That’s precisely what Scala Hosting claims to do, and while I do love me an excellent underdog story, I’m additionally a large skeptic. An notable web host has to do so many things proper, and most companies truly don’t have what it takes.
Let’s dig a bit deeper. Scala Hosting hails from Dallas, Texas, and offers scalable (as a result the call – Scala) web hosting plans, from easy shared web hosting to advanced managed VPS answers. It operates information facilities, one in its place of birth of Dallas and the alternative in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Everything looks top notch on paper, but I needed to see for myself what the service become all about. That’s why I signed up to the fundamental plan and methodically checked every and every issue of Scala Hosting. I positioned the corporation’s assist carrier to the take a look at more than one times and ran various overall performance diagnostics.
My conclusions? While it’s no longer perfect on every level, Scala Hosting is in reality fantastic. Read on for the entire insurance and spot if it’s proper for you.
Scala Hosting offers three varieties of web hosting to pick out from: Classic shared hosting, controlled VPS (digital private server), and self-controlled VPS. For small to medium-length web sites, from non-public blogs to greater advanced commercial enterprise pages, the shared hosting plans can be more than enough.
VPS, whether managed or unmanaged, is wherein the large boys come to play. Among its many benefits, a VPS can simply house popular e-commerce stores and content portals. There’s almost no limit to what a VPS can do – with the aid of scaling up its resources, you’ll constantly be able to deal with more site visitors and site visitors.
I noticed the absence of devoted servers and changed into actually very glad approximately it. It’s the most expensive kind of website hosting available, due to the fact you’re given full control of a bodily server (shared and VPS plans proportion a server’s sources with other clients). Very few web sites want such dedicated solutions, and imparting them is mostly a traditional case of an internet host overreaching.
So, attention is the name of the sport with Scala Hosting. Count me as a fan. A jack-of-all-trades organization is a recipe for catastrophe.
Let’s begin with the shared web hosting plans. Two subtypes appear to be available – net hosting and WordPress website hosting – however in fact, there’s no difference among the 2. I’ll surely refer to them each as “shared hosting” any more. Shared website hosting comes in 3 plans, with the main variables being available disk area and additional functions.
I went with the low-price Mini plan, which offers 20GB SSD garage space, unlimited bandwidth, and support for a unmarried web page. Not too awful – however nothing special both. I’ve visible better offerings from other finances hosts, however that is nevertheless extra than sufficient to get commenced with a fundamental web site.
Scala Hosting uses cPanel, that’s bundled with the useful Softaculous app installer at no extra price. This lets in you to put in content material control systems (CMSs) inclusive of WordPress with a unmarried click on, at the side of loads of different apps, scripts, and gear402241″ target=”_blank”>Scala Hosting gives plenty at no cost – an SSL certificates, web site migrations executed by means of experts, or even automatic day by day backups to a faraway server. The latter generally incurs a top rate fee with other hosts, so it’s first-class to get it absolutely loose.
I mentioned earlier that a VPS has a lot to provide you, so let me increase on that. With ordinary shared website hosting, you share the server’s assets with many other users. That method that there’s continually the possibility which you gained’t have enough CPU energy or RAM reminiscence to completely run your web site.
Because you’re also sharing your IP address with your website hosting buddies, there’s the delivered danger of having blacklisted for his or her sports. For instance, if any other shared consumer to your server sends unsolicited mail advertising messages, or even offers pirated downloads, you’ll all get blacklisted collectively. That method you not displaying up on Google, and your emails going immediately to unsolicited mail.
A VPS solves all that, as you’ll get non-public get right of entry to to a particular set of resources. Usually, genuine to the Spider-Man motto, this newfound power comes with splendid duty. Compared to a shared website hosting plan, the management and control of a VPS may be much extra stressful. Unless… you have SPanel.
SPanel, developed exclusively through Scala Hosting itself, is a VPS manage panel like few others. It permits you to without problems configure the amount of assets to be had on your web sites, comes with built-in safety software program, and helps OpenLiteSpeed and NGINX web server technologies. It additionally consists of ought to-have capabilities like backups, usage statistics, and SSL integration.
We’re speakme all the benefits of shared website hosting, coupled with the electricity of having dedicated assets at your disposal. However, SPanel is best to be had with Scala Hosting’s managed VPS answers, which aren’t exactly reasonably-priced. More on this later.
Scala Hosting’s SShield safety gives 24/7 tracking, and it boasts a 99.998% success rate in blocking attackers. Any malicious pastime is without delay stopped in its tracks, and you’ll be notified with statistics on the way to restoration any vulnerabilities.
It’s a sincerely stable device – that’s why it’s disappointing that it isn’t to be had with every plan. SShield is only protected with the Start and Advanced shared hosting plans and the managed VPSs. If you’re at the simple Mini plan, you’ll be left with extensively much less protection.
