As a developer, things can get tricky when trying to find the provider that gives you the freedom and scalability that is needed for advanced tasks. One possible hosting solution is WebFaction, a provider that offers managed hosting meant for developers. Keep reading our WebFaction review to see if they might be the right choice for your next project.
WebFaction is there to take care of all the management, backup, and monitoring of your server, giving you the freedom to focus on the tasks at hand. With full SSH access, a custom API, and the freedom to install and run any application, WebFaction gets a lot of details right.
With a free two day trial that can have you ready to go in just a few minutes, WebFaction takes a straightforward approach that is both refreshing and welcome. Keep scrolling to see why exactly we recommend WebFaction for developers.
WebFaction Pricing & Plans
WebFaction employs quite a simple stance when it comes to hosting, offering only one shared hosting plan along with four cloud server plans. We were happy to see the absence of setup fees and renewal fees, keeping your monthly fees low and consistent. Payments can either be made via Paypal or credit card, with Discover and American Express cards only accepted for long term commitments.
WebFaction offers a single shared hosting plan at $10 a month, which includes one TB of bandwidth and 100 GB of SSD space along with shared 3.5 Ghz CPUs. With such a large amount of bandwidth available for such a low monthly price, this can potentially be excellent value for your site.
The other four plans WebFaction offers are dedicated cloud servers that start at $30 a month. These plans are geared more towards developers over standard hosting for a website or blog, with dedicated RAM and multiple CPU cores powering more resource-intensive apps such as Tomcat or Node.js.
WebFaction’s commitment to developer-friendly hosting also means that they take on full management of your server, with security patches to constant performance monitoring to ensure a secure and stable hosting environment. If you need additional storage space, 50 GB will run you an extra $5 a month, with dedicated IPs also available for the same price.
WebFaction does offer a 60 day money back guarantee for their shared hosting plan, while an anytime pro-rated money back guarantee is in place for dedicated plans.
Take a look at this brief video overview of WebFaction’s services!
WebFaction Speed and Reliability
We’ve already mentioned that WebFaction’s focus is on developer-friendly hosting and as a result, SSD storage and top of the line network architecture mean that you have a great foundation to use as a base for your web apps.
Plans come standard with 3.5 Ghz Intel Xeon CPUs and a custom configuration of CentOS 7 specifically enhanced to support the latest versions of apps such as Python, Ruby, and PHP. More RAM means more computing power, and with heavy-load apps sometimes requiring a lot of memory to run smoothly, WebFaction has you covered with enterprise level RAM for their already highly scalable plans.
Have visitors to your site from different parts of the globe? With data centers in Texas, Amsterdam, and Singapore, WebFaction has all three major continents covered when it comes to providing the fastest option for your site.
While Cloudflare CDN isn’t explicitly supported by WebFaction (meaning they aren’t a official partner), CloudFlare CDN can still be enabled on your server, although this requires slightly more technical knowledge without the ease and comfort of a control panel.
WebFaction Interface and Security
WebFaction avoids CPanel and other control panels by offering their own control panel that is both easy on the eye and a treat to use. Billing, resource monitoring and adjustments, and application installs can all be easily handled from the control panel, which provides a clear and uniform way to manage your server.
WebFaction supports MySQL and PostgreSQL databases and offer two tools to better manage your databases in the form of phpMyAdmin and phpPgAdmin. Of course, these tools are entirely optional and command line tasks can still be completed, although this will require some advanced technical knowledge.
As far as security goes, WebFaction offers 2 Factor Authentication (2FA) for logging in to their control panel, while a strict firewall and SSH access safeguards their servers from inevitable DDOS and malware attacks that can leak through with so many different apps being hosted on their servers.
WebFaction’s data centers are Softlayer Safe Harbour certified, with 24/7 monitoring and on site physical security. Multiple power backups and diesel generators also ensure a reliable performance from their servers.
If you need to install a SSL certificate on your server, WebFaction’s servers support SNI (Server Name Indication), meaning you won’t have to purchase an additional dedicated IP address to operate a HTTPS site.
WebFaction Customer Service
As a developer-oriented provider, WebFaction takes a slightly different approach to customer service. Instead of offering phone or live chat support, WebFaction relies on a ticket system based on priorities along with a extensive knowledge base filled with tutorials from experts in the field.
While the lack of phone, live chat, and e-mail support is certainly cause for worry, this support philosophy is not too different from other developer-oriented providers such as Digital Ocean. Tickets can be submitted with different priority levels, meaning that your most urgent issues can be handled quickly and effectively.
WebFaction’s official documentation and knowledge base is one of the most impressive we’ve seen, with guides on how to handle everything from scheduling weekly backups and cron jobs to installing Node.js with a express framework on your server.
We usually take a look at social media to get a better understanding of how a provider preforms support-wise, with an excess of complaints or praise usually being indicative of how well a provider is doing in the support department. While we did find some recent negative mentions relating to a DDOS incident, the majority seems to be a mostly positive in regards to their response time and helpfulness.
WebFaction Review Conclusion
- Full SSH access
- Easy installs of numerous apps
- Custom API
- Free 2 day trial
I wasn’t so sure about
- No live chat or phone support
Looking for developer-friendly hosting that isn’t going to break the bank? Look no further than WebFaction, who offers some of the most attractive possibilities for whatever script or language you are looking to work with.
With a 60 day money back guarantee for their shared plan (anytime pro-rated money back guarantee for dedicated plans) in addition to a free two day trial, WebFaction gives you the opportunity to try out their service at no risk. Give them a try today and let us know your thoughts!