"On Stackable, we have had a good experience."
Magento Mavens (www.magentomavens.com) builds websites and eCommerce shopping carts for companies of all sizes using Magento, OS Commerce, BakeSale (Cake PHP), Paypal, plus many other platforms. Launched by web development agency Code Greene, Magento Mavens has a streamlined staff of talented web designers and developers who have created profit-generating sites for businesses for over eight years.
According to Magento Mavens Partner and CTO, Mac Newbold:
“We get requests for various shopping carts, but it got to the point where all of a sudden everyone was asking for Magento, or asking for the features that Magento alone offers.”Finding a hosting solution that worked well for Magento, however, proved challenging for some clients:
“Magento is an interesting beast, it has some pretty significant hosting requirements. People have been dissatisfied when they try to run Magento on even a $30-per-month or $40-per-month typical shared hosting plan. Others want to convince everyone that to do Magento hosting you really have to get a dedicated virtual server. In our experience, neither option worked ideally for every client.”
“We've had a lot of experience with different hosting places. Everything from the really cheap $5-a-month shared hosting headaches, to the big VPS and managed servers that some clients want to use. We've run our own servers for many years: both internal development servers and hosting servers in a data center. Sometimes we host and maintain servers for our own clients, and sometimes clients have their own in-house equipment and want to host that way.
Magento Mavens decided to look into Stackable as another option that they could offer their clients.
“The typical Magento install we anticipate on Stackable would probably be at the $70 a month range which is great. You get more features, more benefits. Plus, with Stackable, we found so many scaling options. You're not ever going to have to worry about your bandwidth going over, or needing more disk space. Stackable has a lot of the advantages you have if you were running your own server but without all of the headaches and a lot of the costs involved with that.”
Besides finding the price much more affordable for clients when compared with other hosting models, Stackable also made work easier for Magento Mavens' developers.
”The different environments you can set up on Stackable make a ton of sense for any web application, especially for Magento. Since it's on the hosting platform where it's going to be running, you know you're not going to run into any compatibility issues when you go live,” said Newbold. “You can set up an environment for production, one for staging, for development and testing. If you wanted you could set up a different development environment for each of your developers so that they could do whatever they want in their own private little sandbox.”
Because Newbold works with numerous clients, all with different requirements, he appreciates the flexiblity that Stackable gives him:
“Everyone wishes that their site is going to be the next facebook.com or something. Having a ton of traffic is a great problem to have, but the cost of being ready to deal with that if and when it comes can add up really quickly. We had one client on a managed server who, when they wanted to upgrade their memory, had to put in a request, wait for a few days, and deal with the downtime. They were stuck paying for that expanded memory even if they decided they weren't going to use it all. Another client had to upgrade from one shared hosting package to another just to get more resources. Definitely not a complete self-serve operation in many cases like it is on Stackable. The flexibility is a huge thing that really is not out there in the market other than Stackable from what I've seen.”
Newbold's clients also found it compelling that they could host unlimited sites on a single container.
“They liked that they could make the container as big or small as they wanted, or run their sites on separate containers if they preferred to isolate them from each other. If you have some that are mission critical, some that are not so much...fine. A lot of people have gotten into the habit of having several different blogs that they use for different purposes to build up their SEO and things like that. On Stackable, there's no reason you need six hosting plans to host six sites. Just get one, and you can put them all in there and as long as they're not getting so much traffic that you have to bump your container bigger, you aren't going to pay a dime for it which is a really nice thing - a really cost-effective maneuver for a lot of clients.”
Newbold also makes a point to mention to his clients that Stackable has plenty of successful hosting experience because of its parent company, XMission:
“XMission has a reputation - especially locally, but also on a broader scale for knowing what they are doing and not only being extremely competent in the technical aspects, but having support staff that is second to none in my opinion. It's nice at Stackable to be able to immediately get in touch with someone who will take you seriously and immediately go look at the problem, figure out what is going on, and get back to you quickly with a good answer. The breadth and depth of experience that XMission and Stackable's staff has is amazing. It's incredible. It says a lot about XMission that their in-house people designed, developed, built, maintain, run, and understand every aspect of Stackable.”
“Stackable has in a way kind of spoiled us by having all these features that we don't get in other places. Even for our clients that already have a hosting provider that they don't hate...yet, Stackable is a great option to be able to offer them because it combines significant cost savings, a huge improvement in flexibility or stability or features, or limits like bandwidth. It usually improves several of those aspects over what they are currently getting.
We have no reservations whatsoever about recommending it to any of our clients as an option they should consider very heavily before they think about going somewhere else. Stackable is the right thing for the marketplace. It comes I think about as close as you can to being everything to everyone in the most balanced way possible. We've enjoyed working with it. We look forward to using it more and we're excited to see what's coming.“