I am a big fan of specialisation – I think it is the only way to really enable good quality. That is why I cooperate with great specialised partners for stuff like design, user experience, conversion optimisation, SEO, SEM and stuff like that. I am specialised in developing – especially with regard to Magento. I am also not a devop or system engineer. Of course I can configure a server for my needs and do some fancy stuff with it, but there are people out there who do this the whole day and are really into it. They can optimise a server like a pro and that is why I want to work with them and do not fiddle with servers myself. But where are the server pros? There are a lot of managed Magento hosting offers, but are they really suited for Magento? Do these hosters all know Magento and its requirements good enough? I made a lot of bad experiences with various hosters which promised great Magento hosting. So this will be an alphabetically ordered list of managed Magento hosting providers I worked with. I collect all my experiences here, so that I have them for reference and so that you guys can select a good hoster for your Magento project and can skip the bad ones! So here we go…
- [ongoing project] 123domain.eu: I am actually not sure if this is really a specialised Magento hosting, but it works perfectly well and the support is fast and good.
- [ongoing project] 1blu: Black list. Poor and slow support. You can only choose between PHP 5.3 and PHP 5.6 (which means that they do not provide a PHP version, which is secure and supported by Magento). git will only be installed if you insist that you definitely need it.
- [ongoing project] Alfahosting: Black list! This does not deserve the name „managed Magento hosting“. Magento patches cannot be applied, because important standard commands like wc and which are not enabled in the highly restricted shell. A proper deployment process is not possible, because git is not available. External data (like code from the repository) can only be transferred via (PHP!) curl. So when someone wants to see a funky deployment script, which gets the code via curl, feel free to get in touch 😀 As if this wasn’t enough, the cronjob cannot be executed properly. When one executes the cron.sh as advisable, the cronjob will automatically be disabled by Alfahosting, because it ends with a return value not equal to 0. But this is normal with the Magento cron. Hence, one can only execute the cronjob via HTTP.
- [ongoing projects] ALL-INKL: Cronjobs cannot be executed via shell, only via HTTP. Besides of that, limited experiences.
- [ongoing project] Domainfactory: It is only a small project, which runs there, but it seems to work reasonably well. In my case, it is not a special Magento hosting, but works nonetheless.
- [ongoing dev project] Hetzner: Black/Grey list. Seems to be a normal managed server, nothing special for Magento. The server sometimes has extremely slow reponse rates and sometimes it simply works as expected. When asking the support about this behaviour and about Magento optimisation, they refused to give any optimisation support. They told me that I have to tell them which parameters I would like them to change. Applications like Redis or ElasticSearch will not be installed by them, but you have to do it yourself. Varnish cannot be installed on a managed Hetzner server at all.
- [ongoing project] HostEurope: Experience is limited, but it seems to work reasonably well. The move to Strasbourg failed completely though. I had a 15,5 hours outage because of it. After our complaints, the server was not physically moved, but migrated, so that there was at least not another outage.
- [ongoing project] maxcluster: By far my favorite. The performance is awesome. They have an infrastructure, which automatically scales with your requirements. The support is fast, reliable and capable. I did not have any issues with them yet. They do have their price, but if a shop can afford it, it is definitely worth it!
- [ongoing projects] Mittwald: Issues with the default Magento cronjob. Seems to work fine for smaller shops, but brings up many issues once the shop grows. Many MySQL server has gone away issues.
- [ongoing projects] Profihost: Medium to poor quality support. Cronjobs could only be executed every hour for a long time. Now at least every five minutes is possible. Issues with the default Magento cronjob and the latest SUPEE-7405 file permission updates.
- [ongoing project] Rackspeed: Nice configuration panel. Support is great. Shop works flawlessly.
- [ongoing project] Serverway: Black list. Magento security patches cannot be applied, because patch is not available. FollowSymLinks is deactivated, so that the default Magento .htaccess files break the shop. Issues with SUPEE-7405 file permissions.
To summarise, if a shop is big enough, so that they can afford it, I always recommend maxcluster. For smaller shops, I do not have a provider I always recommend yet. I think I will give Rackspeed a try next time.
So that this is a consistent list and so that I am behind each entry, I will only add my personal experiences here. But I am very happy if you add your experiences with managed Magento hosting providers in the comments below!
Are you a hosting provider, which has a negative entry on the above list? You think it is not true? Feel free to contact me and get these issues out of the way. I am more than happy to update this list!