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Reviews and expert opinion Scaleway

Gwen Rodgers
Gwen Rodgers
Web Hosting Expert

Cloud hosting provider Scaleway seems like an affordable option, but only if you pay for limited options. It’s aimed at developers or growing businesses and doesn’t offer refunds.

Overview

Focus on Business Customers

scaleway-overview1

Founded in 2015, Scaleway is a subsidiary of French-based telecommunication company Iliad Group.

Scaleway targets professionals, developers, and scaling businesses by offering web hosting, cloud hosting, dedicated servers, private infrastructure, and bare-metal cloud services. However, if you need top quality web hosting for personal or small to medium-sized business, don’t miss this top web hosting comparison.

Scaleway also offers other cloud web-related services and security solutions, including, but not limited to, DDoS protection, RPN, and Failover IP.

It serves business clients in more than 150 countries and has four data centers in France and one in the Netherlands. The website is available in English and French.

Advanced-Level Cloud Hosting

Scaleway provides cloud infrastructure for developers and growing businesses. It’s not a managed host, so you won’t get assistance with server configuration or help with migration. Nevertheless, it offers three web hosting plans (Hosting Personal, Hosting Pro, and Hosting Business) that come with basic features like a free domain name, website building tool, CMS deployment tools (one-click installer), and DDoS protection. Read on to find out if Scaleway has what you’re looking for.

One-Click Deployment 

While the Scaleway website comes across as quite technical, it offers many of the usual features you’d expect with any standard host. Scaleway calls it “ready-to-use distributions and applications in a click,” which is just a fancy way of saying you can install popular programs via a one-click installer, InstantApps.

Above-Par Uptime SLA

Scaleway has an above-average uptime service-level agreement (SLA), which is between 99.9% and 99.99% depending on your plan. Plus, it promises that you will be compensated if you experience excessive downtime. I’d be a little cautious, as the exact compensation isn’t in the website terms and conditions.

Designed for Developers

After visiting Scaleway’s website, you should have no doubt that it’s targeted at developers. Not only is the language full of tech jargon, but there are also lots of developer-specific features.

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There’s a developer program (you can submit your application on the ImageHub to reach potential customers), an open-source alternative to Slack, a VPN to securely browse the web, and SSH access.

Bare-Metal Servers with SSD Storage

Scaleway offers bare-metal servers that are entirely independent of your digital neighbors, meaning you won’t be affected in the event of peaks in other people’s traffic or even malicious attacks. Plus, the SSD storage will enhance your website’s performance up to ten times compared to HDD.

Ease of use

4.5
If you’re a developer or a growing business, Scaleway has you covered. It’s also easy to use for beginners, though it’s probably far more in-depth than a new website owner needs. The interface is sleek throughout, and it’s super simple to navigate.

Create an Account

It took me all of ten seconds to create an account with Scaleway. The only field of information required was my email address, and thanks to “passwordless login,” I didn’t even have to create a password. The process was simple, modern, and probably one of the quickest I’ve ever done. If only all hosts could make my life this easy.

Connecting a Domain and Installing WordPress

After my easy account creation process, I was excited to test the rest of the platform. As you might expect, Scaleway offered an easy WordPress installation. You’ll have to deal with some tech jargon along the way, but its one-click installer makes adding features to your website simple. If I’ve piqued your interest, read more about my experience installing WordPress here.

Instant Setup

I’ve tested a lot of hosting providers. If I were given a dollar for every time a host claimed to offer instant setup but didn’t, my bank account would be overflowing. With Scaleway, when it says instant setup, it means instant setup. And that’s a refreshing change.

Snapshot Backups

From your console, you can easily create snapshots of your website. These snapshots allow you to create point-in-time backups to restore your site in the event of a problem, or clone your entire website for use elsewhere. You can do all of this without contacting customer service.

