MovableType is one of the oldest content management systems currently available. Despite its age, it powers some of the world’s leading websites like Daring Fireball, Huffington Post, The Economist, BBC Bogs, Sony Pictures, USA Today, TreeHugger and many more. As you can see, it is at home powering simple one-person blogs, medium-sized sites, and large enterprise systems.
For such a powerful platform, you maybe wondering what kind of licensing costs they charge. It varies: The price ranges all the way from free to “if you need to ask, you can’t afford it.”
The previous version is now open source. The open source version is 5.15. It can be downloaded from movabletype.org.
Version 6 once again terminated the open source option. The current version is 6.0.3 and it is available only as a commercial product. There are two versions, Pro and Enterprise. The Pro version is positioned as a powerful CMS that supports up to 5 developers/authors and an unlimited number of blogs and sites. It is priced at $595. A license for an unlimited number of authors is $1,195.
The Enterprise version is positioned for large-scale businesses, governments, major educational institutions, and global enterprises. It supports an unlimited number of authors, servers, and sites. It also supports the Oracle and MS SQL database back ends, and LDAP directory services. The pricing information is not published!
We are interested in the open source version. You can download it for free or install it using Softaculous (where applicable).
MovableType is written in Perl rather than PHP, as are most content management systems. The means that it is not universally available on Shared hosts but its requirements can easily be met via a good VPS. Some Shared hosts do support MovableType and a Softaculous installation. If a Shared host supports Perl, then chances are good that their custom copy of Softaculous can install MovableType.
Since MovableType can be used for everything from one-person blogs to huge corporate sites, we recommended both premium Shared hosts and some of the top VPS hosts in our database.
The Best 5
- A Digital Ocean : A developer-oriented Cloud VPS at Shared hosting prices,
- VPS.net : A Cloud VPS with a full line of managed and unmanaged plans and 18 datacenters around the world,
- A Small Orange : Cloud Shared hosting and managed Cloud VPS that uses Nginx and Apache in tandem,
- Arvixe : Premium Shared hosting and managed VPS plans,
- WebFaction : Premium Shared hosting that uses the Nginx-Apache configuration,
Read more about them after the break!
Winner – Digital Ocean – From $5/month
Digital Ocean is a relatively young hosting company. It is unabashedly “by developers and for developers”. It offers only self-managed (a.k.a., unmanaged) Cloud VPS and nothing else. They don’t even offer any shared hosting plans and they don’t have a Managed VPS option either. They use only SSD storage and emphasize speed and performance in other ways as well. For example, they boast that they provision a new VPS in only 55 seconds — as if 5 minutes was unacceptable.
They are based in New York and have servers in New York, SF, Singapore, and Amsterdam. You choose the location of your server when you set up your VPS.
They boast 99.99% uptime — and that should be true since it is a cloud VPS hosting company. If your site goes down somehow, they will credit your account for the amount of time that it was not available.
With Digital Ocean, you get more computing resources per dollar than other VPS providers. In particular, their little $5/mo plan is actually a powerful cloud VPS that easily delivers world-class performance but at Shared hosting prices. And that $5/mo is the real month-to-month price — not one of those “$5/mo if you sign a 3-year contract” teasers.
By the way, it’s $5/mo if you use the whole month. Billing is actually by the hour! You are only billed for the time you use it. You can take advantage of this policy by just spinning up a VPS, trying something out for a day or two, and then backing it up and shutting it down. You are only billed for the time it was up.
Digital Ocean has a strong personality. The downside is that there’s no creature comforts in your digital home: There no comforting cPanel (unless you buy a license and install it yourself!) and you work from the Unix command line. If you are not friends with Mr. Command Line and his dog, Root, you won’t like it at Digital Ocean.
Your first step, then, is to install the stack of your choice and populate it with the tools and apps that you want to run. In the process, you can customize every detail of your VPS.
They do have a panel of their own that you use to create a new VPS. In their lingo, a VPS is called a “droplet”. You can begin by creating a droplet that installs the core components of your site. If you really want to configure the VPS totally on your own, you can choose a droplet that installs only an empty LAMP stack. With root access in your hot little hands, you hit the Unix command line and install anything you like!
Digital Ocean Pricing Table
Digital Ocean does not need to bear the costs of managed hosting, so they run mean and lean. The excellent support is in the form of email to the staff, the library of tech notes and tutorials, and the community of developer/users.
These are the month-to-month prices, assuming that you use an entire month.
If you exceed the bandwidth of your plan, you are charged $0.02 per GB.
If you want the chance to be the sysadmin yourself, you will love it. But if you want a VPS but prefer something that isn’t at the bare metal, check out a fully-managed VPS like A Small Orange or purchase management from a great VPS specialist like VPS.net.
2. VPS.NET – From $20/month
While some may prefer Rackspace or Amazon AWS, we prefer VPS.NET when it comes to cloud VPS hosting. They offer a line of elastic cloud VPS plans at affordable prices and backed by a network of 18 datacenters around the world.
Here is the complete list of their datacenters. You choose your server’s location when you sign up.
