Months ago, we decided to go with Aspiration Hosting. Here are some thoughts based on our unique experience and circumstance:
Things We Like About Aspiration:
They have tons of options for pricing so you always get what the most for what you\’re paying. Plans start at $5/mo (and it actually works), everything like SSH, static IP, etc. is an optional add-on so you don\’t pay for it if you don\’t want/need it.
Speed was actually pretty decent. Magento is a tortoise but Aspiration\’s shared servers did the best they could.
Stability was good; things didn\’t break unless we broke them ourselves.
Things We DON\’T Like About Aspiration:
SUPPORT. Some of the worst technical support we\’ve ever experienced. Admittedly, you get what you pay for and $5-10/mo is not enough to fund a good server AND good support. Aspiration seems to have gone with the former, forsaking the latter. Their support staff is located in Malaysia (though their servers are in Los Angeles), making nearly any correspondence take a business day due to the time difference. They claim to have \"24x7\" support, but I suspect that means you can submit a ticket at any time (which you can), not that someone\’s actually reading them 24x7. I don\’t want to say we never got a response within a few hours, but the average was 6-8hrs.
In addition to the unavailability and unresponsiveness, the support staff is often unable to explain clearly the root of issues and how to fix them. Usually, if the issue is resolved they\’ll just say \"it\’s been fixed\” (with no explanation) or if not they may give some technical jargon for what\’s going wrong and say good luck. Most frustrating of all are the one-sentence \"it\’s been fixed\” responses when it\’s obviously NOT been fixed.
In one particular instance, our production website had 90% of the files on the server deleted inexplicably. We\’d been going about our daily business, not doing anything particularly out of the ordinary when it happened. Aspiration not only took at least a day (I remember it being 2 days, but I may imagining things) to load the site\’s backup files (which they had all along), but they could provide no explanation for why everything vanished.
That was the last draw for us and we moved our production site to Nexcess. We still have our test-bed site on Aspiration but due to another drawn-out (about 2 weeks), inept support issue we\’re strongly considering moving off them completely.
Some thoughts on Nexcess:
Migrated our Aspiration site (Magento installation, files, database, etc.) for free within 2 days, while bridging the databases so that there was absolutely zero down-time on our front-end storefront.
Speed is comparable to Aspiration. I didn\’t notice a big change positively or negatively.
Cost is more; basic plans start at $25/mo… but it is so, so worth every penny given the next point…
AMAZING SUPPORT. They\’re a US-based company, located in Michigan I believe. Support is similar in setup to Aspiration (submit a ticket via email or web) but response time is much, much faster. We usually get a response within minutes, an hour at most. The staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and communicates clearly. Couldn\’t be happier.
So, if you want the cheapest host around with a decent, Magento-optimized server and you\’ll NEVER need support service: Aspiration is your company.
If like most e-commerce companies, however, you want someone standing by ready to help you out if things go bad: Nexcess is a great bet.
(PS: We only ever dealt with Magento technical, server support people. Their Magento-specific support may be different, I can\’t comment on them).
— Agena AstroProducts