComment system. SiteComment gives you the ability to request comments on any of the pages of your websites that are hosted with SiteRubix. You can either buy credits to purchase comments or you can participate in the SiteComment system to get credits. Basically, for every two comments that you leave on other websites that get approved, you are able to receive one comment in return.
SiteComments can help to jump start engagement on your website resulting in more people commenting on your website which leads to greater visibility in the search engines.
More recently Wealthy Affiliate implemented a new feature which they called SiteSpeed. The technical details are a little sparse, but from what I can tell it seems like some sort of hardware-based website caching system along with some type of CDN.
So far it’s still in beta and only members who’s volunteered to test their websites have it enabled. Of the member’s who have it enabled and reported their results, most of them have noticed quite a significant improvement in their Google PageSpeed scores for both mobile and desktop.
I expect Wealthy Affiliate to release this new feature into general production by the end of 2017 if not far sooner.
So Long For Now
Well, I hoped this article helped you understand the history of SiteRubix, but more importantly gives you a taste of what SiteRubix can currently offer you. At its core, it gives you the ability to build WordPress websites fast and it also gives you very responsive support when things don’t go as planned.