Features and Ease of Use
The main focus of Rapid Site is its VPS plans, which come as with the following core features:
- 99.9% guaranteed server utilization rate
- Daily backups and restoration services
- Domain registration available
- Up to ten add-on domains and unlimited subdomains
- Free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates
- Up to 300GB disk space
- Unlimited data transfer per month
Rapid Site’s data center is located in Japan, is manned 24/7, and the servers run on Linux CentOS with a reliable Plesk control panel and high performance (if a little outdated) Apache 2.2.x. Conversely, it’s not clear whether the servers use SSD or HDD, but I can tell you there’s a 99.9% server utilization (uptime) rate.
You get full root access, as well as SSH access, FTP, and SFTP accounts, and DNS management, so aside from the caveat that you are not allowed to adapt the OS, you have quite a lot of control over the environments, as you’d expect with a VPS plan.
As you’d expect, there are MySQL databases, a phpMyAdmin tool, and support for PHP (although it’s the slower version 5.3.x). Advanced programing languages Perl, Python, and Ruby are all supported.
Unusually for VPS companies, there are some beginner-friendly tools thrown in. For example, the servers come with EC-CUBE (an e-commerce store builder), Movable Type (easy blog and website builder), and WordPress support.
Pricing and Support
The prices are in line with other VPS providers, both in Japan and overseas, while on the other hand, there’s a relatively large setup fee which is included in all packages. Like most other VPS companies, you do need to purchase a domain name, but a free SSL is thrown in to sweeten the deal.
The plans are available in one, six, or twelve month terms with no discount for purchasing a longer contract upfront. Unusually for Japanese hosts, you can purchase the plans online after completing a long and rather off-putting multi-step online form. There’s a helpful 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans.
In terms of customer service, there is email and phone support, although it took me a long time to find the email address on the website and the business hours are not clear. There’s a online manual / FAQ section with a substantial number of articles and tutorials, as well.
Unfortunately, in my experience, I sent an email during the afternoon on a weekday and did not receive a response, despite waiting a couple of days. In the companies defense, my email was in English, so perhaps this was a blocker for them, I cannot be sure.