Scala Hosting’s SShield makes use of AI technology to swiftly counter any threats
It continually frustrates me when net hosts offer various stages of website safety while looking to upsell you to a extra costly plan. But at least there’s a excellent safety suite available.
Unlimited Websites and Migrations
Starting with the, uhm, “Start” plan, you’ll be able to create and host a limiteless wide variety of web sites. Of route, this isn’t sincerely unlimited – you’ll honestly be confined in other approaches. For example, you’ll nonetheless must hold an eye in your storage usage, and subsequently, you’re going to run into the natural performance obstacles of shared hosting.
Still, this offers you lots greater flexibility than many other hosts can compete with. At these charges, you’re commonly restrained to just multiple web sites, at pleasant.
In addition to this, Scala Hosting offers unlimited free site migrations. This aggregate of features makes Scala Hosting a especially exact preference in case you are migrating more than one sites from some other host. Usually, that is enough of a trouble to place you off converting hosts at all, but Scala Hosting makes the entire technique painless.
|Free domain name?||✔|
|Money-back guarantee||30 days|
|Managed hosting features?||✔|
|Data center locations||2 in the US, 1 in Europe|
EASE OF USE
From Signup to Managing Your Website, It’s Easy as Pie
A great hosting service needs to be as easy to use as it is powerful, and Scala Hosting understands that. I wouldn’t go so far as to call the experience seamless, but the very few hiccups I encountered were barely noticeable. Overall, it was refreshingly straightforward and simple – Scala Hosting can have your new site up in minutes.
Choosing a Plan
Scala Hosting’s homepage goes to great lengths in explaining the differences between VPS and shared hosting, complete with nice-looking graphs and graphics. It’s all very simple to understand and contains all the information you need to make a decision.
If you decide to go with shared hosting, you’ll be able to choose between WordPress and web hosting, though as I mentioned before – they’re the same. The three shared plans are clearly laid out for you to compare.
Creating a New Account
Click Get Started to start the signup process and you’ll immediately be directed to the configuration page. Choose whether you want to use an existing domain, register a new one, or transfer one to Scala Hosting.
Next up is personal details. Scala Hosting does away with the full background checks so many web hosts seem to be fond of, and asks only for your full name and country. This saves time and saves you having to share details that are frankly nobody’s business but yours.
Finally, it asks for your email address, account password, and payment details. And… that’s it. Account is created, hosting is activated, and we’re ready to go. Doing a quick test of this entire signup process would probably take me 40 seconds.
After logging into Scala Hosting’s client area, you’ll immediately notice how nice it is when a real designer thinks about how these things should look. The extra attention to detail really shows, and it goes a long way in making our lives as website owners easier.
How simple is installing WordPress and connecting the domain? Well, as simple as the combined power of cPanel and Softaculous allows for it to be. For any of you unfamiliar with the terms, Softaculous is the industry standard for auto installers. It’s really easy.
To get to Softaculous, navigate to your plan details and you’ll be presented with a Login to cPanel button. Scroll down a bit to reveal a long (450+ long) list of available CMS for installation. I went with the obvious WordPress, but do feel free to choose any one of them, if your heart so desires.
Enter your website’s details, choose a username and password (for the website itself), and hit the Install button. In about a minute, your new website will be live.
If you purchased your domain from Scala Hosting, this is it! After your domain gets propagated through the internets, you’ll be able to access your website from the URL.
If you’re like me and you like taking more of a “divide and conquer” approach, you probably have your domain registered somewhere else. I couldn’t find the nameservers details needed to point my domain to, so I contacted support and asked for them. Had the nameservers been listed in my account area, I would’ve finished up this whole process in record time.
This is a really cool thing that Scala Hosting has implemented. Whether you decide to go with WordPress or some other system, you’ll create an account for it. That’s a username and password that you’re bound to forget in, I don’t know, ten minutes?
It happens to the best of us. I’ve probably clicked thousands of Forgot my Password buttons in my life.
WordPress’ standard Forgot My Password sends an email to your mailbox for verification reasons. But what happens if the person working on your site (an Elementor expert you hired, for example), needs to reset the password? Obviously, you wouldn’t want to give them access to your personal email account.
Scala Hosting’s password reset solves this issue, while also making the process significantly faster. This might be a minor thing, but it just goes to show how this web host really took time to think about you and your actual needs.
So, can we call this a perfect user experience? Not exactly. Looking over the account area, you might notice some weird things, like this:
What is to be installed automatically? What admin password? Who knows. I guess there were some big plans here that never made it to the finish line. If the company takes care of things like this and lists the nameservers, we’ll have ourselves a perfect score.
Strategic Data Center Locations Make for Speedy Loading around the World
Great features? Check. Easy to use? Absolutely. Next thing to test (and arguably the most important) is, of course, the performance. As always, I let the numbers talk – page loading speeds and uptime. If you’re interested in how I accurately test web hosting speed and reliability, check out our article covering how Website Planet performs fair and trustworthy performance tests.
