ScalaHosting – Review 2023 – PCMag UK

ScalaHosting – Review 2023 – PCMag UK

Choosing the right web hosting service comes down to your needs. You might be a business owner who needs a powerful, dedicated server for selling products online or a hobbyist writer who simply needs a low-cost shared server for blogging purposes. ScalaHosting believes there’s ample space for something in the middle. While ScalaHosting has many options, its primary offering is managed cloud VPS. ScalaHosting touts this as the best of all worlds, with reliability, performance, and support that takes server maintenance out of your hands. ScalaHosting is a strong web contender in both the cloud and VPS categories, but it lacks the tiers and server OS options found in our Editors’ Choice winners, DreamHost and Hostwinds.

ScalaHosting Shared Plans

ScalaHosting has four shared hosting tiers. With shared hosting, your website lives on a server with other sites. The websites share server resources (hence the category’s name), which lowers the individual costs. Unfortunately, that also means that a traffic spike on Site X may take server resources from Site Y, impacting performance. If you need more resources or reliability than what this cheap web hosting provides, VPS or dedicated hosting is the way to go. More on those in a bit.

ScalaHosting offers annual plans for shared hosting; there’s no monthly option. That said, the cost goes down as you commit to longer annual terms, up to three years.

Mini (starting at $9.95 per month) is the entry-level shared plan that has enough server resources for a single site. It includes 10GB of SSD storage and unlimited monthly data transfers. The Start plan ($12.95 per month) lets you create unlimited sites and offers 50GB of SSD storage, unlimited monthly data transfers, and daily offsite backups. The Advanced plan ($15.95 per month) kicks the available storage up to 100GB and tacks priority support onto the package. The most powerful plan in this tier, Entry Cloud (starting at $29.95 per month), offers dedicated CPU and RAM, and 50GB of upgradeable NVMe SSD storage.

Note that ScalaHosting lacks Windows-based shared hosting options—it’s Linux or bust. For a server powered by Microsoft’s operating system, check out HostGator, our Editors’ Choice winner for shared hosting. It offers a choice of Linux- or Windows-based servers at competitive prices, plus monthly shared hosting plans.

ScalaHosting VPS Plans

Virtual private server (VPS) hosting is a step up from shared hosting. With VPS hosting, multiple sites live on the same server, but in a far less crowded fashion than shared hosting. It’s a good option if you’re looking for more server power and reliability, but don’t want to spend too much money.

ScalaHosting’s VPS plans are where the company focuses its efforts and marketing. These are managed, Linux-based servers, so the company takes care of the setup, updates, server backups, and malware scans. You have the option to host these servers on ScalaHosting’s own data center or on DigitalOcean’s data centers for a substantial cost increase. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is listed as a third option “coming soon,” with no pricing information as of this review.

ScalaHosting has four tiers of managed VPS hosting. The Build 1 plan (starting at $49.95 per month) gives you two CPU cores, 4GB of RAM, 50GB of SSD storage, and unlimited monthly data transfers. Next up is the Build 2 plan (starting at $83.95 per month), which offers four CPU cores, 8GB of RAM, and 100GB of SSD storage. If you need more server power, the Build 3 plan ($141.95 per month) bumps the CPU cores to eight, RAM to 16GB, and SSD storage to 150GB. Finally, there’s the high-end Build 4 plan ($199.95 per month) that contains 12 CPU cores, 24GB of RAM, and 200GB SSD storage.

None of these tiers are set in stone, though. ScalaHosting is flexible, letting you configure your VPS hosting plan using numerous sliders. For example, RAM maxes out at 64GB, and SSD space can go as high as 2TB. Configuring a top-tier, managed VPS server is $735.95 per month; most people won’t need that, but it’s great that you are given a choice. ScalaHosting also offers self-managed VPS plans (starting at $20 per month) if you want to get your hands dirty with server care. There are also Windows-based server options here ($40 per month). 

That’s not enough to dethrone Hostwinds, our Editors’ Choice winner for VPS web hosting. Hostwinds’ lowest tier is $10.99 per month for 1 CPU core, 1GB of RAM, 30GB of SSD space, and 1TB of monthly data transfer. Plus, Hostwinds lets you set up a Windows-based server.

ScalaHosting Cloud Plans

With cloud hosting, your site’s resources aren’t limited to physical server limits. The resources scale to meet your site’s requirements, taking resources from multiple servers when needed. ScalaHosting’s VPS service is technically a cloud VPS service, but there’s also a self-managed option more akin to traditional cloud hosting.

The monthly pricing is the same whether you choose the 1, 6, or 12-month billing cycle; no sales, no renewal rate jumps. It’s refreshing. The Build 1 plan for self-managed cloud hosting ($20 per month) has two CPU cores, 4GB of RAM, 50GB SSD storage, and 3TB of monthly data transfers. Build 2 ($45 per month) offers four CPU cores, 8GB of RAM, and 100GB SSD storage. Build 3 ($91 per month) boosts those numbers to eight CPU cores, 16GB of RAM, and 160GB SSD storage. Finally, you have the Build 4 plan ($179 per month) that nets you 16 CPU cores, 32GB of RAM, and 240GB of SSD storage.

