Background: ScalaHosting was established more than a decade ago, in 2007 to be precise. The unusual thing about this host was their focus on VPS plans. Their aim was to make VPS (and now Cloud) plans available to a wider audience. Today, Scala has long worked past price and instead focus on innovative technologies. With tools such as SPanel in their inventory, ScalaHosting offers options for users to more easily manage their hosting environments.
Starting Price: $3.95/mo
Visit Online: https://www.scalahosting.com
Review Summary & Ratings
Our Experience with ScalaHosting
ScalaHosting is one service provider that has remained close to our team for some time now. At this time of writing, we maintain both shared and VPS hosting accounts with them.
ScalaHosting first comes under WHSR's radar when our ex-editor Lori Soard interviewed Vince Robinson, their CEO. Since then our boss Jerry Low has remained in communication with the team there. One of the more notable personalities he came across during this period has been Chris, the guy who started Scala’s SPanel project (we have in fact done some marketing work together as well).
In this review – through sharing screenshots of our accounts and test results, I am going to take you on a ScalaHosting tour to give you a glimpse of their performance. Take the time to read through it and see for yourself what Scala has to offer.
Who Should Use ScalaHosting
As a full-suite web hosting provider, ScalaHosting has a solution for almost everyone.
ScalaHosting Managed VPS Plans are great for small and large businesses. You get to choose the server specifications based on your website needs and only pay for what you need. For newbies and individual website operators, Scala's shared hosting plans come with an extra layer of protection (SShield), free SSL support, and a free domain name. Also, when you’re ready, you can move seamlessly on to their VPS platform.
ScalaHosting Pros & Cons
ScalaHosting Service Overview
Pros: What I Like About ScalaHosting
1. Well Established Reputation
In a world where the strong dominate the weak, ScalaHosting has survived for 15 years now. In this span of time, it has achieved what it set out to do – make VPS/Cloud plans more accessible.
Along its journey, it has amassed a loyal following and today servers over 50,000 customers. Across this time span, over 700,000 websites have been built with ScalaHosting. This journey of success is a testament to their quality of service.
2. Excellent Hosting Performance
As with all our hosting reviews, we’ve established a test site so that you can see first hand how well the host performs. In our WebPageTest speed results, our site showed green light results across the board.
Below are some recent uptime and performance results:
It isn’t easy for a host to produce these results consistently, so kudos to them. This is especially significant since their shared hosting plans are only run out of a Dallas, Texas data center. Their VPS hosting plans do have the option for Europe as well though.
3. Self-Developed SPanel is Ultra-convenient
SPanel is perhaps the single most distinguishing factor of ScalaHosting. It’s applicable to their VPS/Cloud plan users and takes the place of cPanel. Both Plesk and cPanel are owned by the same parent organization, leading to a near monopoly on the web hosting control panel (WHCP) market.
SPanel offers users an alternative that is excellent for many reasons. The key one being that it is fully compatible with cPanel. This means that cPanel users have an easy way out of the ecosystem should they wish to migrate to SPanel.
It also offers a much more cost-effective licensing structure compared to cPanel and is more agile and resource-friendly. Overall, SPanel was designed to be a one-stop control panel for users’ convenience.
That’s not all though. There are also increased benefits in security, website handling, guarantees in email delivery, and more.
4. Powerful WordPress Management with SWordPress
As you can see with the simple addition of an ‘S’ in their naming convention, ScalaHosting goes for functionality over bling. SWordPress is a WordPress management utility that offers users a practically managed environment for WordPress Hosting.
The SWordPress manager allows you to not just install or remove WordPress easily, but lets you reset or toggle very useful options. These include resetting your admin password, enabling auto WordPress updates, or even managing security locks.
Scala has even more plans in store for SWordPress so there is yet even better to come with this tool. It is part of the SPanel platform, so that’s even more value for users.
5. Increased Protection with SShield
The web is a dangerous place and even more so for website owners. I’ve been running a number of sites for years and attempted attacks happen so regularly it's unbelievable. SShield helps you cope with those attacks (by blocking them) and ScalaHosting claims it’s more than 99.9% effective!
To do this, SShield is fully automated and monitors all the sites on each server 24/7 actively. Aside from defensive measures, it will also notify site owners, including attack reports for reference. At the same time, SShield will advise site owners on what steps they can take to increase web security.
