StableHost Review: Quality Budget Shared Hosting
StableHost is a popular name among web hosting companies that offer high-quality web hosting at a budget. While not being as cheap as some of the horrible companies that tend to offer unlimited everything for as low as $1 a month, StableHost still manages to remain quite budget friendly, with their basic plan starting at only $3.95 per month.
Despite not being expensive, they manage to offer tremendous customer support and maintain high-end, fast servers with a 99.9% uptime SLA. As I’m happy with MDDHosting since the middle of 2011, I didn’t transfer TechTage to StableHost to try them out. Instead, I shifted one of my other sites to StableHost last year to try them out. In this review, I’ll note down specifically what I loved and hated about StableHost during my time as a customer, from a neutral, non-biased perspective.
Last year, I moved a site over to StableHost from a cheaper, lower-quality alternative. The site wasn’t too big, averaging around 200 hits a month. So, I settled for their basic shared hosting plan which starts at $3.95 per month. However with coupons etc. you can cut the costs involved even further. If I remember correctly, I had found some sort of 50% off (off the first invoice) coupon and used it to just try their service out.
But currently, from their coupons page, it seems that any high-percentage discount is unavailable. However, I managed to bag a 40% off discount coupon for those of you who are reading this review. You simply need to apply the coupon below during checkout:
Now that you know how I ended up using StableHost, let’s go on to the actual review.
The Unbiased StableHost Review
First, let’s talk about site migration — that is, moving the site from the old host to StableHost. I couldn’t really test their claim of transferring a site over from an old host to their own server for free, because the site I was transferring was quite small in size and I could do the transfer (a full cPanel transfer) myself in 15 minutes.
StableHost uses three different data centers — in Chicago, Phoenix and Amsterdam. So that covers both US, as well as EU. So that’s good news for folks looking for a bit of flexibility when it comes to server location.
I opted for their Phoenix data center, which I think is their most popular one.
Upon transferring the site to StableHost’s server, I could easily feel the significant improvement in page loading times. Of course, this is what you expect when you spend 4 times the money per month (I was paying $1 a month to the earlier host).
The next thing that impressed me was their super fast customer support, which answered most of my queries within 5 to 10 minutes. The resolutions that they had provided were precise and to-the-point. They offer US phone support as well and 24×7 technical support. So, you can be sure that you’ll get a reply to your support ticket even if it’s 3AM in the US.
During the one month period, Pingdom reported an uptime of around 99.96% or so, with only two instances of downtime, each occurring for a period of 5 minutes. So, that’s extremely impressive considering we’re talking about shared hosting here.
One of the areas of their service which I’m not particularly fond of is the maximum concurrent MySQL connections limit, which, sitting at 10, is pretty low and insufficient for a medium to large website. In case you don’t know why it’s important, it’s directly connected with the maximum number of simultaneous visitors your website can have. What surprises me the most is that they don’t increase the limit even in their plus plan, which costs almost thrice as their basic plan, at $9.95 a month. MDDHosting, though costing a bit higher than StableHost, has the limit set at 25 for all their shared hosting plans, which allows a site hosted on their server to serve a lot more more visitors simultaneously than StableHost.
StableHost also introduced daily R1Soft backups (like most other popular hosts like InMotion Hosting & BlueHost) fairly recently, they didn’t have the feature until much later. But with that being available for free now, you don’t have to worry about your data getting lost while being hosted on StableHost.
For those looking for SSH access or a dedicated IP, StableHost offers them for an additional price per month. So, that’s great news for users looking for either of them, for back-end access, SSL, or SEO.
StableHost’s claim of unlimited bandwidth, however, leaves me a bit skeptical about them. There simply exists no allotted disk space or bandwidth that’s technically unlimited. Sure, bandwidth is really cheap these days, but still when a web host advertises unlimited bandwidth, it just invites skepticism towards it, and experienced webmasters draw their comparison with cheap, low-quality unlimited everything web hosts.
Sure, StableHost may not tell you anything if you use upto, say, 50GB of bandwidth in your basic hosting account. But, beyond that? I really can’t say unless I test it myself and there’s no way my sites would hit that kind of bandwidth usage, so I can’t easily test it either. If you’re too much concerned about your bandwidth usage being a bit on the higher side, contact StableHost’s support team and clearly discuss about the issue before you buy a hosting plan from them.
Some of Their Technical Highlights:
- LiteSpeed-powered Servers, running on CloudLinux. LiteSpeed is apparently up to 9 times faster than Apache web hosting and processes PHP 50% faster on a shared server. Every account has resource limits, so no one can hit the server’s maximum resource limits alone and slow down the whole server or even crash it.
- Anycast Clustered DNS.
- SSD storage, which is a lot faster than traditional hard drives.
- Daily Backups using R1Soft Continuous Data Protection. You can restore a backup manually from cPanel anytime you wish.
- Unlimited add-on domains (the domains you add after adding your primary domain). Latest versions of PHP & MySQL. Softaculous 1-click script installs.
If you have a low to medium traffic website, for which you need a rock-solid, extremely reliable, and high-performance web host without spending much money, StableHost would be an extremely good choice.
With their fast servers that have great uptime statistics, responsive and helpful customer support, three different server locations, reliable data protection and lastly, 45 days money-back-guarantee — you can’t really go wrong.
Go ahead and give StableHost a try. You can use the coupon code techtage40off to get an one-time 40% discount. If you have a good experience with StableHost or you try them out after reading this review, feel free to post your thoughts and experience with them in the comments section below. Happy hosting! 🙂