Like ScalaHosting’s standard cloud VPS plans, the self-managed cloud VPS plans are fully flexible. You can play around with sliders to tweak your plan however you want it. A maximized server, with 24 CPU cores, 128GB of RAM, and 2TB of SSD storage, costs $313 per month. 

ScalaHosting has more wallet-friendly cloud-hosting options compared to DreamHost, the category’s co-Editors’ Choice pick. And if you need more overall cloud power, check out Co-Editors’ Choice Ionos. That web host is ready for high-end and enterprise users with its impressive (and expensive) cloud hosting options.

ScalaHosting WordPress Plans

ScalaHosting has the option to install the WordPress content management system (CMS) onto any server. That said, it also offers WordPress-only servers. There are four tiers—WP Mini, WP Start, WP Advanced, and WP Entry Cloud—which mirror the company’s shared hosting options in terms of specs and pricing.

Once again, ScalaHosting stands close to the competition. After renewal, ScalaHosting is $9.95 per month, while Editors’ Choice pick A2 Hosting is $11.99 for the same 12-month commitment. A2 Hosting’s service excels with 100GB in SSD storage (versus ScalaHosting’s 20GB) and unlimited monthly transfers. If you’re just getting into WordPress, A2 is a great place to start.

ScalaHosting Reseller and Dedicated Plans

If you’re looking to get in on the web hosting business, but don’t want to mess with expensive physical server infrastructure, ScalaHosting has several reseller hosting packages. The beginning tier is Scala1. For $17.95 per month, you gain access to 25GB of SSD storage, daily offsite backups, and up to 20 CPanel accounts. That scales up to Entry Cloud ($29.95 per month), which has 50GB of upgradeable SSD storage and unlimited CPanel accounts. 

That said, Hostwinds remains the reseller hosting top dog. The company’s plans mirror its shared hosting plans, starting at $6.99 per month for unlimited email, storage, and data transfers. On offer are dedicated and VPS packages of both the Linux and Windows variety, as well as shared hosting, which is limited to Linux. Hostwinds also lets you apply your own branding to the servers you rent, and it supplies 24/7 tech support, too.

Unfortunately, ScalaHosting lacks dedicated web hosting. If you’re interested in that level of high-end hosting, check out AccuWeb Hosting, our Editors’ Choice pick.

Building a ScalaHosting Website

Once you’ve signed up for service, ScalaHosting offers a fairly standard, backend client area. You can configure your servers to use either the free SPanel or the industry-standard CPanel, with the latter having an additional licensing cost.

We built a website using the SitePad website builder. It let us select a site design from several attractive themes, plus upload images and create pages as needed. That said, the bespoke site builders some other hosts offer contain more user-friendly options that guide you through the process and serve up context on how website elements fit together. For example, HostGator’s excellent and intuitive Gator Website Builder has numerous themes and extensive drag-and-drop features. Squarespace and Wix also offer easy-to-use website builders, too.

For more on getting started with web hosting, you should learn how to create a website. You might also want to check out how to register a domain name for your website. Don’t forget to read our SEO tips, too.

Please note that we had issues getting our ScalaHosting test site working with our website-monitoring tool. If you’re planning to monitor your website, you may have to jump through some hoops. Fortunately, ScalaHosting has a responsive, helpful customer service team that’s ready to assist. We’ll detail our experience with it in a bit.

ScalaHosting E-Commerce Options

With ScalaHosting, you have access to several standard e-commerce services. OpenCart, osCommerce, Magento, ZenCart, and more are available for install at the press of a button. With just a few clicks, you can install a shopping cart and create a great online store via simple drag-and-drop functionality. 

Excellent Uptime Results

A great site is nothing if it keeps going down. ScalaHosting has an uptime guarantee that credits you with a percentage of your subscription for every unscheduled downtime that sinks your site’s uptime below 99.8 percent. If your uptime dips beneath 99%, you’ll receive a 100% credit to your account, which is both cool and reassuring.

We use a website-monitoring tool to track the uptime of the site we created on ScalaHosting’s service over a 14-day period. Every 15 minutes, the tool pings the website and sends an email if it is unable to contact the site for at least a minute. The testing data revealed that ScalaHosting didn’t have any failures over a two-week testing period. Building a website might be harder with ScalaHosting compared with some of the competition, but the site you build will rarely go down.

Responsive Customer Service

ScalaHosting has strong customer support. Even before you sign up, you can tap the company’s Knowledge Base and live web chat for answers. The live web chat delivers fast responses that come in a short amount of time.

We had an issue with our test site early on that required us to create a help ticket. ScalaHosting’s customer support team wasn’t able to assist us at that time, but its responses always came quickly. Their guidance let us quickly remedy the problem.

ScalaHosting has a 30-day money-back guarantee that offers a full refund. That’s typical for many companies in the web hosting industry, but shorter than Dreamhost’s impressive 97-day money-back guarantee.

A Dependable, VPS-Focused Web Hosting Service

ScalaHosting clearly believes in the power of a managed VPS service; it’s where the company’s strengths lie. If you’re looking for VPS hosting that scales resources as your site grows and doesn’t cost a lot of money, ScalaHosting is a high-quality service we recommend. Just keep in mind that rival web hosts, such as Editors’ Choice winners Dreamhost and Hostwind, offer more plan and server OS options should you want to expand in the future.

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