- Asia: Tokyo, Singapore, New Delhi
- Australia: Sydney
- UK: London, Manchester
- Europe: Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt
- South America: Sao Paulo
- Canada: Montreal
- US: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, San Jose, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Washington, D. C.
The extra care they give in providing only high performance services can be felt throughout your time with them. Since you can spin up their VPS servers in only 55 seconds, you can easily set up a cluster of servers for a high availability configuration. This is perfect for a high traffic e-commerce site. They also have an automatic scaling service called Elastic Cloud Hosting which essentially allows you to scale your system resources up and down.
This ability is often advertised as “auto-scaling”, “auto-healing”, “elastic service”, and so forth. Capacity expands to meet heavy demands and cloud servers can take over if your main server goes down. If 99.99% uptime just isn’t good enough, you need a Cloud VPS host.
VPS.net claims 99.99% uptime, which ought to be realistic for a Cloud VPS host.
A Cloud VPS from VPS.net is ideal if you need to maintain a 24/7 presence all over the world. You choose from their line of 18 datacenters to host your site, a choice of Linux operating systems or Windows, they promise a 99.9% uptime guarantee. The architecture of a cloud-backed VPS is such that a promise like this is realistic.
Cloud VPS Plans
Here are their plans in the $100/mo and below range:
VPS.net describes these plans as “semi-managed”. That means:
We make sure we are here for you. We provide 24×7 support via live chat, email and phone. Should you have any problems with the software that comes with your server then we can help you out with the basic free of charge. More complex issue may require our paid for Fully Managed support.
It seems that “semi-managed” means that they are there to assist but you are the primary system administrator, not them. For many people, this is a good balance since a VPS customer is often an experienced webmaster and can handle all the routine tasks themselves. Unmanaged and semi-managed plans are cheaper than a fully-managed plan, so semi-managed or unmanaged is smart if you are ready for the responsibility.
The VPS.net plans are upgradable in units that they call “nodes”. You can add additional VPS nodes to scale up if you want. The additional system resources will be multiples of the basic node. You can scale up or down without any downtime.
Fully-Managed Cloud VPS Plans
For those who are looking for the fully-managed and supported flavor of VPS, VPS.net has another line of plans for you. Of course, the support is reflected in the price. Here are their three Managed Cloud VPS plans:
These plans include the cPanel control panel and Softaculous installer, 100% uptime guarantee (hey, its a Cloud VPS backed by 18 datacenters!), automatic backup, 24/7 technical support,and fully-managed service. This is for business class customers who need to be online every moment of every day.
Their managed Cloud VPS plans offer:
- Fully-managed support
- Optimized for Joomla and WordPress
- SSL certificate
- Remote daily backups
- Two dedicated IPs
- Hosting in the cloud
3. A Small Orange – From $20/mo
Founded in 2003 in Atlanta, their mission statement is to provide the best quality service at an affordable cost. Unlike a large percentage of shared hosting companies, their site and marketing deliberately rank low on the BS scale. You can pretty much read their site and learn about what they charge and the services they provide. What a concept!
They claim 99.9% uptime and offer an unusually generous 90 day money-back guarantee, the longest in the industry. They have a long term policy of not overbooking their shared servers and a good rep among the geeks for that and for quality technical support. They recently upgraded all their plans to SSD storage at no extra cost.
Of interest to us are their Cloud Shared hosting and Cloud VPS plans. The former is suitable for small MovableType sites and have the advantages of redundant hardware with automatic failover. The latter is an innovative Cloud VPS plan with dual servers for high traffic use cases.
Shared Hosting Plans
A Small Orange’s (ASO) entry-level Shared hosting costs from only $2.92/mo to $30/mo. Since space and bandwidth are limited, they can be counted on to outperform entry-level “unlimited” Shared hosts from other providers because that is a recipe for overcrowded servers. Entry-level Shared hosting may or may not have the horsepower to run your MovableType site well. But the Cloud Shared Hosting might well do the job. It all depends on the site.
The Softaculous version at ASO includes MovableType, so it can be installed in one click.
Cloud Shared Hosting Plans
These are affordable Cloud Shared hosting solutions that feature fully redundant hardware and automatic failover. If the primary server goes down, the backup server takes over automatically.
They have three Business plans, Startup, Small Business, and Enterprise. Here they are:
|Plan||Storage||Bandwidth||SSL Cert.||PCI Comp.||Price|
1. Storage is on high speed mechanical disks with SSD caching.
2. Automatic daily backups are included.
Cloud VPS Plans
ASO’s prices don’t necessarily stand out — until you learn that this is fully-managed Cloud VPS hosting that uses 2.5GHz Xeon CPUs and SSD storage. If you shop around half as much as we have, you’ll see that these features can easily add an extra $50/mo to the base charge. This is especially true after you throw in the cPanel installer. It is included in ASO’s VPS plans. It’s in ASO’s character to advertise the price of the “deluxe” version of a service instead of advertising the bare-bones version and then upselling everything in the building.
