Changing the digital focus to... SPECIALIZED WEB HOSTING

By Derek Schou

Internet businesses are beginning to consider Web hosting companies that specialize in the software platform that powers their websites (while, of course, still offering an infrastructure that provides the stability their enterprise demands). Website Magazine examined three of these specialty hosting companies for three popular open-source content management systems: WordPresss, Joomla and Drupal.

Pressable - WordPress

WordPress is one of the most-used platforms on the Web today. Major brands like IZOD, TIME, Variety and BBC America all use the WordPress framework to build their sites. However, everything that WordPress offers its users would be worthless without a quality host to ensure the site is up and running.

Considering its popularity, it is no surprise that there are so many hosting providers advertising that they support the software. The challenge that this creates is searching through all of the different providers for the one that is not only reputable, but that also does not cost a digital arm and leg.

Whether small business or large enterprise, Pressable offers a range of hosting options for WordPress users.

For small businesses, Pressable offers three different packages ranging in price from $25 to $90, dependent on the number of WordPress sites hosted (from 5-20) and the number of shared pages views. As far as large enterprises are concerned, Pressable offers a VIP ($750 per month) and Private Cloud ($3,500 per month) plan that companies must apply and be approved for in order to enter into a service level agreement (SLA).

With every plan, clients receive daily backups, malware scanning and removal as well as a content delivery network (CDN).

"An innate understanding of our customers and their website goals is what separates us from our competitors," said Vid Luther, founder and CEO of Pressable. "Our customers represent a mature and professional segment of use cases of WordPress.

"Our target customer is an individual or agency that builds revenue generating websites for their client. The websites they build usually have some form of ecommerce, or lead generation system that turns into sales for the client, this means the websites need to be online 100 percent of the time, and they need to load fast; we provide the platform to match those expectations."

WordPress usage has broken away from the pack since about 2010. Joomla Wired - Joomla

While not nearly as popular as WordPress, Joomla is a comparable CMS that offers many versatile features to users. One similarity between WordPress and Joomla is the competition by hosting providers to attract Web developers to use their services.

Joomla Wired is one of the many providers that offer Joomla hosting, but what sets them apart is their dedication - Joomla is all they host.

While Pressable creates a single backup of their clients' sites, Joomla Wired creates three backups (daily, weekly and monthly), resulting in four copies of a website available for use at any time. Perhaps the most important thing that Joomla Wired offers potential clients is its 99.9 percent uptime guarantee. The company states that if a customer's performance drops below 99 percent they will credit his or her account the cost of hosting for that month. Joomla Wired also comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.

One of the more interesting features that the hosting company offers is called "Mirrored Hosting."

Mirrored Hosting is when there are two servers, similar in specifications, called a "Master" and "Slave" server. The slave server holds a duplicate of all files on the master server and will kick in if the master server ever experiences any downtime. Joomla Wired offers seven different plans in total, three for personal use and four for businesses. The plans for businesses start at $7.87 per month and go all the way up to $66.84 monthly.

Acquia - Drupal

The difference in popularity between Joomla and Drupal is almost nonexistent. While both may pale in comparison to the juggernaut that is WordPress, Drupal is still the third most-used CMS on the Web today.

Much like WordPress and Joomla, there is no shortage of hosting providers that provide support for Drupal, making it difficult to find the correct one. Acquia explicitly provides cloud hosting support for Drupal websites.

The cloud hosting service provides three scalable plans. The first package is titled "Developer." This package has a starting price of $99 and can range all the way up to $1,792. The second package, "Professional," starts at $309 and goes up to $1,943. The third, "For the Enterprise," requires that users contact Acquia to obtain pricing. The determining factors for each plans price depends on how much RAM and storage that a professional or enterprise needs.

Like Joomla Wired, Acquia offers a 99.95 percent uptime guarantee for every website.

Take Your Time

Every hosting provider is different. Although they may offer similar services, the way in which they deliver them is what sets them apart. Taking the time to find a site's perfect hosting match is one of the best ways Web workers can future-proof their digital efforts.