SShield supposedly works with an AI engine so that the defenses are adaptive. This is similar to how some heuristic antivirus applications work. Instead of referencing fixed information sets, the AI engine will assess potential threats based on logical deduction and threat potential.
6. Lots of Freebies
I love free stuff as much as anyone else, especially when it comes to a long-term commitment like web hosting. ScalaHosting apparently knows this and includes a lot of useful things in their hosting packages.
For example, you get a free domain name with all hosting plans, Integrated Cloudflare CDN, Let’s Encrypt SSL, free migration services for as many sites as you like, automated remote backups, and more.
7. White Label Hosting
Unlike some hosts that offer white label hosting for resellers, ScalaHosting offers this even on their most basic shared hosting plans. White label hosting refers to the lack of ScalaHosting branding on their tools such as admin panels and so on.
This allows you a great deal of flexibility, especially if you’re a developer or agency and need to work on an account to be handed over to a client later on.
Cons: What I Dislike About ScalaHosting
1. Price Bumps on Renewal
As with almost all budget hosting solutions, ScalaHosting entices new users in with steep discounts. Unfortunately, once the honeymoon period is over users get slapped with stiff renewal fees. For example, signing on for shared hosting can cost as little as $3.95 per month. Once you renew, you’ll be looking at paying $5.95 for that same plan.
2. Limited Server Locations
Although ScalaHosting’s performance is great and it did well in our tests, there is no denying that distance really affects latency. With limited server locations, potential Scala customers wishing to target Asia-region traffic will simply have to live with it. This is especially so if you’re using shared hosting. VPS/Cloud users will still be able to opt for the location in Europe which is a slightly more strategic location.
3. Shared Hosting Only Partially Uses SSD
Scala’s Shared Hosting Plans only have operating systems and databases run on SSD. Everything else still makes use of traditional hard-drive capacity. This may make sites more sluggish compared to full SSD-powered solutions.
ScalaHosting Plans and Pricing
For this ScalaHosting review, we’ll be looking primarily at Scala’s shared hosting and VPS/Cloud plans.
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*Signup price based on 3-year subscription
ScalaHosting has three shared hosting plans available. These are basically identical to their WordPress hosting plans. The lowest tier is most basic and is very similar to most other hosts. Scala benefits mainly kick in as you move up the ladder.
For example, their Start plan includes SShield Cyber-security and if you move further on to the Advanced plan, you also gain Pro Spam Protection and a few other benefits. If you do decide on that, however, you may as well consider a VPS/Cloud plan as they start at the same promotional price.
VPS/Cloud Plans – Managed
*Signup price based on 3-year subscription
Managed VPS plans are the cream of the crop and for the very reasonable prices ScalaHosting charges, they certainly are a bargain. With the features and resources available in these plans, they offer users new to VPS a great sandbox environment.
The key differentiator of these plans against unmanaged plans is that they offer users the benefits of using SPanel. This makes for much better cost-effectiveness if you take into consideration that you’re on a managed plan.
VPS/Cloud Plans – Self-managed
You can customize your very own Scala’s self-managed VPS/Cloud plans. It is very easy to make as since you can select the CPU Cores, RAM, SSD space, bandwidth and more that you need from the site.
Moreover, there is a variety of add-ons to upgrade your plan. For example, you might like to include extra cPanel licenses, increase network speeds, or even adjust small variations of resources – for an appropriate price. This may actually drive up your cost, making it more cost-effective to choose a Managed plan and make use of SPanel for (basically) free.
Verdict: Is ScalaHosting Worth It?
The comparability of web hosts is normally difficult to judge since many of them offer different packages of similar things. However, I have to make the argument that ScalaHosting does trump many other service providers in a number of areas.
First and foremost, I have to say that they have managed to deliver on a key promise, and that is making VPS/Cloud plans more accessible. For the amount they charge on starter VPS/Cloud plans, most hosts would offer only shared hosting (compare their rates with our market study here).
The next important note is the unique proposition of having an alternative in WHCP that is highly compatible with industry standards. This is a great offer specially for VPS customers who might be unhappy with how cPanel is dominating the market (and charging for the privilege).
If you’re keen to explore the VPS scene, ScalaHosting is a good place to start. If not, their shared hosting plans still come with lots of freebies and when you’re ready, you can move seamlessly on to VPS.