5 Best Hosting For Elgg

Have you ever fantasized to start your own social network? Maybe even a small one for your community or organization?

Yes, we can still use Facebook and its group features, but then it won’t be an exclusive social network just for our little group. Isn’t? It will just defeat the purpose. That won’t cut it.

Maybe you are wondering about the cost. After all, Facebook has thousands of servers and tons of engineers to run it. So whatever fantasy of having a social network you have in your mind, it is probable that you just give up when you think about potential cost. Hey, that’s just impossible to start one, right? Right?

Good news is, not really.

You see, while we just can’t start a social network of the scale of Facebook or even the new MySpace or Friendster, we can definitely start one for our neighborhood, school, or company without any issues. How? Enter open source solutions.

Remember other cool CMS and social bookmarking engines we covered before? Yes, there are some good apps for social networking too. Best part of it all? Most of them are free.

Now, enter Elgg, the open source, elegant and uber awesome social networking engine.

Elgg is powering social networking platforms for Australian government, British government, The World Bank, UNESCO, NASA, Wiley Publishing, Johns Hopkins University and so on. So that pretty much says how awesome they are already, if you are not convinced.

All we have to do now is choose a good hosting provider for your Elgg site. So here are 5 hand picked best hosting services for your next Elgg-powered site.

Summary

Rank Provider Starting Price

1

eleven2_logo $4.95/mo Visit Site

2

hostgator-logo $3.96/mo Visit Site

3

siteground-logo1

$3.95/mo Visit Site

4

stablehost-logo $3.95/mo Visit Site

5

asmallorange-logo-320x80 $35/year Visit Site

Winner – Eleven2 – From $4.95/month

eleven2_logo

Eleven2 has been consistently ranking #1 in our lists. For good reasons too. Not only that it is one of the leading hosting companies with amazing reputation, it also has several key competitive edges that make it a winner.

There are only a few web hosting companies that offer really awesome services and Eleven2 is one of them. The data centers of Eleven2 are the main highlight of their hosting services as they are the backbone of their business. They have 4 different data centers located in USA, Singapore and UK. You can choose where your website should be hosted based on the demographics of your customers. If you are getting traffic mainly from USA then you can choose to host your Elgg-powered site on data centers located in USA. Are you building a small social network for peeps in Asia? Then just go with Singapore data center. Europe? UK will be your best destination. Basically, having a site geographically close to your main target audience will let you offer better loading speed.

Eleven2 servers are home to more than 1000,000 websites and they are growing. They are truly committed towards providing high quality hosting services. How committed, you may ask. Well, their 60 days money back guarantee is the solid evidence. Who else would be confident enough to offer double of industry average (30 days) if they are not confident about their own service!?

The shared hosting price is only $4.95 a month which includes 10GB disk space, 50GB bandwidth and 10 domain hosting facility. This plan is only available for those customers who sign up for a yearly billing plan. Higher-tier plans are available at monthly and quarterly billing plans. If your social network becomes more popular and need more resources, you can upgrade your hosting package to meet your site requirements as many other lucrative packages are offered by Eleven2.

Visit Eleven2


2. HostGator – From $3.96/month

hostgator-logo

When 400,000 people trust a company for a total of 8 million websites, it’s hard to go wrong with that company. Heck, there is no doubt that everyone will love to use the services of such a company that is trusted and loved by such huge number of people from all over the world. If you have guessed it must be HostGator we are talking about, then hey score +1 for you! This is one of the largest hosting company in the world which is hosting more than 8 million websites on its thousands of web servers, and they claim to have customers in over 200 countries. They don’t publicly publish the numbers of web servers they are running but according to numerous sources, it’s in thousands.

HostGator specializes in shared hosting plans although they also provide other services like reseller hosting, VPS and dedicated servers. But really, they are most famous for shared hosting services due to affordability and relatively good performance. So we suggest you to choose shared hosting plans if you are thinking about going with HostGator. Otherwise, it doesn’t hurt to look into alternatives.

You get enough time to examine their services and determine if they are good enough for you or not as HostGator offers 45 days money back guarantee to all its new customers. If you are not happy with the services, your money will be refunded without asking any questions. You can go for monthly billing plan, 6 month billing plan or three year billing plan. For first two options, the shared hosting service will cost you $7.16 a month but for latter it will cost only $3.96 per month. You will enjoy unlimited disk space and bandwidth for all plans too.

Visit HostGator


3. SiteGround – From $3.95/year

siteground-logo1

Resource optimization is not a feature that is offered by majority of hosting companies especially when it is about shared hosting plans but SiteGround does that for its customers. SiteGround has properly optimized its servers which means that even shared hosting customers can enjoy better loading speed, fairer access to system resources and generally better experience. So even if you are planning to handle moderately high traffic, you don’t have to worry too much unless it is an eCommerce or really complex website. To our tests, you can even run resource demanding eCommerce applications like Magento on SiteGround without so much of a hassle or speed issue (for smaller sites). If the traffic on your website increases and cannot be managed by shared hosting plan, you can upgrade to VPS plan easily, or dedicated servers.

