Choosing the right web hosting service comes down to your needs. You might be a business owner who needs a powerful, dedicated server for selling products online or a hobbyist writer who simply needs a low-cost shared server for blogging purposes. Scala Hosting believes there’s ample space for something in the middle. While Scala Hosting offers many options, such as shared, WordPress, and reseller hosting, its primary offering is managed cloud VPS. Scala touts this option as the best of all worlds, with reliability, performance, and support that takes server maintenance out of your hands. In our tests, Scala Hosting proved a strong web contender in the VPS and shared categories, but lacked a few features found in Editors’ Choice picks such as DreamHost and 1&1 Ionos.
Scala has three shared hosting tiers. With shared hosting, your website lives on a server with other sites. The websites share server resources (hence the category’s name!), which lowers the individual costs. Unfortunately, that also means that a traffic spike on Site X may take server resources from Site Y, impacting performance. If you need more resources or reliability than what this cheap web hosting provides, VPS or dedicated hosting is the way to go. More on those in a bit.
Scala Hosting offers annual plans for shared hosting; there’s no monthly option. That said, the cost goes down as you commit to longer annual terms, up to three years.
Mini (starting at $7.95 per month for a 12-month commitment) is the entry-level shared plan the company touts as having enough server resources for a single site. It includes 20GB of SSD storage, and unlimited monthly data transfers. The Start plan ($10.95 per month for 12 months) lets you create unlimited sites and offers 50GB of SSD storage, unlimited monthly data transfers, and real-time security monitoring. Finally, the Advanced plan ($15.95 per month for 12 months) kicks the available storage up to 100GB and tacks priority support onto the package. If you want to try before you buy, Scala offers a trial month for just 99 cents.
Scala does not list CPU cores for shared hosting, instead going with its own “CPU Power” metric. The Mini, Start, and Advanced plans give you 1x (30,000 visitors), 2x (60,000 visitors), and 4x (120,000 visitors) CPU Power, respectively.
It’s worth noting that Scala lacks Windows-based shared hosting options—it’s Linux or bust. For a server powered by Microsoft’s operating system, check out HostGator, our Editors’ Choice pick for shared hosting. It offers a choice of Windows- or Linux-based servers at competitive prices, plus monthly shared hosting plans.
VPS Web Hosting
Virtual private server (VPS) hosting is a step up from shared hosting. With VPS hosting, multiple sites live on the same server, but in a far less crowded fashion than shared hosting. It’s a good option if you’re looking for more server power and reliability, but don’t want to spend too much money.
Scala’s managed VPS plans are where the company focuses its efforts and marketing. These are managed, Linux-based servers, so the company takes care of the setup, updates, server backups, and malware scans. No Windows options are available.
Scala has four tiers of managed VPS hosting. The Start plan (starting at $19.95 per month) gives you one CPU core, 2GB of RAM, 20GB of SSD storage, and unlimited monthly data transfers. Next up is the Advanced plan (starting at $31.95 per month) that offers two CPU cores, 4GB of RAM, and 30GB of SSD storage. If you need more server power, the Business plan ($51.95 per month) bumps the CPU cores to four, RAM to 6GB, and SSD storage to 50GB. Finally, there’s the high-end Enterprise plan ($73.95 per month) that contains six CPU cores, 8GB of RAM, and 80 GB SSD storage.
None of these tiers are set in stone, though. Scala Hosting is flexible, letting you configure your VPS hosting plan using numerous sliders. For example, RAM maxes out at 128GB, and SSD space can go as high as 2TB. Configuring a top-tier, managed VPS server is $805.95 per month; most people won’t need that, but it’s great that Scala gives you a choice. Scala also offers self-managed VPS plans (starting at $10 per month) if you want to get your hands dirty with server care.
That’s not enough to dethrone Hostwinds, the Editors’ Choice pick for VPS web hosting. Hostwind’s lowest tier is $10.99 per month for 1 CPU core, 1GB of RAM, 30GB of SSD space, and 1TB of monthly data transfer. Plus, Hostwinds lets you set up a Windows-based server.
Cloud Web Hosting
With cloud hosting, your site’s resources aren’t limited to physical server limits. The resources scale to meet your site’s requirements, taking resources from multiple servers when needed. Scala Hosting’s VPS service is technically a cloud VPS service, but there’s also a self-managed option more akin to traditional cloud hosting.
The monthly pricing is the same whether you choose the 1-, 3-, 6-, or 12-month billing cycle; no sales, no renewal rate jumps. It’s refreshing. The Start plan for self-managed cloud hosting ($10 per month) has one CPU core, 2GB of RAM, 50GB SSD storage, and 3TB of monthly data transfers. The Advanced plan ($19 per month) offers two CPU cores, 4GB of RAM, and 70GB SSD storage. Business ($33 per month) boosts those numbers to four CPU cores, 6GB of RAM, and 100GB SSD storage. Finally, you have the Enterprise plan ($49 per month) that nets you six CPU cores, 8GB of RAM, and 150GB of SSD storage. There are also Windows-based server options here, though they cost $20 more per month.
