A Little Background Info on StableHost:
StableHost is a web hosting company with a focus mainly on providing shared, reseller and VPS hosting. They offer cPanel, one-click software installation, Litespeed web servers (touted as being 6 times faster than Apache), and the CloudLinux service. Some clients that reside in countries other than the United States have reported slow load-time issues, however this can be caused by a lot of different factors and you don’t typically get the full picture from a client review. If you are in the United States though you can expect good performance, and if you are having trouble then you can get in touch with their customer service and get it figured out.
About StableHost’s Data-Centers:
StableHost’s data-centers are located in Phoenix, Chicago, and Amsterdam, and you can choose which location you would like to have your site hosted at which is a nice feature that not all hosting companies provide. Some hosting plans have a limited number of data centers to choose from, likely due to necessary hardware not being available in all data centers.
StableHost’s Hosting Services:
They have three different types of hosting available: shared, reseller, and VPS with different tiers of service available within those categories.
Shared hosting – Your standard ‘budget’ hosting plan where your site is housed on a server with possibly hundreds or even thousands of others. This type of hosting will serve most people’s needs, if you are running a personal or small to medium sized business website it’s unlikely that your server requirements will warrant a more expensive plan.
Reseller hosting – Great for web designers or developers, as you can host your client’s websites in your own web space. You can earn a little extra money, and it’s much more convenient for you to work on your clients sites if they are all hosted in one place rather than having to keep a list of servers and FTP login information. You also won’t have to deal with random server configurations that don’t support libraries you need or anything like that.
VPS hosting – The luxury vehicle of StableHost’s offerings: performance, customization, total control over the server, and priority placement in support tickets. However, you the price does reflect all those perks. If you expect to get a lot of traffic or are serving a lot of big files (video, audio, hi-resolution images) then this is the plan that you will want to go with.
StableHost and Customer Service:
They boast an average customer service response time of less than 15 mins and have a 45 day money back guarantee. They are still a relatively new company, but most customers seem satisfied so far. StableHost is a small company with only about 10 employees, so when you talk to somebody there they are physically present in StableHost’s office and not in a far away call center. Some of the more basic and less expensive hosting plans are only eligible for email and ticket support, and it seems that there is a priority system in place so that tickets from people with premium accounts will have their tickets answered more quickly. If you think that you might require a lot of help then you might want to keep that in mind when deciding which plan to sign up for. The help forums are moderated by people who are also StableHost users. They are based in Mesa, Arizona.
About LiteSpeed Web Servers
LiteSpeed web servers are considered a ‘drop-in’ alternative to Apache servers, meaning that all of the common Apache features that you might be using (mod_rewrite, mod_security, etc) are completely compatible with LiteSpeed as well, and it can load Apache config files. Apparently the process of replacing an Apache server with LiteSpeed will take 15 minutes and you will experience zero downtime.
So if they are functionally the same, why bother using LiteSpeed over Apache? It’s faster: a streamlined and event driven architecture means it can serve more users concurrently in a more efficient manner. Apache is a process-based architecture, so if we break this down into simpler language it means that Apache creates a new process with every connection which takes up a fair amount of your server resources. LiteSpeed uses a few processes to serve all connections, which is a much more efficient use of resources. If you’d like to see a detailed breakdown of the difference between these two ways of handling traffic then you can click the link at the bottom of this page.
LiteSpeed web servers are also more secure, in addition to being mod_security compatible they have a lot of built-in security features particularly when it comes to DDoS attacks. There are a lot of filters that will check for known attack signatures, set caps on external application resource usage, and terminate applications that are suffering from buffer overrun attempts. The whole idea is to try and mitigate attacks before they are out of control and get to the point where your server is effectively down. The LiteSpeed web servers are also great in terms of shared hosting, often times when you are on shared hosting if another site on your server is hacked (usually due to out of date software) then its possible for the hacker to gain access to other sites on the same server. LiteSpeed web servers use CageFS to block that kind of access.
Want to see more proof of the efficacy of LiteSpeed servers? They have a client testimonials page as well as a case studies page that you can check out.
Around the Web:
Facebook – Follow StableHost on Facebook for updates, newsletters and special offers.
Twitter – You can also follow them on Twitter, they respond to customer service questions here as well.