When I first started out with web design back when I was a kid, I was experimenting with hosting providers in Sweden. Later being in need of better performance, I tried out a few cheap VPS alternatives temporarily. In the end, I finally settled for MediaTemple which has kept me satisfied for the past four years. So what else is out there?
Since I’m living and producing web sites in Amsterdam these days, I’ve also been looking at Dutch solutions for my clients. It seems to me though that Dutch hosting providers tend to overprice their services a bit. You can often get the same performance in Sweden or the US considerably cheaper. Perhaps this has something to do with the Netherlands being a smaller and more niche market.
Sweden is generally a great place for hosting websites in my opinion since the infrastructure is well-developed throughout the country. Regardless of where in Europe you are, you should experience good speeds if you just pick the right Swedish hosting provider. Then again, the same goes for the US’choose the right package and your site should load fast wherever in the world you may be.
Below I’ve gathered a few of my top picks of hosting providers in Europe and the US. I’ve mainly looked at companies offering VPS solutions since that’s what most of my clients are in need of.
Dutch hosting providers
Rackspace — Link
These guys are pretty well known, partly because they’re doing hosting in a number of different countries, including all three of the ones I’m focusing on here. Their website is pushing their “fanatical support”, which suggests that their support is very good. This is further backed up by what I’ve heard from some of their customers. While I have not used them myself, they seem to be one of the better Dutch providers.
Their Managed Private Cloud configurations seems to be the closest option to the VPS’s I’m used to working with. Unfortunately we have to contact them to get a price which suggests that they could be rather expensive.
LeaseWeb — Link
This is another Dutch provider with many satisfied customers. Their Clients and Case Studies list shows a number of high-profile companies using their services. They, like many others, are running CentOS and right now their Dedicated Servers are available from the very affordable price of €29/month.
From €39/month you can get a dedicated server with an Intel Core Duo 2GHz CPU and 1GB of RAM. They all come with 160GB of disk space and 4000 GB data traffic which should last you a while. If I absolutely had to go for a Dutch hosting provider, I’d probably go for this LeaseWeb.
A few other providers worth mentioning are Exonet, offering affordable VPS packages, and Byte.nl which interestingly enough has a line of packages optimized specifically for Magento Commerce shops. Considering the price of their Magento packages, they should offer some decent performance and it would be interesting to hear from someone that has tried it.
Swedish hosting providers
Ipeer — Link
I hear good things about Ipeer. They offer everything from VPS to colocation at competitive prices with good support. Their starter VPS package featuring 512 MB RAM and 10 GB storage space starts at as low as $17/month. Their website says that they are, through their ISP, connected to one of the worlds most well-developed and powerful backbone for greatest possible connectivity.
The contract period is 3 months and right now they have a promotion where if you sign up for a VPS package, you’ll get two for the price of one for the whole first year.
GleSYS — Link
Another Swedish provider many people like; this one also offering shared hosting. Our focus though is on their VPS services and they are offering an amazingly cheap “mini” package for less than $8/month. Like Ipeer, they are offering an affordable package at around $17/month and from there on the price increases quite a lot. Of course, so does the performance you get and they’re still affordable alternatives.
They have a one week testing period when you don’t have to pay anything and from what I’ve heard, they are running a rather new and eco-friendly datacenter in Falkenberg, Sweden.
As for shared hosting among the Swedish providers, Binero is an alternative with many happy customers. I’ve followed the company since back in the days when it was called Aleborg. It is run by nice people, they offer great support and it’s constantly improving. Loopia is another alternative worth mentioning’I’ve got a client using their shared hosting plan and it’s very fast.
American hosting providers
MediaTemple — Link
For me personally, there’s only one alternative’MediaTemple. As mentioned earlier, I’ve been with them for about four years and they’ve always kept me a happy client. Support is outstanding, the account center and Plesk control panel are great, prices are fantastic and their software and hardware are just excellent. As a proud owner of a Grid-Service and a Dedicated-Virtual account, I’ve got only positive things to say about them.
My loyalty clearly goes to (mt). Besides, who can say no to such a gorgeous website? They even have an iPhone account center where you can reboot your server and do other neat stuff.
If MediaTemple did not exist, what would we do then? Well, I’ve heard good things about LiquidWeb and they too offer VPS packages at decent prices, running CentOS with cPanel. Other than that, HostGator is a very popular alternative for those wanting shared hosting or just low pricing.
Choosing hosting provider is a highly individual decision and you should ask yourself what you really need and what you are willing to pay for it. Does your site need to be in the same country as the majority of your visitors? While it could be an advantage for high-traffic sites (or low budget hosting), it shouldn’t have to. With the right package and hosting provider, your site should load fast wherever your visitors may be.
Pick a provider that feels good’one that you are comfortable with’because that is usually the right choice. For me, that will always be MediaTemple. Perhaps you should try it out and join the fan club.