Sail Knowledgebase

Sail: Frequently Asked Questions

In this section you will find frequently asked questions about Sail, Sail Premium and other Sail-related topics.

If you like Sail, don't forget to give us a star on GitHub!


What is Sail?
Sail is a server management tool to provision, deploy and manage WordPress applications in the DigitalOcean cloud.

How much does it cost?
Sail is completely free and open source.

How can I download/install Sail?
Sail can be installed using our installer script for Linux, macOS and Windows. It is also available via the Homebrew package manager. Installation and upgrade instructions here.

Do I need a DigitalOcean account to use Sail?
Yes. You have to use your own DigitalOcean account with Sail. You can learn more about configuring your API token here.

Do I have to pay for DigitalOcean services?
Yes. However, they do offer $100 in credits for new accounts.

What plans are available?
There are no plans. You can select any server size you like. You can also add as much storage as you need. You can review DigitalOcean's compute/droplets and volumes pricing here. We recommend starting small, and scaling up as you go.

Can I use Linode, Vultr, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform or other platforms with Sail?
Not at this time. It is on our radar though.

How is Sail different from WP Engine, SiteGround, Kinsta, Cloudways and others?
Visit our comparison section to see how Sail stacks up against popular managed WordPress hosting platforms, traditional shared hosting providers, as well as cloud hosting platforms.

How is Sail different from the 1-click WordPress images provided by cloud platforms?
Sail provisions a much more robust environment for WordPress than most 1-click images. It is also much more than just an image. With Sail you can deploy your application changes, add/remove domains and DNS records, request and install SSL certificates, create and restore backups, run performance profiles. The list goes on.

To learn more about how Sail stacks up against cloud hosting providers, visit our comparison section.

Do I have root/SSH access to a server provisioned with Sail?

Is Sail a hosting provider?

Is there a GUI for Sail?
Yes, a web-based UI is in private beta.

How many websites/domains can I create on a single server with Sail?
As many as you like, until you run out of disk space and/or other server resources.

Do I lose access to my server if I stop using Sail?
No. You have full root access to the server on your DigitalOcean account, you can continue using it without Sail.

Can I use Sail with an existing WordPress site?
Yes. Check out our migration guide.

Is there a list of all commands available in Sail?
Yes. There's a command reference here. You can also run sail --help or sail command --help for more information.

How can I support Sail?
Give us a star on GitHub.

Domains, SSL, E-mail

How many domains can I add to one Sail server?
As many as you like.

Can I install SSL certificates with Sail?
Yes. You can request certificates from Let's Encrypt. Instructions here.

Can I use Sail with Cloudflare?
Yes. Instructions here.

Do I have to use DigitalOcean's DNS servers with Sail?
No. However, if you do, Sail will automatically manage DNS records for you.

What if I do not have a domain?
Sail will provide a free subdomain which you can use.

Can I send e-mail with Sail?
Yes. We recommend an SMTP relay setup. Instructions here.


Do I have to use Sail's deploy features to make changes?
No. We do recommend you that you do, since it helps quickly revert changes if things go south. We also recommend using version control, such as Git or Subversion, but ultimately it's up to you. You can make changes directly on your server via SSH, SFTP or the Theme/Plugin Code Editor in WordPress.

Do I need to use version control with Sail?
No, but highly recommended.

Can I push-to-deploy with GitHub Actions and Sail?
Yes. Tutorial here.

Can I integrate Sail with CircleCI, Travis, etc?
Of course.

Can I use Sail with a local development environment?
Yes. Instructions here.

Can I run PHP Linter and Code Sniffer with Sail?
Yes, we recommend running these on pre-deploy. Instructions here.

What are blueprints in Sail?
Blueprints are YAML files which can be applied to Sail applications. They define things like plugins, themes, constants, additional server software and configuration. You can learn more about blueprints here.

Software, Configuration, Updates

What software stack does Sail CLI use?
Sail installs Nginx, MariaDB, Certbot, PHP-FPM. The versions will depend on what the latest are available in the official Ubuntu LTS packages. Newer versions may be installed manually.

Sail will always provision the latest versions of WordPress and WP-CLI.

Are security updates applied automatically?
WordPress will auto-update to minor/security releases when available. Server packages will also be updated automatically daily though Ubuntu's unattended-upgrades package. You may sometimes be required to restart your server.

Do I need a WordPress caching plugin with Sail?
Sail installs Surge by default, which is a very simple and lightweight full page caching plugin. However, you can opt-out and use whatever other caching plugin you like, or no caching plugin at all.

Can I install additional PHP modules with Sail?

Can I change the php.ini configuration in Sail?
Yes. It's in /etc/php/.

Can I modify the Nginx configuration with Sail?
Yes. In /var/www/configs/ preferably, since the main configuration files can be overwritten when adding new domains, SSL certificates, etc.

Can I install Redis, Memcached, Elasticsearch, etc. with Sail?
Yes. Sail might even have some blueprints to help you configure it.

Do I need to backup my site?
Of course. You can use sail backup to create and download backups to your computer, (instructions here). For automatic off-site backups you can use any third-party service or plugin, including, but not limited to Sail Premium.

Premium Services

What is Sail Premium?
Sail Premium is a collection of additional services for applications provisioned with Sail, for example monitoring, managed backups and image optimization. These services are operated and hosted by

Do I need Sail Premium to host a production-grade WordPress site?
No. Sail Premium is completely optional, though we do recommend having an automated backup solution for production sites.


Something is not working, where can I report it?
You can use our Slack channel or create an issue on GitHub.

I have another question
Please review our getting help section with a link to our support channels.