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Third-Party Integrations

Scaleway plays nicely with lots of handy third-party integrations, like Terraform, SaltStack, Docker, Cloud 66, and so on. It lets you seamlessly integrate with your favorite apps to manage your cloud infrastructure, all from one dashboard.See if Scaleway is Right for You

Performance

4.0

Impressive Speed

Unfortunately for Scaleway, it has a lot of negative reviews from past and present customers. While customer service and incorrect billing are often cited as issues, so is downtime. It’s a bit surprising, as it promises 99.9%–99.99% uptime. I was skeptical when I couldn’t find any compensation details listed in the terms and conditions.

Reviewers also complain that its servers are slow, so I decided to test it out for myself.

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I ran a Sucuri page load test on my new WordPress website, and, well, I was impressed. In Paris (closest to the data center I’d selected when I created an account), the connection speed was a minuscule 0.008 seconds, and the slowest, which is hardly slow at all, was just over 0.3 seconds.

All of the other locations I tested scored well, and these were results without installing a content delivery network (CDN), which isn’t free. Now, I don’t know whether my results were a fluke or why some customers are so unhappy, but I can tell you that the results were excellent in my test.Check Out Scaleway Performance

Support

4.0

Depends on Your Tier

Everyone gets 24/7 support, but the channel and response time depends on which support package you choose. By default, new customers get the free Basic plan, but you can upgrade for an extra monthly fee to access the higher tiers of support.

Basic customers are given ticket support only, with an unknown response time. Business and Enterprise customers get a dedicated account manager with phone and email support, and either 2-hour or 30-minute guaranteed response times.

There’s also a frequently asked questions page, a hefty knowledgebase with how-to guides and tutorials, and a handy community forum to reference. Overall, it’s not a bad level of support.

To be sure, I put it to the test. I signed up for the Basic plan, whereby 24/7 ticket support was the only channel I could test. I was pleasantly surprised to receive a reply within two hours.

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A little underwhelmed by my support options, I decided to see how Scaleway would fare on social media. I sent a couple of messages via Facebook and Twitter. Despite waiting 48 hours for a reply, I didn’t get one on either social media channel. It looks like when they say ticket support only, they mean it.

Pricing

3.5
Considering this is a cloud host, the prices are great. If you didn’t know better, you’d think you were purchasing shared hosting with such low prices. Of course, you’ll need to consider the various added costs like support plans, domain name, SSL certificate, and a CDN, as the Scaleway plans only include your infrastructure.

What’s nice about Scaleway, and cloud hosting in general is that it scales with you, and hourly billing means you’ll only ever pay for the resources you’ve used. Sure, you won’t get a refund, but you won’t overpay either.

If you decide to give Scaleway a try, you will need to enter your credit card details when you create an account. However, you won’t be billed until later. You can pay by Visa, Mastercard, or American Express, and new customers are automatically given $100 credit towards their account.

Cancellations & Refunds

After reading the online reviews, I’d seen many customers complain about getting billed after they’d shut down their servers. I was nervous about this happening to me.

When the time came for me to cancel, I did a quick search online. It was easy to find a tutorial on how to cancel my account and stop my billing. It all looked straightforward, so I tried it out.

If you pause or stop your server, you will continue to be billed. To prevent any further charges on your account, you must delete or archive the server instance. You can do that inside your console by clicking a couple of buttons and typing DELETE.

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It only took a minute, and as I hadn’t exceeded my $100 free credit, I wasn’t billed anything.

How much does Scaleway cost?
Scaleway’s prices range from cheap to expensive. The price depends on which type of hosting plan you choose. You can see the updated pricing table (updated weekly) below.
Which Scaleway plan should I get?
My recommendation is to start with a cheaper plan. You can always upgrade later on. Scaleway can help you with the migration to a more expensive plan. An increase in visitors typically takes longer than expected, and you shouldn’t pay until the need arises. Of course, your needs may vary, and you can consult with a hosting expert from Scaleway here.
How good is Scaleway’s customer support?
Scaleway isn’t one of our top-ranked web hosts. But that can also be a result of Scaleway being a small, under the radar, hosting provider. There are advantages to a small hosting company – as a customer, you are more important to them. You can also check out our comparison of the most popular web hosting services here.

