The story of catalyst2 (opens in new tab) started in 2000 when Paul Redpath, its director and founder, launched a small start-up with only a single server. Two many years later, catalyst2 is dwelling to 1000’s of websites within the UK operating on a totally cloud-based infrastructure. The firm takes delight (and rightfully so) in successful a number of awards for its providers, most notably for being the best web hosting (opens in new tab) supplier in 2020, in addition to the one with the very best customer support.
Some of catalyst2’s most notable purchasers embrace The Royal British Legion, FareShare, Daylesford Organic, Virgin Care and the record goes on.
catalyst2 has two places of work within the UK, with the top one being registered in Belfast (the UK). Their two knowledge facilities are additionally UK-based: one is present in London Docklands and the opposite one in Reading. Both of them share Tier 3+ infrastructure, which suggests the utilization of redundant and dual-powered servers, storage, community hyperlinks, and different IT parts.
Although quick on showiness, catalyst2’s official web site is simple-to-use and well-stocked with details about the corporate and all of its providers. On prime of all the pieces, for those who discover the “About” part and head for “Our Team” you’ll discover a bit about catalyst2’s founder, his right-hand man (and co-director), and see how they and the remainder of catalyst2’s group members would have appeared like in the event that they have been cartoon characters. It is a bit trivial, however a pleasant little contact however.
Unsurprisingly, the positioning is offered within the English language solely and the costs are displayed in GBP. It additionally incorporates a weblog full of considerably quick however well-written articles on a wide range of hosting-related matters.
If you’re into social networking websites, you’ll discover catalyst2 on a number of of them together with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. However, a few of these accounts are displaying no indicators of life.
catalyst2 at present gives 5 web hosting plans, however you can even get three further packages for premium Windows hosting (opens in new tab) and one other three from premium Linux hosting (opens in new tab). The most budget-friendly plan referred to as “Mega Deal” will value you a mere £11.99 ($16.70) for a full yr of hosting and it’ll provide you with as much as one hosted area and one subdomain, 500MB of disk house, 5GB of knowledge switch, industry-standard management panel, one-click installs, one FTP account, File Manager, help for a wide range of scripts, weekly backups, antivirus (opens in new tab), primary spam filtering, and the record goes on and on.
Although the sources with the “Mega Deal (opens in new tab)” don’t look like a very whole lot (sure, we’re referring to ridiculous restrictions on cupboard space), once we take the worth into consideration, the plan begins to look quite a bit higher. Although you often get to decide on between a month-to-month and an annual billing cycle, with “Mega Deal” solely the latter one is offered.
Besides this, catalyst2 gives 5 animal-titled packages (“Squirrel”, “Kangaroo”, “Giraffe” and so forth) for managed VPS hosting (opens in new tab), 4 for email hosting (opens in new tab), three for reseller hosting (opens in new tab), and three for versatile servers (that’s, short-term managed dedicated servers (opens in new tab)). To be taught extra about managed hosting, devoted servers, or different hosting-related providers (comparable to managed AWS, backups, and disaster recovery (opens in new tab) amongst others) you might be invited to get in contact with catalyst2’s help group.
Although catalyst2 doesn’t present a free trial, all of its shared hosting packages include a 30-day money-back assure.
As for fee strategies, catalyst2 accepts all main credit score/debit playing cards and PayPal.
Ease of use
Given that catalyst2 is greatest recognized for its “top-of-the-class” UK-based totally managed VPS options, we’re going to check out certainly one of them. However, if you’re not fairly positive what answer is greatest suited to your wants, go to “Hosting” and click on on “Not Sure!” to get a suggestion.
After submitting a brief type together with an anticipated variety of day by day visits to your web site, the variety of e mail accounts you suppose you’ll want, GB of disk house, kind of web site you wish to create, and your e mail tackle, you’ll be contacted by somebody from catalyst2’s workers with a few recommendations.
Either means, selecting out one amongst many choices which catalyst2 gives shouldn’t make you go into overdrive, since all the pieces is displayed in a really clear but detailed means. All plans additionally embrace a free web site migration, so if you wish to benefit from this, do not forget to let catalyst2’s group know.
The second selection you’ll be prompted to make is in regards to the working system (OS) that you just wish to use in your server, and right here you may select between Linux and Windows choices. To make a purchase order you might be required to create an account with catalyst2, and doing so signifies that you’ll have to offer loads of private and billing info and provide you with a powerful password.
Depending on the OS you opted for, you’ll be utilizing industry-standard cPanel or Plesk as your management panel, each of that are as user-friendly as they get. As most of catalyst2’s packages embrace a Softaculous one-click installer, dozens of open supply web apps (comparable to WordPress) can be yours very quickly.
We also needs to word that catalyst2 gives help for PHP 7, Perl 5.8, SSI, MIME, and Cron Jobs, however not for among the equally fashionable scripting languages comparable to Python or Ruby on Rails, which appears a bit odd.
Anyhow, on the final word, if you’re not significantly tech-savvy and have hoped for a novice-friendly website builder (opens in new tab) to simplify the creation of your web site even additional, you’re out of luck, since catalyst2 gives none.
