The Rainmaker Platform is an all-in-one managed hosting solution for your online business. It comes from the folks who bring you Copyblogger and StudioPress themes, so you know you can trust it.
Rainmaker Platform includes lots of fine — and some truly awesome — features. Most importantly, it’s designed for site owners who want the tools and features WordPress offers, but want to focus on business, not on the website.
First, let’s talk briefly about who should not consider Rainmaker. You might not want it if you:
- Are running a website as a hobby
- Don’t have any plans to sell any services, products, or courses
- Don’t need a mailing list
- Don’t intend to create a podcast
- Aren’t interested in secure, state-of-the-art WordPress hosting
However, if you plan to actually do business via your website, here’s what Rainmaker offers.
#1. Secure, hassle-free managed WordPress hosting
There are two types of hosting appropriate for most WordPress users — I’ve written about them here.
Managed hosting is more secure, and easier for the site owner. Shared hosting is less expensive.
When you join Rainmaker, you get the best in managed WordPress hosting. They take care of security, WordPress is already installed, and the servers present your website to the world at blazing fast speeds.
No need for you to futz around with security plugins, or worry about hackers getting into your site. Rainmaker takes care of that. No need to add and update plugins, or make sure they work together. In fact, there’s a lot of ordinary site maintenance you won’t need to spend time on.
#2. Choice of WordPress themes
Not sure what theme you want? Choose one, and if you don’t like it, switch to another without paying another penny. You have access to 36 themes (with more added regularly), so you’ll always find one to meet your needs.
The theme designer is StudioPress, so you know they’re solidly coded and attractive. They’re all mobile responsive, HTML5 themes that meet and exceed today’s web standards.
#3. Easy and intuitive user interface
Once you’ve logged in, you’ll notice that the user Dashboard looks quite different from the WordPress dashboard you’re used to.
That’s because Rainmaker incorporates so many tools and offers so many features not normally found in WordPress. (Anywhere else, you’d need plugins to handle them.) So they created a whole new interface which breaks up the screen into related tasks.
For example, the Content screen helps you create and organize all types of content. Naturally, you have Pages and Posts, just like any other WordPress site. But Rainmaker also provides tools for creating and organizing:
- Landing pages
- User-generated content
It also gives you a built-in Editorial Calendar where you can organize your social posts as well as your WordPress content. I’ll be honest, it’s not as good an editorial calendar as CoSchedule, but it works and there’s no extra charge.
If you’d rather focus on creating great content than on tweaking your site, they’ve got you covered.
#4. Create and offer courses
Online courses last year were a $105 billion business. Yes, billion. With a B.
Rainmaker makes it easy for you to create your own courses, both free and paid, so you can grab a piece of this expanding market.
You’ll have more time for creating those great (and lucrative) courses when you don’t have to spend time making the courseware work.
#5. Email Autoresponder Service
Also built in and fully integrated into Rainmaker is a bulk email / autoresponder service called RainMail. It’s included in your account, and your first 999 subscribers are free. After that, there’s a small monthly charge. And you’ll only be billed per subscriber, with no limits on the number of emails you can send.
Best of all, the built-in marketing automation lets you send the right message to the right people at the right time.
If you already have an account with Mailchimp, Aweber, Infusionsoft or other popular services that you want to keep, no problem. You can easily link to them.
#6. SEO, Conversion tools, membership sites, and more
Built-in tools help you optimize for search engines, handle sales of digital products, build membership sites with forums, all with tools that are easy to use.
It includes A/B testing. Payment processing is also built in, and integrates with:
- Taxamo, if you’re selling in the EU
On a typical WordPress site, you’d have a plugin for SEO, another for e-commerce, a third to create the membership site, and you’d have to make sure they all play nicely together. In Rainmaker, you just take care of business.
It’s all built in. Google Analytics, conversion reports, leads, sales… it’s all there in one place.
Bonus — Extensive Knowledge Library and Support
There’s also an extensive knowledge base library, and highly qualified support reps, to help you along your way.
What’s the Catch?
If you’re wondering what’s the catch, this sounds too good to be true, I’ll tell you right now — you don’t get this for $3.99 a month.
But when you compare the price of joining Rainmaker vs. standard WordPress managed hosting, plus all the other services that come included, it’s a great deal.
Here’s what you’d pay, roughly, for all the different components:
- Managed WordPress hosting – $39/month ($468/year)
- SSL Certificate – $65/year
- Landing page building – $25/year
- Membership and content library – $99/year
- Learning management system – $99-159/year
- Marketing automation and email – $99-199/month ($1188-2388/year)
- A/B split testing – $29/year
- Podcast hosting – $15/month ($180/year)
- Pro Plus Themes package – $499.95 (one time) or a single theme $99 (one time)
- Dynamic Forms – $129/year
- SEO/Keyword Research – $59/month ($708/year)
- Security – $17/month ($204/year)
That adds up to an average of $3836 annually, plus additional first-year expenses of around $300, for a total of around $4136 your first year.
Total cost of Rainmaker for a year? $1500.
Rainmaker is a serious WordPress platform for people who are serious about business online.
Try it Free
Right now, you can try the Rainmaker Platform free for 14 days — no credit card required. That’s about as no-risk as it’s possible for an offer to be.
The Best Part
What’s the best part of Rainmaker?
It’s still WordPress.
If you decide down the road that you’re not happy with it, for any reason, you can just export your WordPress files and go. It’s an all-in-one solution that doesn’t lock you in.
That’s not something you can do with Squarespace, or Weebly, which operate on proprietary systems.
Sure, if you leave Rainmaker you won’t have access to all those great extras any more, like the built-in membership site, or forums, or podcasting. But your content is fully exportable. It’s yours, and you can take it to another WordPress host.
You may be wondering, if I really think Rainmaker is so great, why I don’t use it myself?That’s a legitimate question.
I actually joined the Rainmaker Platform when it was first introduced, about three years ago. Since I joined, I’ve used it as a sandbox site, to try out various themes and such in a secure environment. I decided early on it was good enough to offer to my readers and site visitors, and I’ve written about it several times. If it was good enough to recommend, it was good enough to affiliate with — so if you buy it after clicking one of my links, I’ll earn a commission. (Those commissions help keep this site running.)
Back then, it had some great tools, but nothing like what’s available now. I’ve watched as they’ve added more… and more… and more.
I’ve had it in the back of my mind that I would eventually move this site over to Rainmaker, but it’s been a case of the cobbler’s kids with no shoes or the plumber’s house with leaky pipes — I’ve been so busy building WordPress sites for clients, and writing about WordPress, that I haven’t made the time to do it.
I’m determined to make the time this summer, though. When that happens, you’ll see a major site redesign.
In the meantime, take advantage of the free trial to check it out for yourself.