Comparison

How does Scaleway match up to the competition?

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BluehostCompare 2.5 Compare

User reviews

Based on 7 reviews in 2 languages
1.3
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1.0
Marco
Italy
November 09, 2020
IPv6 address is not fixed. Nearly every reboot IPv6 changes, despite the large address space availability

I've an instance in Paris and I've setup IPv6, that's handy and from log files it results that more than someone use it. Every now and then, I need to reboot the server, for example for kernel security updates. Nearly each time I reboot the IPv6 changes, hence I need to update the DNS records. That's really annoying!

1.0
Alex Mauzon
Germany
September 16, 2020
Terrible customer support & bad service. Execs don't give a damn. No one cares. Never again!

Terrible customer support. Rude, with a lack of understanding plain English, not able to solve a simple problem. They removed my account with no questions asked, didn’t provide any communication confirmation with the bank, and accused me of the chargeback I didn't do.Tickets questions are being ignored

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3.0
Steven
France
August 03, 2020
Decent for light workloads, otherwise not worth it

Had several VPS for about a year or so, when they suddenly decided to change their prices on Aug. 2020. I get mixed feelings about it, but I think that is understandable due to the COVID situation. Then I saw the numbers. Turns out they decided on a comfortable 66% price hike (from 3 to 5€ WITHOUT VAT) for their lowest offer, which barely compete with Scaleway alternative's as is.Between this blatant cash-grab and the odd server crashes (that aren't explained anywhere, I chalked them up to misconfigurations on my end before I decided to migrate elsewhere and it stopped), there was no way I would keep anything there.On the other hand, many useful services were offered either cheap or for free, such as object storage accessible via S3.All in all, my experience was not bad, but far from stellar.

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1.0
Drew
USA
November 06, 2019
Stay away

Their customer support is SO BAD. My trial got suspended, and after providing the documents they requested, I never got a response back. So I decided to move on and I never logged in again. Now 3 months later I received a $10 charge from Scaleway for I DON'T KNOW WHAT (why 3 months?). I had no active services with them. I communicate with them and their support had a bad attitude and failed to even acknowledge the unauthorized bill. They are a disgrace.They ask for documents to verify you as well, such as ID scans, etc. And store your card details to charge you. Then they act like you are under manual review for "fraud prevention" or whatever. I would not be surprised if they are storing customer information for shady purposes.

1.0
Иван Мальцев
Russia
October 30, 2019
Not recommended

If something on their side breaks down, you will wait for an answer for more than 1 hour from support, my site has been dead for more than 5 hours, could not do anything for the client, even temporarily transfer data to another server, but it was more annoying how long they reacted for a critical problem, I do not advise you to contact them, there are many other more reliable providers

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1.0
Simone
New Zealand
July 24, 2019
Worst customer service ever

I changed my credit card and forgot to update the Scaleway account with the new one. So I missed two payments ($10 in total) and they put down my website. Fine, my mistake, I paid straight away and ask to restore everything as it was and... surprise... they delete completely everything, including all the emails!! Worst service ever, avoid those guys

Bottom line on Scaleway

Scaleway is designed for experts. It’s only affordable if you’re paying for limited options. The overall cost increases if you purchase a domain name or other add-ons like an SSL certificate, a CDN, or even premium customer support. That’s why it didn’t make it in our expert list of the best web hosting services. I wouldn’t recommend it for the casual user or small business owner.

Pros

  • SSD storage
  • Variety of cloud-based hosting plans
  • Offers $100 credit
  • High uptime SLA

Cons

  • Not suitable for beginners
  • Doesn’t offer refunds
Gwen Rodgers
Gwen Rodgers
Gwen is a web developer and software engineer who loves to get lost in JavaScript (and a good book). She spends her free time teaching girls how to be coders, and doing yoga on her balcony in the sunshine.

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