ScalaHosting isn’t as well-known as some of the other hosting providers we’ve reviewed, but we like to think of it as a well-kept secret. This company’s responsive and knowledgeable customer support team should put it on anyone’s short list of web hosting providers.
ScalaHosting also boasts the highest TrustPilot customer review score among all the providers we’ve looked at over the last few months—a perfect 5.0. Customers rave about every aspect of the service and support they get from ScalaHosting. Since our experience mirrors what other customers have said, we’re confident in saying it offers the best customer service around.
How ScalaHosting Stacks Up to Other Web Hosts
If you value customer support and want to rest easy knowing you’re in responsive and knowledgeable hands, ScalaHosting can’t be beat.
However, it’s a bit harder to use than other hosting services we’ve used.
That tradeoff isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker, but if you’re looking for something more streamlined and beginner-friendly, one of our favorite web hosting providers may be a better fit for you:
- Hostinger – Best overall hosting company
- DreamHost – Best WordPress hosting
- SiteGround – Best ecommerce hosting
- Bluehost – Best hosting for beginners
- ScalaHosting – Best customer service
- GreenGeeks – Best eco-friendly web hosting
- HostGator – Best website hosting for scalability
- WP Engine – Best managed WordPress hosting
- A2 Hosting – Best shared hosting for site speed
- InMotion Hosting – Best for technical users
Where ScalaHosting Stands Out
You can tell ScalaHosting has customer satisfaction at the forefront of their web hosting services from the moment you start using the service. There’s a lot to like here, in terms of support but also ease of use and scalability too.
Ease of Use (the good)
ScalaHosting makes it easy to compare its four shared hosting plans. No guesswork, no making future customers click through multiple screens, provide personal information, or any other nonsense to find the information they need.
The comparison table walks you through each plan, from Mini to Starter to Advanced to Entry Cloud (its most popular shared hosting plan). You can also toggle through the different plan lengths to see how pricing changes and understand how rates increase upon renewal.
Once you decide on your plan, you can choose your preferred data center from one location in Europe or one of two locations in the United States.
Does this matter for a small website? Probably not. But, as your traffic grows, using servers close to where your customers live makes a lot of sense. It ensures speedy load times by reducing the physical distance between site visitors and the servers hosting your site.
You can pay for ScalaHosting services by credit card, PayPal, or bank transfer.
The only potential roadblock when signing up for ScalaHosting is that you must already have or register a domain name to complete account setup. There are no temporary domain names available. Yes, this can be an annoyance, But, when weighed against everything else ScalaHosting does to make the process streamlined for new customers, we can forgive it.
If you need help coming up with a name, check out our guide on how to brainstorm and pick a domain name for your new site.
Once your purchase is complete, ScalaHosting redirects you to your client dashboard. It’s straightforward and easy to understand, and you can accomplish many basic hosting and website tasks there.
ScalaHosting still uses cPanel for the more advanced parts of hosting and site management, which isn’t our favorite. But more on that later.
For now, we can praise the ease of navigation you’ll find on the main client dashboard. There is both a side panel menu to access all main site and hosting tasks, plus a center panel that gives you one-click access to the services you’ll likely use most often.
From the side panel menu you can:
- Find all your registered domains
- Access your account details
- Get support
- Check your billing records
- Order new services
The main navigation area lets you see all your support tickets, invoices, domains, and other services with just one click. This is another nod to ScalaHosting’s focus on putting customer satisfaction front and center. You won’t be left wondering about the status of any support requests you’ve made. All that information is just one click away.
From a visual standpoint, ScalaHosting’s dashboard is among the cleanest and easiest to follow that we’ve seen.
In keeping with the high customer satisfaction theme, the first time you access your dashboard you’ll be prompted to take a new user tour. If you skip it, you can still find the blue Start Tour button above the side menu on your dashboard. The tour walks you through the features found in the sidebar menu on the dashboard.
If you are moving an existing site (or sites) to ScalaHosting, its support team will migrate an unlimited number of existing sites for you. They promise no downtime, too.
Where ScalaHosting really earns its spot in our list of favorites is its customer support. We can unequivocally say it is the best live support of all affordable hosting providers we’ve taken for a test drive.
Live chat is available 24/7 and, no matter when we reached out, a knowledgeable agent was immediately available, giving us clear, actionable solutions. The different agents we interacted with went above and beyond, offering additional insights to help clarify issues even more and tailor their guidance to our knowledge level.
There is also email support available for technical issues, plus a ticket system, too.
ScalaHosting also maintains a solid knowledge base, where you’ll find a number of getting started articles. We found these articles tended to cover more advanced technical topics, though.
The only real downside here is a lack of phone support. That being said, it seems ScalaHosting understands the disappointment this may cause its customers, and has made sure their live chat support is stellar to compensate and keep users satisfied.
ScalaHosting is built for growth. In fact, the company built its prowess in this area right into its name.
Entry-level users may never need or want the depth of hosting power available, but anyone with big website needs now or in the future can stay with ScalaHosting for the long haul.
New users can start with one of four shared hosting plans—Mini, Start, Advanced, or Entry Cloud. If you are new to web hosting and have plans for a single website, Mini is your best bet. As your experience and site needs grow, you may find the 10 GB SSD storage to be a bit limiting, though.
As you grow, any of the other three shared plans will give you more storage space and unlimited websites. While you may only have one website in your plans today, hosting websites becomes a passion for some people.
There may be a day when you want to host two, three, or more sites on your ScalaHosting plan.
