A traditional webhosting service provider…with their own custom control panel.
Solid performance, good/fast support, and reasonable pricing. Scalahosting feels like your conventional webhosting company…offering a mix of shared vs dedicated hosting services. Where they differ is the option to choose from their home-grown control (called “SPanel”) which looks like a ripoff of cPanel.
It’s a big deal in this day-and-age as cPanel has kept hiking its costs (while not offering improvements to justify the increases). It’s forced many large webhosts to explore building their own panel and creating more variety in the webhosting world. A change I wholehandedly support and also stand behind as a middle finger to cPanel.
SPanel works well and offers tremendous cost savings that are passed down to the end users and resellers. How cool is that? 🙂
Who the heck is ScalaHosting?
ScalaHosting is the real deal. Kind of like the next SiteGround.
If you haven’t been paying attention to them, I don’t blame you. For whatever reason…despite the big plays they’ve been making, they’re still far under the radar. The name “ScalaHosting” isn’t memorable enough…if anything, it reminds me of the “White Mamba” Brian Scalabrine (for your basketball fans).
But that’s probably more a branding issue than name choice. The logo doesn’t stand out much. The web design isn’t distinct enough…whoever did their most recent redesign obviously built off of existing webhosting sites, like SiteGround and A2. It’s not a bad design…it’s just that it feels too same-y as everything else. It’s like they tried so hard to fit in that they no longer standout.
…so then how the hell did I notice them 3 years ago? 😉
ScalaHosting built their own control panel – SPanel
These guys are fucken crazy. If there’s anything crazier than trying to run a webhosting business…it’s trying to build your own webhosting panel. And I know this because I was trying to do exactly the same thing! I was in the exact same positions as these guys. Sick of new cPanel management getting greedier and greedier constantly jacking up licensing prices. Their vulturous business strategy really upheaved the shared hosting industry.
This inspired many webhosting companies to search for alternatives, like DirectAdmin or Plesk (still owned by same company, but cheaper), or to even build their own. SiteGround successfully did it but it’s not hard to see how, they got big money. But for a little guy like myself…it’s such a huge task. I tried pricing it out too, chatting with other devs and engineers to see what a partnership deal or project costs might look like.
So it came as no surprise that I would find ScalaHosting sooner or later. They literally built their own cPanel clone (no easy feat)…and for this alone, I give them lots of respect and tip my hat off to them. Needless to say…I was already biased to like them before I even tried them.
ScalaHosting mainly has 4 main webhosting products, along other complementary hosting services.
- ScalaPanel “managed cloud VPS” – this is their main product. You get a powerful cloud VPS server with their proprietary SPanel control panel. It looks like a simpler version of cPanel. Very easy to use and powerful. Runs fast. Defaults to Apache server but has option to enable OpenLiteSpeed (which is faster and also compatible with LiteSpeed Cache plugin).
- Self-managed VPS – allows you to choose your own setup, kinda like most datacenter-level webhosts or cloudpanels. Pick your server specs and what OS/server/panel you want on it.
- Managed Cluster – basically their cluster setup, where you have multiple servers joined together to offer high-availability for serving massive traffic and maintaining maximum downtimes. It’s powerful, but massively overkill in necessity and pricing for 99.99% of clients out there.
- Shared hosting – cheap and uses cPanel for the control panel. You can buy this if you just wanna test their service but I’d personally choose at least one of the plans with SPanel…as that’s their main unique trait.
- Other hosting – they also sell email hosting, reseller hosting, domain registrations, and SSL certificates.
They only have 3 datacenters. 2 in the US and 1 in Europe. It should be sufficient for most people. But others in farther away destinations of wanting a more particular datacenter location will have to shop elsewhere.
It seems many webhosts more or less have the same features so I try to cover or make mention of what stands out to me.
- Old school style panel – cPanel or SPanel. Has many features and easy to use. The UI might appear “messy” compared to modern panels but it’s easy to use and arguably faster to use (since all features can be reached from the main page)…whereas other panels have more settings screens and tabs to click through.
- LiteSpeed/OpenLitespeed web server – depending on which options you choose. I love LiteSpeed because of its performance gains and compatibility with my favorite WordPress cache plugin (LiteSpeed Cache).
- Backups – daily scheduled backups.
- Free SSL – standard feature.
- SShield Cyber Security – not sure if this is their WAF or malware scanner or maybe both. But anyway, they have typical security measures like any other hosting company.
Performance & support testing
Their proprietary SPanel control panel
I like it. It seems barebones and not fancy looking but it works well. Very snappy and fast…and the main feature besides it working well is that they don’t have to pay expensive licenses for it and therefore you save money as a customer.
Cost savings are great for end-users (bring down costs) and also for resellers (improving profit).
Server performance (underlying hardware)
I’d say their shared hosting server performance is B+, sits just below the usual VPS tier provided directly from cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Linode, Vultr, AWS, etc. It’s plenty fast enough and the price is cheap for the space provided. If you’re looking for cheap solid shared hosting, I recommend Scalahosting.
For their upper tier dedicated services…they integrate with Digital Ocean which is considered in the usual A-tier of datacenter hosting.. Check their site carefully to know what comes with what.
I was pleased with the customer UI and panel. Things look like the typical shared hosting account, with billing area and control panel. Is it sexy like modern cloud panels? No. But it’s easy to understand and works well. Click around to make settings changes was fast and easy. I had a good experience.
Things were fast. Pages load quick enough. Not much else to comment here. Nothing freakishly fast.
Their support was super friendly and helpful.
I’ve used the chat support for both their tech and billing staff on various occasions (over 6 months) and the wait was never more than 2 minutes. They solved my problem easily every time except for once. And the one time that they couldn’t solve (a rare issue), the staff told me to wait for his follow-up email and I received one a few hours later with good news.
Suggestions for improvement
Things that could be better:
- Enabling OLS – from SPanel wasn’t so straight forward as one-click. I had to contact support and they did it for me.
- Lacking cPanel WP Toolkit – their cPanel uses Softaculous WordPress installer instead of WordPress Toolkit (the latter is much better IMO).
- More datacenter locations for shared hosting – I would have liked to see an Asian location but I totally understand if their target market isn’t there.
Should you host with ScalaHosting?
What are ScalaHosting’s strengths?
- Reasonable prices, good service – this alone makes them comparable to the top tier of traditional webhosting providers. Good performance and support.
- SPanel – this is what sets them apart from the rest. Instead of paying for the now-expensive cPanel, you can use their home-made SPanel control panel. Which works and feels alot like cPanel. Easy to use and fast-performance.
- Geared for managed VPS hosting – this is their main service, they prefer focusing on VPS hosting rather than shared-hosting.
- OpenLiteSpeed – great for performance, and works with the awesome LiteSpeed Cache plugin. Many hosts still don’t offer LiteSpeed so this is a refreshing sight for me.
ScalaHosting is for anyone wanting a cheap managed VPS server with good performance and support.
- Convenient to sign up from one place and get a managed server with all the software ready to go. Conventional looking control panel and easy 24/7 support make it a great alternative to the more modern panels nowadays where you have to buy your server from one place and cloud panel from another.
- If you’re just a traditional shared hosting user don’t care much for SPanel and just want a regular cPanel shared hosting account, you could use Scalahosting for that as well. Cheap and works well.
Try ScalaHosting today (my affiliate link)