I ran a standard WordPress installation on my Scala Hosting plan, hosted in the company’s Dallas data center. I uploaded a customized SimpleShift theme, complete with text and some non-optimized HD images, to get a good idea of how your website will perform.
As I do with all web hosts, I extended Scala Hosting the courtesy of making optimizations. The support agent went ahead and added GZIP compression and browser caching. He did not mention the non-optimized images. The following performance tests were conducted after optimizations have taken place.
After monitoring my test website’s uptime for a month using UptimeRobot’s tracking tool, I ended up with 99.72% uptime. This is mainly due to short periods of unavailability (around 10 minutes) every few days. Scala Hosting does advertise a 99.9% uptime guarantee, so I was a bit disappointed by the result. After contacting the company about it, I was actually reimbursed for 20% of my monthly fee!
While 99.72% uptime is by no means bad (many web hosts barely make it to 99%), I do hope Scala Hosting provides even greater reliability in the future. Still, the company’s adherence to its uptime guarantee is extremely comforting.
What about speeds? I ran a GTmetrix test to gauge the performance of my website, and Scala Hosting achieved a 1.2-second load time and an impressive PageSpeed ranking of B. Had I optimized the HD images (which you should always do), it would’ve been an easy A ranking and had even faster speeds.
Testing from other GTmetrix locations, like Vancouver and London, also resulted in short loading times. To get a better idea of international performance, I ran the Sucuri Load Time Tester:
Sadly, most servers returned a “Could not test website…” response. This isn’t a bug or a performance issue, but actually a sign that Scala Hosting’s firewall is working overtime and taking extra care with incoming connections from monitoring services. Don’t worry, this will not affect your visitors.
What can we learn from these partial results? That the Dallas-based hosting indeed works best in North America. You also have the option of going with Scala Hosting’s New York data center if you’d like to better target the East Coast. Speeds are decent even across the pond, but loading times do get higher for visitors from farther away.
Luckily, those aren’t the only data centers Scala Hosting operates. While many other US-based web hosts maintain data centers in the US only, Scala Hosting understands that there’s a whole world beyond the two coasts. Enter the company’s third data center in Sofia, Bulgaria.
This second location basically doubles Scala Hosting’s reach. Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and even parts of Asia are all assured great speeds. You just have to think ahead and choose your data center location wisely – if you don’t make the choice yourself, the company will choose it for you based on availability.
A Decent 24/7 Service with Actual English Speakers
Scala Hosting operates an around-the-clock support service, available through live chat, tickets, email, phone, and a knowledge base. During my initial research of the company, I couldn’t help but notice that people were extremely happy with the support they received. This was intriguing, as I usually find support interactions to be quite headache-inducing.
Why do I feel that way? Because most companies have long since outsourced support to third-rate call centers in cheap-labor countries, where agents command neither the English language nor the basics of hosting.
Imagine my surprise upon hearing that Scala Hosting keeps all support in-house. Not only is the support staff part of the team, they actually work from the same Texas office. Excited about the prospect of having a good support experience, I promptly proceeded to bombard the agents with questions.
My first interaction was through live chat, before signing up. Disguised as my testing alter-ego, Avi, I asked in detail about the different plans and features. I got an instant reply and found the agent to be extremely patient and quite knowledgeable. Whatever she didn’t know, she took the time to research and check before answering.
The only problem? The agent wasn’t actually correct in everything she said. I asked about the differences between the web hosting and WordPress hosting plans (reminder: they’re the same), and was told WordPress comes pre-installed on the WP plans. I guess she didn’t get the memo, as nothing comes pre-installed.
Shared and VPS Plans Are Attractively Priced
Scala Hosting’s pricing structure is simple – three plans are available for both shared and VPS hosting, with advanced plans including better resources and more features. The price of shared plans is pretty much in line with the industry average, with the basic Mini plan starting at just.
The situation is a bit more complicated with the managed VPS plans. At first glance, they may seem a tad pricey, but it really depends on how you intend to use them. If you plan to create multiple hosting accounts on the same VPS (for clients or for yourself), then using Scala Hosting’s SPanel will make it much cheaper.
Most companies offer cPanel as their VPS management panel, and cPanel becomes more expensive as you add more users. With SPanel, the price is standard, whether it’s one user or 1,000. Moreover, you can customize your VPS setup to fit your exact needs and pay according to your selected resources.
One thing I found to be disappointing with Scala Hosting was the lack of flexible billing. Shared hosting is only available with a yearly or triennial plan – both of which require an upfront payment for the entire hosting period.
Sure, in most cases I’d recommend purchasing longer plan periods because they usually offer the best long-term value, and this is still the case with Scala Hosting. But I’d love to at least have the option to choose monthly billing.
Thankfully, Scala Hosting’s VPS solutions are available on shorter payment terms, including monthly, three-month, semi-annual, and annual. Managed VPSs also offer triennial billing, whereas self-managed VPSs don’t. For whatever type of hosting you choose, the longest available billing cycle will offer you the best value.