Like Scala’s standard cloud VPS plans, the self-managed cloud VPS plans are fully flexible. You can play around with sliders to tweak your plan however you want it. A maximized server, with 24 CPU cores, 128GB of RAM, and 2TB of SSD storage, costs $506 per month.
Scala has more wallet-friendly cloud-hosting options compared to the DreamHost, the category’s co-Editors’ Choice pick. However, DreamHost offers more storage and unlimited monthly data transfers. And if you need more overall cloud power, check out Co-Editors’ Choice 1&1 Ionos. That web host is ready for high-end and enterprise users with its impressive (and expensive) cloud hosting options.
WordPress Web Hosting
Scala Hosting has the option to install the WordPress content management system (CMS) onto any server. That said, it also offers WordPress-only servers. There are three tiers—WP Mini, WP Start, WP Advanced—which mirror the company’s shared hosting options in terms of specs and pricing.
Once again, Scala stands close to the competition. After renewal, Scala is $7.95 per month, while Editors’ Choice pick A2 Hosting is $6.99 for the same 12-month commitment. A2 Hosting’s service excels with 100GB in SSD storage (versus Scala’s 20GB) and unlimited monthly transfers. If you’re just getting into WordPress, A2 is a great place to start.
Dedicated Web Hosting
Unfortunately, Scala Hosting lacks dedicated web hosting. If you’re interested in that level of high-end hosting, check out AccuWeb Hosting, our Editors’ Choice pick.
If you’re looking to get in on the web hosting business, but you don’t want to mess with expensive physical server infrastructure, Scala Hosting has reseller hosting packages.
The beginning tier is Scala1. For $14.95 per month (down to $12.95 per month with an annual commitment), you gain access to 1x CPU Power, 25GB of SSD storage, 1TB of monthly data transfers, and up to 20 CPanel accounts. That scales up to Scala3 ($38.95 per month), which has 1x CPU Power, 75GB of SSD storage, unlimited monthly data transfers, and up to 60 CPanel accounts.
Building a Scala Hosting Website
Once you’ve signed up for service, Scala Hosting offers a fairly standard, backend client area. You can configure your servers to use either Scala’s free SPanel or the industry standard CPanel. Please note that cloud VPS hosting only uses SPanel.
I built a website using the SitePad website builder. It let me select from a several attractive themes and let me upload images and create pages as needed. That said, the bespoke site builders that some other hosts offer contain more user-friendly options that guide you through the process and serve up context on how website elements fit together. For example, HostGator’s excellent Gator Website Builder has numerous themes and extensive drag-and-drop features. Squarespace and Wix also offer easy-to-use website builders. BlueHost is working on a robust website-builder option, too.
Please note that we had issues getting our Scala test site working with our website-monitoring tool. If you’re planning to monitor your website, you may have to jump through some hoops. Fortunately, Scala has a responsive, helpful customer service team. More on that in a bit.
With Scala Hosting, you have access to several standard e-commerce services. OpenCart, osCommerce, Magento, ZenCart, and more are available for install at the press of a button. With just a few clicks, you can install a shopping cart and create a great online store via simple drag-and-drop functionality.
Excellent Uptime Results
A great site is nothing if it keeps going down. Scala Hosting has an uptime guarantee that credits you with a percentage of your subscription for every unscheduled downtime that sinks your site’s uptime below 99.8 percent. If your uptime dips beneath 99 percent, you’ll receive a 100 percent credit to your account. Very cool.
We use a website-monitoring tool to track the uptime of the site we created on Scala Hosting’s service over a 14-day period. Every 15 minutes, the tool pings the website and sends an email if it is unable to contact the site for at least a minute. The testing data reveals that Scala Hosting didn’t have any failures over a two-week testing period. Building a website might be harder with Scala Hosting compared to some of the competition, but the site you build will rarely go down.
Responsive Customer Service
Scala Hosting has strong customer support. Even before you sign up for Scala’s services, you can tap the company’s Knowledge Base and live web chat for answers. The live web chat delivers fast responses that come in mere minutes.
I had an issue with our test site early on that required me to create a help ticket. Scala’s customer support team wasn’t able to assist me at that time, but its responses always came quickly.
Scala Hosting has a 30-day, money-back guarantee that offers a full refund. That’s typical for the web hosting industry, but shorter than Dreamhost’s impressive, 97-day money-back guarantee.
A Decent Web Hosting Service
Scala Hosting clearly believes in the power of a managed VPS service; it’s where the company’s strengths lie. If you’re looking for VPS hosting that scales as your site grows, and doesn’t break the bank, Scala Hosting is a recommended service.
While the web host is generally a good one, Scala Hosting lacks some of the dead-simple website builders that larger, competing services provide, and only offers Windows hosting with its cloud tier. Across numerous categories, though, our Editors’ Choice picks, including Dreamhost and 1&1 Ionos, offer more flexibility and bang for the buck. They’re terrific web hosting starting points, particularly for VPS hosting.
For more on getting started with web hosting, learn how to create a website. You might also want to check out how to register a domain name for your website. Don’t forget to read our SEO tips, too.