Speed and expertise
Among the explanation why we must always select catalyst2, this supplier describes itself as “quick” and elaborates on this by claiming its server velocity is taken into account “superb” as calculated by serverscores.com. With that in thoughts, we determined to check out the velocity of catalyst2’s most important web site, as supplied by our favourite web site efficiency analytics device by the title GTmetrix.
The outcomes have been as a matter of reality “superb” and concluded with a B (91%) as GTmetrix‘s grade. The web site took 7.1 seconds to utterly load (which is somewhat common) and (once more) with fairly common 94 requests to take action.
catalyst2 claims to have had 99.997% community uptime since May 2007, and contemplating that they’re using Tier 3+ infrastructure, it ought to indicate no less than 99.982% of uptime per yr. After carefully monitoring catalyst2’s web site for 2 weeks (by way of Uptime Robot), we did not report any downtime in any respect, leading to a report flaunting an impeccable 100% of uptime. At the identical time, there have been no important spikes in response time, displaying a steady common of 342.32 milliseconds.
The first among the many highlighted explanation why we must always select catalyst2 within the sea of comparable hosts oriented in direction of managed hosting is their “glorious service” backed by UK-based round the clock buyer help. To get in contact with this “all-star-team” you should use a phone quantity (toll-free for customers from the UK), a stay chat, a help ticket system, or simply ship them an e mail. There are additionally two separate phone numbers (one for UK residents and one other one for worldwide clientele) and an e mail tackle reserved for gross sales inquiries.
It’s vital to notice that with catalyst2 the extent of help you’re going to get is dependent upon the hosting bundle you’ve bought. Therefore, with easy shared hosting packages you’ll get customary (but nonetheless excellent) help, whereas with premium managed and devoted server hosting packages you might be entitled to premium 24-hour help.
To enter catalyst2’s knowledgebase you’ll should go to the “About” part and choose it from there, though there may be already a “Support” part, making all of it a bit counter-intuitive. Nevertheless, the knowledgebase is somewhat robustly full of in-depth guides protecting all kinds of frequent points and issues.
There can also be a service standing replace web page that can assist you to remain knowledgeable on outages and scheduled upkeep.
Both US-based Kinsta (opens in new tab) and UK-based catalyst2 are well-known for his or her totally managed hosting options with sufficient selection to satisfy most wants. However, the similarities finish there. While all of catalyst2’s knowledge facilities are discovered within the UK (which makes them greatest suited to customers from the UK), Kinsta has its personal CDN (opens in new tab) with 28 places internationally (making themselves extra interesting to the worldwide market). On the opposite hand, whereas Kinsta gives ten different-sized cloud-based managed WordPress hosting options, with catalyst2 you may select between shared, cloud, managed VPS, and devoted server options and most of them will provide a greater bang for the buck.
Cloudways (opens in new tab) is a Malta-based host, probably the most fashionable decisions for totally managed cloud-based hosting, in addition to one of many pioneers of cloud hosting typically. In phrases of pricing and options, Cloudways overtakes catalyst2 by a whisker. However, since Cloudways is geared in direction of customers with extra expertise and technical know-how, if you’re new right here catalyst2 is certainly your most secure guess.
HostGator (opens in new tab) gives related hosting choices to catalyst2, and seemingly at an identical value. However, when the promotional interval involves an finish, HostGator would possibly knock your socks off with the sizable value spike, whereas there are not any such surprises with catalyst2. Nevertheless, HostGator’s entry-level plans nonetheless look much more interesting than these with catalyst2 and for 2 easy causes: they put fewer restrictions on its sources and so they include HostGator’s personal drag-and-drop web site builder full of a myriad of handsome templates.
Another fan-favorite host from the USA is Bluehost (opens in new tab) and by way of hosting sorts, options, and out there apps it’s remarkably much like HostGator. When we add catalyst2 to the competitors, all three hosts appear like members of the identical gang, nonetheless, with Bluehost and HostGator you may register a website without cost (for those who subscribe for a yr at a minimal), whereas there isn’t any such alternative with catalyst2.
Before the conclusion, we wish to point out an abundance of constructive evaluations about catalyst2 left by each their present and former clients on client review websites (comparable to Trustpilot and HostSearch) and on-line service websites (comparable to Serchen and Bark). Among all of the impressions a number of issues appear to remain the identical, and people are excessive praises for the standard of catalyst2’s pre-sales and post-sales help, top-notch providers total, and extra bounce for the ounce than one would possibly anticipate.
Having seen what catalyst2 has to supply, we have now to agree with all the pieces talked about above. That being stated, though catalyst2’s shared hosting packages could also be a very good purchase for a small private or a enterprise web site, the scarcity of sources will be suffocating for larger companies.
If discovering a UK-based host is just not a should for you, you will get much less restricted (or limitless) web hosting packages with just about the identical options (and a user-friendly web site builder) with HostGator and Bluehost. Otherwise, check out Unlimited Web Hosting, whose title explains all of it.