Cloud computing is all the rage. As we progress further into the 21st century cloud computing, and more particularly, cloud web hosting, has become a high-demand commodity. But can cloud hosting ever be priced as affordably as shared-server hosting?
Rackspace thinks so. They got started in 1998 by delivering high-technology internet services, including web hosting. Since then they have honed their product to a niche business client that uses cloud hosting, managed web hosting, or colocation hosting.
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FatCow also started in 1998 with an aim of offering a single affordable hosting plan that not only costs very little, but has all the features a business client may need. They have said “no bull” to extras, and provide a very concentrated list of excellent business features and services. And they are “Green” with their electricity, buying 100% of their energy usage as wind energy.
Between these two long-term industry giants, which is right for business hosting? We make a point-by-point comparison and offer our recommendation below.
FatCow prices their shared hosting plan for just $56 per year, or only $4.66 per month.
Rackspace Cloud hosting is charged by the hour, but it is surprisingly affordable. At the bottom level of just 1.5 cents per hour a client can pay a little as $11 per month. But the nice benefit of hourly pricing is that businesses can use as much or as little as they need when resources require it.
Products and Services
FatCow offers a wide range of extra business services including professional marketing, SEO, domain, eCommerce, scripting, and email services. They also offer pro site backup and restore, and offer over $150 in marketing credits to use with Google, Bing, and Facebook.
Rackspace offers full managed hosting plans to give that extra and special attention needed to operate and maintain a cloud server plan. They also provide testing and development environments specifically for businesses heavy into software development. And they provide SaaS support and application hosting for those software companies that offer SaaS services. In addition, Rackspace provides an architecture scalable for eCommerce sites as well.
Web Hosting Features
The FatCow hosting plan covers it all in a single plan, including unlimited bandwidth, disk space, email accounts, hosted domains, and MySQL databases. They provide a place for web scripting, and support multi-media files. They also give a gallery of free software plugins for business use such as a photo gallery or community bulletin board. ECommerce solutions and tools are also provided.
With Rackspace Cloud, users are expected to be higher-level clients with the understanding that they download and maintain their own operating system and software. Clients may choose their operating system and GB of RAM. But remember, cloud hosting is flexible, pay more when you need extra bandwidth, and save money during off-peak hours.
FatCow is available 24 hours a day via phone, chat, and email. Plus they offer an excellent online help center filled with helpful tutorials, articles, user guides, and extra links to other resources.
Rackspace is available by phone, chat, or email. Clients will have to look elsewhere on the net for self-help as there is no online help center at Rackspace.
Cloud computing is the wave of the future. But unless you are a sophisticated clients who is well-versed in the skills of server maintenance, cloud hosting can be challenging and expensive. While we recommend Rackspace for those types of niche users, we heartily recommend FatCow for most all other general business website needs.
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