Moving up the shared hosting plans with ScalaHosting is easy, and most people who are content with shared hosting end up in the Entry Cloud plan at some point. It functions like a hybrid shared/cloud hosting plan, offering upgradable storage space, a dedicated IP address, priority support, and other features you usually only find in much more expensive cloud, VPS, or dedicated hosting plans.
We actually recommend starting with this plan if your budget permits, as it gives you a lot of hosting bang for your buck at a still-reasonable price.
However, you can upgrade at any time to a new shared hosting plan via your user dashboard.
If ever you outgrow Entry Cloud, ScalaHosting offers four managed VPS plans as the next step up. The names are not sexy, but the features and resource limitations are robust:
- Build #1: starting at $29.95 per month
- Build #2: starting at $63.95 per month
- Build #3: starting at $121.95 per month
- Build #4: starting at $179.95 per month
If one of ScalaHosting’s pre-built cloud hosting plans isn’t the perfect fit, you can also create your own customized cloud hosting plan.
Scale resources as you see fit, using the slider to set the right number of CPU cores, RAM, and SSD storage to create a plan precisely matched to your exact needs. The pricing adjusts on the fly to reflect the resource allocations you want. Like all other ScalaHosting plans, you can dial it in even further with options for one month, one year, and three-year contracts.
If you want to move from general web hosting to a managed VPS plan, you’ll need to contact customer support. They’ll take care of the migration for you.
Where ScalaHosting Could Improve
ScalaHosting bobbles the ball a bit when it comes to some aspects of the user experience. It won’t be noticed by experienced website administrators, but anyone new to the game might struggle a bit.
Ease of Use (the not so good)
ScalaHosting has a separate control panel (it uses cPanel) for more advanced tasks. cPanel is well laid out, but for customers with little technical experience, navigating and understanding two different management areas can quickly overwhelm.
Within cPanel, you’ll find the usual items for management of databases, emails, and files. You can also install applications, including WordPress, but it is not as straightforward as it is with other hosting providers we’ve used.
The good news is that ScalaHosting’s customer service is unmatched. So, if you find yourself struggling, quality help is just a few clicks away.
ScalaHosting also has WordPress-specific hosting plans that include a more convenient one-click WordPress installation. These plans are nearly identical to the shared hosting plans. If you know you’ll build your site in WordPress, choosing one of these hosting packages makes sense and will streamline the initial technical setup for you.
Pricing & Plans
ScalaHosting offers three shared hosting plans, plus one plan that gives you cloud server reliability at a shared hosting price.
All plans include unmetered bandwidth, free SSL certificates, and daily offsite backups.
- Mini: starts at $2.95 per month; includes one website, 10 GB NVMe SSD, and unlimited emails and databases
- Start: starts at $5.95 per month; includes unlimited websites, 50 GB NVMe SSD, and a free domain
- Advanced: starts at $9.95 per month; includes unlimited websites, 100 GB NVME SSD, a free domain, priority support, and real-time malware protection
- Entry Cloud: starts at $14.95 per month; includes unlimited websites, guaranteed CPU and RAM, 50 GB upgradeable NVME SSD, a free domain, scalable storage, and more
Those with very basic website needs can certainly get by with one of the shared plans (Mini, Start, or Advanced). But, for just a few dollars more, Entry Cloud gives you maximum speed and security for your site.
ScalaHosting offers a wide array of contract term lengths. You can opt for month-to-month billing or secure hosting for a term of three, six, 12, or 36 months. Contract and renewal pricing varies depending on contract length, so let’s dig into how the rates change for one plan: the entry-level Mini tier:
- Monthly billing: $9.95 rate; $9.95 per month upon renewal
- Three- or six-month contract: $9.95 per month; $9.95 per month upon renewal
- One-year contract: $2.95 per month; $9.95 per month upon renewal
- Three-year contract: $2.95 per month; $6.95 per month upon renewal
Let’s run the numbers based on four years of web hosting on that Mini plan.
With Mini on the 12-month term, you’ll end up paying a total of $35.40 at checkout, then $119.40 per year after that. Your total four-year expenditure, then, will be $513.00.
If you opt for the longer initial contract option of 36 months, Mini will cost you $106.20 after completing checkout. To keep your hosting service for another year, you’ll just pay an additional $83.40, giving you a much better four-year total of $189.40.
ScalaHosting covers most things you need in its shared hosting plans, but there are still a few add-ons you may want. The following will cost extra and should be factored into the total price for hosting services:
- Domain registration: While you’ll get a single domain registration free with all shared hosting plans, if you want more than one it will cost $16.95 for a .com name. Pricing varies for other extensions.
- Domain renewal: After your first free year, .com domain renewal pricing is $16.95. Renewal rates vary based on the extension.
- Domain privacy: Add an extra $10 per year to keep your registrar information private.
If you get started with ScalaHosting but decide it isn’t a perfect match, you can take advantage of their anytime unconditional money back guarantee. Any prepaid and unused hosting services are refunded 100%, no questions asked.
This is one of the most impressive and gratuitous refund periods. Most providers limit you to thirty days, so the fact that you can get a refund anytime is fantastic.
We found the cancellation process very easy to complete within our account dashboard, but it was difficult to know when to expect a refund. The confirmation email we received had no information on a refund amount or expected date for the refund.
As it turned out, we never got a refund until we followed up several weeks later to inquire about it. At that point, our refund was issued almost immediately. Our advice is if you do decide to cancel, be sure to follow up a few days after canceling to ensure you receive your refund.
If you’d like to learn more about how we test web hosts and our favorite providers, check out our guide on the best web hosting services.