SiteGround has been in market for 10 years and it simply shows how professional they are. More than 150,000 websites are hosted on their servers as of now and the number is increasing, no doubt. Company is focused on bringing affordable hosting plans that are suitable for individuals and small businesses. They are pretty committed to not oversell their available resources too, which is evident by the plans they offer.

Various hosting plans are offered by the company and the cheapest plan costs just $3.95 a month. In this plan, you will get unlimited disk space and bandwidth. There is a one time setup fee of $14.95 for monthly billing cycle but if you go with annual or longer subscription, it is waived.

Visit SiteGround


4. StableHost – From $3.95/month

stablehost-logo

If you are in search of a good shared web hosting service providing company then you can surely rely on the name of StableHost. Not only they offer high quality and reliable web hosting services but their pricing is quite affordable too. There are three shared hosting plans you can choose, which are Basic ($3.95 a month), Stable ($5.95 a month) and Plus  ($9.95 a month). Each plan offers 1GB, 7GB and 20GB disk space respectively. When it comes to bandwidth 50GB, 300GB and 500GB of data transfer limit is included in each plan respectively. You can enjoy unlimited email account, FTP account, hosted domains and much more.

If you are planning to run third party apps like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla on your domain then Softaculous will make it easier for you with one-click installation method. And hey, Elgg is already included in Softaculous so you don’t have to go through the trouble of installing it manually. Just a couple clicks and you are on your way to setting up your own social network. According to StableHost, premium networks are used to make sure that the websites of their customers load with fast speed. You can even build your own website with the help of RVSiteBuilder Pro that is included in hosting package free of cost.

Another good thing about Stable host is that, they support majority of programming languages like Perl, MySQL and PHP etc. It is surprising that they don’t support Ruby on Rails but we can only hope that it will be added soon in the list of supported languages. But Elgg will run fine on Apache + MySQL + PHP stack so StableHost is just fine for you.

Visit StableHost


5. A Small Orange – From $35/year

asmallorange-logo-320x80

When most other hosting companies are going with futuristic sounding, or technical words together with “hosting” as their names, A Small Orange is a distinct name in the industry. The name is also a reminder that A Small Orange is a homegrown company with core values and culture of a family-oriented business, not a venture funded nameless big corporation. The main mission of A Small Orange? Providing exception service, not just servers.

The company was also featured in LIfehacker’s Best Personal Hosting Companies For 2012 list. Unlike many other lists, Lifehacker’s lists are voted by its readers and not just picked by Lifehacker’s editors. So this is a huge achievement, given that other companies in the same list are much bigger than A Small Orange and also boasts much bigger customerbase.

Currently, A Small Orange offers a wide range of hosting services, from shared hosting to dedicated servers. For just $35 a year, you will get 250MB disk space and 5GB bandwidth. If you are willing to pay $5 a month, then 1GB disk space and 20GB bandwidth can be yours. Spend $10 per month then you will get 5GB disk space and 100GB bandwidth. The highest tier plan will set you back for $30 a month, and it comes with 25GB storage space and 500GB bandwidth. These are not some imaginary “unlimited” but real numbers, which are strong indicators that ASO is not overselling.

With most shared hosting plans, you get unlimited FTP accounts, parked domains and email accounts. Plus, the hosting data is backed up on daily basis to ensure there won’t be data loss. Still, we would recommend you to perform your own backups. Since ASO’s shared hosting plans come with cPanel and Softaculous one-click installer, you can easily install Elgg within a minute. Oh and you get 2 months free if you opt for annual subscription.

ASO guarantees an uptime of 99.9%, and we really wish they would bump it to 99.99% soon. Still, for a small company of just 70 people, they are impressive in any ways we can think of. There is also a 45 days money back guarantee so if you are not satisfied, they will refund your money. No questions asked.

Visit A Small Orange


Conclusion

Starting a social network on your own is exciting. It is even more exciting if you have a hosting environment that knows your needs and support you along the way. If you want to have more choices in hosting, you can check out more alternatives by using our hosting comparison tool and check them out yourself.


Summary

Rank Provider Starting Price

1

eleven2_logo $4.95/mo Visit Site

2

hostgator-logo $3.96/mo Visit Site

3

siteground-logo1

$3.95/mo Visit Site

4

stablehost-logo $3.95/mo Visit Site

5

asmallorange-logo-320x80 $35/year Visit Site


Published on: July 28,2013.
Find him on Google+. Pete runs Best Hosting and wants to get detailed information to the readers. He is dedicated to being the best and providing the highest quality at anything he does.

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