Little-known Scala Hosting manages to provide excellent features, strong performance, and attractive prices, all in one neat package. The shared plans are a great choice for smaller websites, and the company’s proprietary hosting panel also enables you to harness the full power of a VPS solution. Don’t let this gem of a web host go unnoticed.
Scala Hosting Promises to Be “The Next Step in Hosting Evolution,” but Does It Actually Deliver?
Can a little-known web host come out of nowhere, challenge the industry giants, and beat them at their own game?
That’s exactly what Scala Hosting claims to do, and while I do love me a good underdog story, I’m also a huge skeptic. An excellent web host has to do so many things right, and most companies simply don’t have what it takes.
Let’s dig a bit deeper. Scala Hosting hails from Dallas, Texas, and offers scalable (hence the name – Scala) hosting plans, from simple shared hosting to advanced managed VPS solutions. It operates two data centers, one in its hometown of Dallas and the other in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Everything looks great on paper, but I had to see for myself what the service was all about. That’s why I signed up to the basic plan and methodically checked each and every aspect of Scala Hosting. I put the company’s support service to the test multiple times and ran various performance diagnostics.
My conclusions? While it’s not perfect on every level, Scala Hosting is definitely impressive. Read on for the full coverage and see if it’s right for you.
Impressive Free Features and Superior Security Measures
Scala Hosting offers three types of hosting to choose from: Classic shared hosting, managed VPS (virtual private server), and self-managed VPS. For small to medium-size websites, from personal blogs to more advanced business pages, the shared hosting plans will be more than enough.
VPS, whether managed or unmanaged, is where the big boys come to play. Among its many benefits, a VPS can comfortably house popular e-commerce stores and content portals. There’s almost no limit to what a VPS can do – by scaling up its resources, you’ll always be able to handle more traffic and visitors.
I noticed the absence of dedicated servers and was actually very happy about it. It’s the most expensive kind of hosting available, because you’re given full control of a physical server (shared and VPS plans share a server’s resources with other customers). Very few websites need such dedicated solutions, and providing them is usually a classic case of a web host overreaching.
So, focus is the name of the game with Scala Hosting. Count me as a fan. A jack-of-all-trades company is a recipe for disaster.
Let’s start with the shared hosting plans. Two subtypes seem to be available – web hosting and WordPress hosting – but in reality, there’s no difference between the two. I’ll simply refer to them both as “shared hosting” from now on. Shared hosting comes in three plans, with the main variables being available disk space and extra features.
I went with the low-cost Mini plan, which offers 20GB SSD storage space, unlimited bandwidth, and support for a single site. Not too bad – but nothing special either. I’ve seen better offerings from other budget hosts, but this is still more than enough to get started with a basic site.
Scala Hosting uses cPanel, which is bundled with the useful Softaculous app installer at no extra cost. This allows you to install content management systems (CMSs) such as WordPress with a single click, along with hundreds of other apps, scripts, and tools.
In addition, Scala Hosting offers plenty for free – an SSL certificate, site migrations performed by experts, and even automatic daily backups to a remote server. The latter usually incurs a premium fee with other hosts, so it’s nice to get it completely free.
Powerful VPS Machines and the SPanel Control Panel
I mentioned earlier that a VPS has a lot to offer you, so let me expand on that. With regular shared hosting, you share the server’s resources with many other users. That means that there’s always the possibility that you won’t have enough CPU power or RAM memory to fully run your site.
Because you’re also sharing your IP address with your hosting neighbors, there’s the added risk of getting blacklisted for their activities. For example, if another shared user on your server sends spam marketing messages, or even offers pirated downloads, you’ll all get blacklisted together. That means you not showing up on Google, and your emails going straight to spam.
A VPS solves all that, as you’ll get private access to a specific set of resources. Usually, true to the Spider-Man motto, this newfound power comes with great responsibility. Compared to a shared hosting plan, the administration and management of a VPS can be much more demanding. Unless… you have SPanel.
SPanel, developed exclusively by Scala Hosting itself, is a VPS control panel like few others. It allows you to easily configure the amount of resources available for your websites, comes with built-in security software, and supports OpenLiteSpeed and NGINX web server technologies. It also includes must-have features like backups, usage statistics, and SSL integration.
We’re talking all the benefits of shared hosting, coupled with the power of having dedicated resources at your disposal. However, SPanel is only available with Scala Hosting’s managed VPS solutions, which aren’t exactly cheap. More on this later.
Scala Hosting’s SShield security offers 24/7 monitoring, and it boasts a 99.998% success rate in blocking attackers. Any malicious activity is immediately stopped in its tracks, and you’ll be notified with information on how to fix any vulnerabilities.
It’s a really secure system – which is why it’s disappointing that it isn’t available with every plan. SShield is only included with the Start and Advanced shared hosting plans and the managed VPSs. If you’re on the basic Mini plan, you’ll be left with significantly less protection.
It always frustrates me when web hosts offer various tiers of website security when trying to upsell you to a more expensive plan. But at least there’s a very good security suite available.