Recently ASO added a dual server configuration to their VPS lineup. The servers are Apache and Nginx, with the latter configured as a reverse-proxy. This configuration is marketed under the name “Nginx Acceleration Stack” and is available at no charge in their fully managed (with panel) Cloud VPS and Dedicated Server customers.
We like this term; it captures the notion that it isn’t either a standard LAMP or a LEMP stack, but combines both to enhance stack performance. In their words, it:
…serves static content in a transparent reverse proxy…This reduces the load request on the Apache web server, allowing it to handle only dynamic content requests. The setup is entirely transparent to cPanel, Apache, and the underlying user subsystem…
Moreover, they also support several command line tools that enable or disable the caching globally or tweak the caching for particular users and particular situations. This is the state-of-the-art in moderately priced web service.
Although their advertising doesn’t boast about themselves or feature celebrity spokesmodels, they’re quietly on the cutting edge of shared hosting technology. Their well-known commitment to not overbooking their shared servers and their 24/7 tech support has won them lots of fans.
ASO uses the industry standard cPanel control panel and the Softaculous app installer.
If you are migrating from another hosting company who uses cPanel, they will handle the migration for free.
They have a premium “Managed SEO Services” plan as a high cost option. It is only for business and promises to hand tune your site for maximum SEO.
ASO’s VPS plans are right in their personality of offering a premium level of service at a good price without upselling.
4. Arvixe – From $22/month
Arvixe was founded in 2003 and has become a mature hosting provider with a plethora of packages, options, and types of hosting services. They offer different grades of shared hosting as well as VPS, Reseller, and Dedicated hosting.
Of interest to us is their premium line of Business Shared hosting plans and their managed and unmanaged VPS plans. Premium Shared hosting assigns far fewer accounts per server than their entry-level Shared hosting plans. This allows it to outperform bargain Shared hosts but it sells for less than their VPS plans.
Business Class Shared Hosting
While their entry-level Personal Shared hosting runs $4 to $7, the Business Class plans cost $22/mo and $35/mo. The former is limited to six sites while the latter is unlimited. These plans to not overbook their servers. The cost differential between Personal and Business is proportional to the number of accounts per server. Thus, performance is proportional to the amount of resources that each account has.
Business Class customers get a free SSL certificate and a dedicated IP address. But its main advantage to a MovableType customer is that you get far more server resources than a bargain-basement Shared hosting account.
VPS Class Plans
If your site demands more power than Business class shared hosting, Arvixe’s VPS Class and VPS Class Pro are for you. They are priced at $40/mo and $70/mo.
|VPS Class Pro||8||3GB||100GB||Unlimited||$70/mo|
1.These plans both include an SSL certificate for life.
2. Both plans are PCI Compliant.
3. Both plans provide root access.
4. The dedicated IP address is $2/mo.
5. SSD storage is $10/mo.
6. 1GB RAM is $20/mo.
These two plans are fully managed VPS that come with the cPanel/WHM and Softaculous installer.
5. WebFaction – from $8.50/month
Based in England and Wales, WebFaction has been in business since 2003. They have datacenters in England, the US, Amsterdam, and Singapore.
WebFaction offers their own idiosyncratic take on the Shared hosting paradigm. In many ways, their description makes it sound like a VPS hosting service, but it is not.
The reason it’s on this list is that it is cheaper than any managed VPS but it promises to outperform ordinary Shared hosting providers. It is less than half the cost of Business Class at Arvixe and within the range of a sturdy Digital Ocean droplet. But unlike Digital Ocean, you get a managed environment, not just a command line.
They have only one plan — and it isn’t designed to be the cheapest, most bare-bones plan around. It is $9.50/mo — or $8.50/mo if you prepay for a year. You get 512MB of application memory, 100GB disk space, and 600GB bandwidth. These are generous limits for a Shared hosting plan and it shows that the don’t overbook their shared servers. Also, these limits are all upgradable.
A special feature of WebFaction is that it uses both the Nginx Acceleration Stack configuration that ASO implemented in their cloud VPS plans. The Nginx Acceleration Stack uses the Apache and Nginx web servers in tandem for better performance.
For high traffic sites, its server configuration may well make WebFaction competitive with a VPS in its price range. If it works for you, it a great value at the asking price.
The CPUs are 3.4 GHz Xeons; this is outstanding for a shared host. That they use mechanical hard disks at present, and they do automatic daily backups.
WebFaction does have a panel, but it is their own instead of either cPanel or Plesk. With it, you can install a wide variety of apps and developer’s tools. They have their own documentation library for their apps and developers’ tools.
WebFaction supports a wide range of technologies and languages, you can install any kind of supported application servers and web apps using their one-click installers.
There is no denying that MovableType is awesome. While WordPress loyalists will argue about it, we think both WordPress and MovableType are amazing in their own right. There are subtle differences too. But we have to tell you that MovableType is good for security, as core functions of MovableType is less vulnerable than WordPress. Just make sure you choose a good web host and you are all set. If you want to find out other companies, then use hosting services comparison tool to find them and evaluate them yourself.