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Is ValcatoHosting the host for you?
Last reviewed May 20, 2016
I've had my site hosted by Valcato for 8 years now and always received prompt, helpful support when the odd thing went wrong or I wanted something bespoke like an old version of webmail. Smooth hosting with great uptime at a very reasonable price. I'm more than happy to recommend them.
Overall, I was able to get my Python/Django site up quickly. It took me a bit of time to configure Django, but it was not bad. It would help if you publicized which version of Python and Django is available. More explicit documentation would be great for everything. Price is fair. Good experience so far.
Valcato is a small UK-based hosting company founded in 2002 as ASP2.net (though they didn’t offer ASP or .NET hosting — and still don’t). They changed their names to “Valcato” in order to avoid confusion (good decision), and now provide a range of web hosting services from their data centers in the US and UK.
Valcato offers a wide selection of shared, VPS, and dedicated server hosting plans to meet almost any need.
Three tiers of shared hosting plans are available, with strictly defined usage limits — no “unlimited” plans here. This may seem like a bad deal, when so many web hosts offer unlimited plans for similar costs, but we all know those plans do actually have limits — they’re just hidden or buried in fine print. Valcato is upfront about their usage limits, building them into their plans.
All shared hosting plans make the usual array of web site software options available — Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP. They also provide other open source options which are not universally provided by other hosting companies, such as the PostgreSQL database (a rising favorite among young developers) and Ruby on Rails (which can theoretically be run on most hosting plans, but is not well supported by most big-name discount brands).
VPS plans from Valcato are also available in several tiered plans, running on Linux KVM-based virtual servers. These plans come “semi-managed,” which mostly means self-managed, but with help at initial setup and advice if anything ever goes wrong. Customers are responsible for their own software upgrades, backups, and security.
Dedicated plans are highly configurable. Major options include:
A number of additional services can be added onto dedicated server plans, such as management, firewalls, backups, and service monitoring.
Valcato operates out of several data centers, providing a range of options for geo-proximity.
Shared hosting plans are served out of US datacenter in Chicago. VPS plans are served from a data center in the UK. Dedicated server plans have the option to host in two US cities or Amsterdam.
All of Valcato’s data centers feature redundant back up power, emergency generators, high end fire suppression systems, multiple redundant internet connections, and strict environmental controls.
Valcato purchases Carbon Offsets in order to reduce their emissions foot print. Hosting plans from Valcato are carbon neutral. Additionally, they have taken other steps to limit their environmental impact, such as reducing their use of paper for invoicing.
Valcato provides technical support via 24/7 phone, Skype, support ticket, and live chat. Their average response time is less than 90 minutes.
They also have an extensive online knowledge base to help customers troubleshoot their own problems.
For advanced, ongoing support and assistance with dedicated server and VPS plans, Valcato offers two levels of hands-on active management. This is only available with dedicated and VPS plans running cPanel on CentOS. Shared hosting plans are not eligible for active management, nor are dedicated and VPS servers running other Linux distributions such as Red Hat.
Managed dedicated server and VPS plans include security upgrades and ongoing service monitoring. Hardware firewalls, network backups, and hard drive backups can be purchased through Valcato, and handled automatically by them. Otherwise, customers are responsible for their own security management.
Valcato backs its hosting plans with a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Any downtime in excess of 0.1% (about 43 minutes per month) is remedied with account credit for the month in question. This is, though, subject to certain restrictions typical of web hosting uptime guarantees:
Given those exceptions, and given that a single month’s worth of hosting fees hardly makes up for the inconvenience of excessive downtime, a better thing to look at than the guarantee is actual performance.
Third party monitors have certified that Valcato has an uptime record exceeding 99.98%. This doesn’t guarantee it will always be so, but it is certainly a good sign.
Valcato costs are just about in line with similar services from other hosting providers. They can bill in GBP or USD, which makes them ideal for both US and UK businesses. They accept all major credit cards, as well as Paypal.
All plans are billed monthly.
Valcato is a very good hosting company with an interesting geographic presence and some nice options regarding technology.
Their costs are reasonable, but there is nothing exceptional about their server technology — which is really fine, since 99% of hosting customers need good hardware, not exceptional hardware.
While they’d be a decent fit for most general purpose hosting needs, they’re a standout for a handful of unique situations:
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