Our old, bare-metal hosting platform MISH is in the sunset phase. This article should help our existing clients to decide where to host their stuff in the future. It's also meant as a general advice to anyone who is not sure whether a cloud PaaS provider is the right choice. If not: what alternatives are there? If yes: what other services need to be booked beside a cloud hosting platform?
Is the new fortrabbit for me?
You might head over to our main website and check out the product features. In case you don't understand a word: it might not be the best product for you. Our old MISH hosting was far more broad-band – great for developers but also versatile enough to fit the needs of classical hosting. The new fortrabbit platform is very specialized – the focus is on the needs of development and growing web applications.
Real world needs
Following some exemplary use cases and our advice for each of those.
I just want to be online
You might have a business for which the internet is not so important. You just need to be findable in google. People should be able to get in contact with you over the web. You don't sell anything online. You want a simple website to present you and your business. It doesn't need to change at all even for a long period. Think twice now - do you really need a website? Do you own domains you aren't using? Does your website feature a "Coming Soon" for years? Are the informations on your website up to date? Mind that local businesses, such as restaurants for example, can nowadays easily be found through services like Foursquare, google local search and Yelp. In case you just need a kind of landing page for your real name that links to your various profiles in social networks you might check out a service like about.me. In case you still want a simple website: Consider to check out a shared hosting service. There are many, many of them out there. In Germany, for example: 1und1, Strato, Hetzner, Host Europe, Domain Factory and the list goes on. We know that there are many people only comparing prices in hosting offers. We strongly believe that this is dead wrong and that the quality of service should be the primary consideration (even though it's hard to compare).
I want an e-commerce site
You are running a web shop based on Magento, osCommerce or some other open source PHP software. We are a good choice for you. As any other PHP PaaS provider, you can scale your resources based on business demands - think about Christmas sales. However, there are also great off-the-rack solutions by SaaS providers. For example: Shopify can host your shop. We have no experience with the service but it seems very versatile and customizable. BigCartel is another, easy to use E-commerce as a Service.
I want a blog
Of course you can run your WordPress, Moveable Type, Textpattern or whatever you want on our new platform without a hassle. You can utilize our sophisticated deployment using Git; even old-school workflows based on SFTP, if you are used to them. We are geared especially for anything including active development and critical for business. If you just want to write some stuff for hobby, you might consider to use a hosted blog service such as: wordpress.com (WordPress as a Service), Blogger or Tumblr. Nerds might want to give scriptogr.am (which builds on dropbox) a try.
I want a portfolio to showcase my work
I guess you want to do something yourself when you have skills in frontend development - we give you the right tools do just that as easy as possible. In case you are a photographer, a designer or any other artist with no web skills you might consider, once again, using a Software as a Service for this. Good examples in the category might be: Cargo Collective, CarbonMade, Behance Network (Design), Dribbble (UI) …
I want web-space to transfer large files
Some of our clients use FTP for file exchange. The graphic designer, might upload some large image files to the server and hand them over, using an HTTP-link, to the client. This is, in general, also possible with our new platform. But we are focused on website delivery. Keep in mind that storage and traffic are more expensive than they would be offered by specialized services. SaaS alternatives are: DropBox, Google Drive, WeTransfer …
I want a highly customized hosting
Go ahead: ask us. Our enterprise solutions are tailor made for your needs. We can produce any amount of resources you might need in no time. In contrast to "old school" solutions: you pay what you use right now - you do not pay for future needs before you actually need them. However, there are still good bare-metal solutions. In Germany you can check out for example: Unbelievable Machine, SysEleven.
I want to start lean and grow with my startup
Well, that is exactly what we offer best. You can start with a modest amount of resources, while continuing to grow - as well in code and visitors. We support agile development patterns, allowing you to stage your App as often as needed. Resources are there when you've grown to need them.
I want classical hosting (no cloud) with good support
Do you just have prejudices or real concerns about the cloud? Please talk to us one more time. Anyways here are two German providers with a similar profile as our old hosting style: Schokokeks, Ueberspace. We don't have any experience with them, but they look very pleasant and seem to give a professional support on an eye-to-eye level.
I want to develop apps for my customers
Yet again, we think we are the perfect match. Besides our easy and fast deployment, we (will) offer sophisticated tools to manage App ownership and developer access. Whether you are a full service agency, charging your customers for hosting and support, or a small group of developers, creating awesome Apps and websites and handing them over to the customer when finished.
What you need when you move to the cloud
PaaS providers, like us, are more specialized. We provide the best we possibly can for delivering your websites and offer supporting services via third party add-ons - but this leaves some requirements, you still have, out. So here they are:
You got us. Just as all other cloud hosting platforms the fortrabbit PaaS does not support domain registration. Well it's "decoupled" – you know. Actually we are still thinking about integrating domain management in our platform. We have done this in the past and know how to it. But the whole domain ordering process is really a hassle. There are tons of special cases and conditions and in some many cases we had to intervene manually. And to be honest: the money is no good - as long as you do not make this your primary business. At the current state, we leave this to third party providers which concentrate only on this - so they are good at it and we can concentrate on keeping up our end.