Most companies in the shared hosting market are very, very young, and with good reason. The shared hosting market has only really taken off over the couple of years as more and more individuals and small businesses see the value of creating websites and developing their online presence. And just as demand for websites has risen the costs associated with launching a shared hosting company have dropped to nearly nothing. Between host-reseller accounts and a huge drop in the price of servers and bandwidth pretty much anyone who wants to create their own shared hosting company can do so, which means a truly shocking number of shared hosting companies are only about a year old.
In a market overrun with newbies it’s refreshing to remember a number of older hosting shared hosting companies are still alive and kicking. Founded in 1998 Media Temple is one of the oldest and most important shared hosting companies out there. Yet has Media Temple’s time in the market given them the wisdom and experience they need to truly offer a superior product to all these upstarts? Or has Media Temple failed to keep up with its younger and nimbler competition?
What Products and Services Does Media Temple Offer?
At Media Temple you’ll be able to choose from multiple hosting solutions, all of which fall into one of two large, broad categories- Web Hosting and Cloud Hosting. Let’s take a minute to break down what you can expect from each of these categories, and what sort of sub-categories you’ll be able to choose from each of them.
First, let’s talk about Web Hosting services offered at Media Temple, which include the following options:
- Grid Service. Media Temple lists this as their primary entry-level option for web hosting, and this option most resembles the sort of shared hosting solutions you’re probably familiar with. However, while traditional shared hosting solutions store your website on a single server and limit its access to only that server’s computational resources, Media Temple’s Grid Service provides your website with access to hundreds of servers linked together, providing what they call “dynamic burstability,” which basically means they scale the resources they give your website at any given moment in order to handle traffic spikes while minimizing the potential for downtime. Media Temple’s Grid Service is best for personal sites, for blogs, and for small business websites- pretty much for any website that doesn’t see a significant amount of traffic and doesn’t require a sizable bulk of bandwidth to operate.
- Dedicated Virtual Hosting. This option offers the next level of quality up above Grid Service, and provides you with “a scalable, easy-to-use virtual hosting solution.” Even though Grid Service is scalable you’ll still need to share servers and computational resources with a bunch of other websites with that service. The amount of resources you can purchase is highly scalable allowing you to increase the size of your DVH package to meet the needs of your website as its traffic grows. Also provides easy installation for over 140 apps, a full control panel and a reseller hosting option.
- Virb. The quickest and least expensive option on the list, Virb is a low-cost website builder that lets you create unlimited pages, incorporate multi-media elements or create a blog using customizable design themes using Media Temple’s custom drag-and-drop interface. In addition to the website builder Virb also includes full hosting for your website.
All of the above hosting options are low-cost solutions for individuals and small businesses launching relatively small-scale websites. Media Temple’s cloud hosting solution, by contrast, was designed with the enterprise market in mind, and demands a deeper look.
Media Temple’s Dedicated Cloud Services
Most cloud services offered by hosting companies work a whole lot like all other shared hosting solutions- more than those hosting companies would have you believe. Basically the standard cloud hosting solution hosts your website and its files on a remote server along with a bunch of other websites and you all share resources, just like with a shared hosting account. The main difference between the average shared hosting solution and the average cloud hosting solution is the fact shared hosting solutions tend to charge you a single flat rate and cloud hosting solutions tend to charge you based on usage (how much data transfer your site utilizes on any given month).
Additionally the average cloud hosting solution is more stable and scalable than the average shared hosting solution as cloud hosting theoretically gives you access to an infinite amount of computational resources at all times, while the power you get from shared hosting solutions is limited by the resources of the specific server your website is stored on. This isn’t as big of an issue if you choose to host with Media Temple as their previously-mentioned Grid Service provides access to the computational resources of hundreds of servers instead of just one, limiting the potential usefulness for a standard cloud hosting platform.
The fact, in practical terms, Media Temple’s entry-level offer works more like a traditional shared cloud solution than a shared hosting solution is the likely reason why the company doesn’t offer a traditional shared cloud solution and instead offers a dedicated cloud solution.
Through their Helix system Media Temple essentially offers your website its own private cloud solution. The details of what, exactly, this means get pretty technical and complicated, but if you’re considering this solution consider a few points:
- Your web projects and sites are totally private, you don’t share any resources with anyone else.
- You’ll have access to 24/7/365 dedicated support for your remotely-hosted system.
- Solution is highly scalable though you’ll pay monthly for it.
- Utilizes a clean, simple and easy-to-navigate interface to manage projects.
- Much more expensive than you’re likely expecting for a cloud solution.
This last point deserves special mention. Media Temple’s Cloud Service may cost a lot more than other cloud solutions you’ve seen from other hosting companies, but that’s because they’re two completely different services that share a similar name, negating the helpfulness of any kind of price comparison between the two.
Are Media Temple’s Services Expensive?
Now, as far as Media Temple’s private cloud services go, it’s important to note that they cost significantly more than shared cloud hosting services, but they actually come with a price tag significantly lower than what you’d find from other companies offering truly comparable private cloud solutions. Here’s how Media Temple breaks down these price differences:
- Most private cloud solutions charge individual fees for a variety of different set-up related expenses, including an up-front hardware investment, annual cloud software investment, SysAdmin with cloud specialization, hardware & software integration plus on-site networking, and hardware and software support. All of these add up to an average of $22,850/month in charges.
- By contrast, Media Temple charges a single monthly fee for their services and bundles all the above into it, costing just $7,500/month.
So even though $7,500/month may sound like a lot, keep in mind it’s about 1/3 of the cost of comparable services from other providers, which means Media Temple’s private cloud hosting services represent a really good deal.
Media Temple’s other services are similarly value-priced, especially considering the quality of service and unique features you’ll receive from all of them.
Their ground-level Grid Service shared hosting starts at just $20/month. Is it possible to buy shared hosting for much less, for as little as $2/month? Absolutely, but the $2/month hosting isn’t nearly as good as Media Temples and certainly doesn’t offer the scalability and security offered by Media Temple’s server grids.
Should I Order Services From Media Temple
Most people will find what they’re looking for ordering from Media Temple, though this company’s services aren’t for absolutely everyone. If you’re someone who’s looking for the absolute least expensive shared hosting solution available on the market then you probably need to look elsewhere. Another great part about the company is they are super friendly with WordPress and other third party apps. Media Temple’s shared hosting solutions are premium, both in terms of their quality and their pricing, and bargain-hunters just looking to put up a site they don’t expect will ever receive more than 100 views a month should probably look elsewhere. Media Temple’s Virb product is the closest analog you’ll find to the sort of 2-bucks-a-month hosting solutions out there on the market but even Virb isn’t going to meet the needs of the penny-pinching or the unambitious.
Media Temple is a serious web hosting company and overall they do their best work when serving similarly serious clients who want high quality hosting solutions at an overall affordable rate. If this sounds like you, then Media Temple is the hosting company you’ve been looking for.
As a final note, it’s worth reiterating the fact Media Temple is one of the oldest companies still active in the hosting market today. Age doesn’t automatically make a company great, of course it doesn’t, but the fact Media Temple has thrived for decades in a market where most companies are lucky if they survive for even a couple years should be seen as a testament to Media Temple’s quality and their ability to serve their customer’s needs.
Overall, it’s easy to recommend a proven, veteran company like Media Temple to anyone who is even a little bit serious about their online endeavors.