Unlimited Websites and Migrations
Starting with the, uhm, “Start” plan, you’ll be able to create and host an unlimited number of websites. Of course, this isn’t truly unlimited – you’ll simply be limited in other ways. For example, you’ll still have to keep an eye on your storage usage, and sooner or later, you’re going to run into the natural performance limitations of shared hosting.
Still, this offers you plenty more flexibility than many other hosts can compete with. At these prices, you’re usually limited to just a couple of sites, at best.
In addition to this, Scala Hosting offers unlimited free site migrations. This combination of features makes Scala Hosting a particularly good choice if you are migrating multiple sites from another host. Usually, this is enough of a hassle to put you off changing hosts at all, but Scala Hosting makes the entire process painless.
Free domain name?
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.
Connecting a Domain and Installing WordPress
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
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.
Scala Hosting can offer your site rapid loading speeds, but its uptime was a little shaky. With some improvements to reliability, Scala Hosting will be among the top performers for budget hosting.
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.
Another agent later confirmed that this was a mistake, and that there’s no difference between the two:
After signing up, I contacted support through the ticketing system. I couldn’t find the nameserver details anywhere, so I asked them to help with connecting my domain and hosting. The agent replied in four minutes, much faster than the usual one to two hours I’ve come to expect from support tickets. He supplied the nameservers and also informed me that I had to add the domain in cPanel. That didn’t sound right – I knew the only thing needed was to update the nameservers for my domain.
After expressing my confusion, I was answered by the lead support agent. He explained that I was right. Huh.
My last interaction with support was again through live chat. I wanted their help in optimizing my website, but the agent wasn’t so keen on helping out. After writing that other web hosts did help me with this, he said he’ll make an exception.
This whole support experience left me slightly confused. They spoke English and were all very nice, but it seemed like there was something missing in every interaction. It’s not that they’re doing a bad job, it’s just that I feel they can do better.
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 $2.95.
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.
In many ways, Scala Hosting beats much of the competition. By giving you a choice between three high-performing data centers located strategically in Dallas, New York, and Sofia, you have the power to serve your visitors from the closest possible locations.
The feature list is rich and includes almost everything a website owner needs, and SPanel can make the transition into VPS a cinch. Support wasn’t the best I’ve seen, but you can still count on it for speedy and professional responses.
I definitely recommend the service, especially if you’re considering a VPS for high-traffic websites. Here’s hoping that smaller web hosts like Scala Hosting continue to excel and challenge the current state of the hosting industry.
Scala Hosting offers both self-managed and managed VPS hosting. Its managed VPS hosting provides great performance and value for money. However, if this is your first website, I’d try choosing something more beginner-friendly, such as a quality website builder or easy shared hosting. Read our complete guide to hosting a website in 2023 to learn more.
Does Scala Hosting have cPanel?
All Scala Hosting’s standard web hosting plans have cPanel, which is the industry-standard. But its managed VPS plans come with its proprietary SPanel, which gives you all the benefits of cPanel, but adds easy resource management, better security, and more.
Do all Scala Hosting plans include a free domain name?
All shared and managed VPS plans include one free domain for the first year if you purchase a three-month plan or longer. It won’t help you much if you’re planning to launch 50 websites on a VPS, but it’s a nice bonus if you’re investing in an entry-level plan.
You might discover a better deal for quality hosting on our list of the best web hosting services in 2023.
Ben is an avid web developer who really loves to tinker with code, whether in the back-end or in the front-end. He’s searching for the world’s best website host, but also tries to find time for his other interests – comics, traveling, and home cooking.
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Great company with high uptime and fully-redundant network.
Customer service is great, and I do think they care about their customers. Moreover, there no issues using their quality and resourceful services. Great company with high uptime and fully-redundant network. Pricing policy is simple and straightforward.
These guys ALWAYS save me when I get to the point that nothing is doing what I want it to do. Scalahosting's tech chat support is one of the reasons why I use them. That and the fact that Scalahosting always works very well for me around the clock.
This level of tech support sets Scalahosting above other hosting providers.
Scalahosting provided excellent service, clear instructions on how to resolve an issue I was having and was easy to work with. This level of tech support sets Scalahosting above other hosting providers I am using currently and satisfied with their SPanel too.
Scalahosting has been nothing short of amazing for me for years now. Every person who has assisted me has been the most friendly. I usually don't know what I'm doing, but they are the most patient with me and and fix the problem within minutes every time. So grateful for their professionalism.
Scalahosting's support is superior to any of the other hosts I work with (and that's a lot!) I seriously wish all of my clients were hosted on this hosting provider. Excellent service with easy-to-use conral pane - SPanel. Solid company for me.
Once again, Scalahosting technician was on my issue in a heartbeat. And when you're having an access problem with a site you've been working on for months, that means a lot. Their SPanel works very well for me and they know how to make their services attractive for many web masters.
I have been using the services of Scalahosting for over 4 years now and I am extremely satisfied. Their customer support is outstanding. So far they haven't had a case that they couldn't solve in less than 10 minutes. Many thanks to their tech staff, who was able to give me a quick solution and fix one of the problems I had.
I am very happy with the excellent technical support offered by Scalahosting. Each ticket is solved as its name indicates, really very fast and explained in detail. In my last technical support received I want to congratulate their technicians for their patient, courteous and efficient work.