BigScoots is a fairly unique hosting company; it offers managed hosting only. But unlike most managed-only hosting providers, BigScoots also offers web hosting, not just dedicated or VPS hosting.
Let’s start looking at those web hosting plans. BigScoots offers more flexible pricing than most hosting companies, so let’s focus on the prices first:
There are three tiers: 105CC, 155CC, and Turbo Diesel. They can be paid at monthly, annually, or two-year intervals:
Now, at first glance, you might find these a bit pricey. Compared to standard web hosting, they might be, but remember that these are MANAGED web hosting plans.
And managed hosting almost always included a significant price increase. Because you’re paying extra for ease of use and customer support.
With that taken into account, these prices are not big increases from the standard web hosting price range. In fact, it’s impressive how close these are to “normal” web hosting prices, despite being managed.
But we can’t really evaluate price fully without talking about the features, so let’s look at what those numbers will get you:
The gist of the feature list is that it’s a mixed record:
On one hand, allowing up to 5 domains for the first tier alone is pretty unusual, and most sites limit the entry-level plans to one site only. So that’s a nice, unique feature.
In addition, allowing all tiers to get free daily backups, unlimited databases, mailboxes, and DDoS protection is great, and good value.
Plus, allowing a free domain registration for the second and third tiers is a nice bonus, though it’s a bit unusual to not make that available for the first tier. The dedicated IP is a nice feature as well.
But the resource allocations are where things get a bit more complicated:
First, placing a clear cap on bandwidth for each tier is unusual. But does that mean BigScoots is cheaping out on bandwidth?
Not at all:
Although most hosts claim to offer “unlimited” or “unmetered” bandwidth on shared hosting plans, the reality is that almost all web hosting plans come with limited bandwidth. These are usually informal limits.
So if you exceed them, there may not be an overage fee, but you may be asked—or forced—to upgrade your plan. After all, shared web hosting wouldn’t work if everyone sharing a server used as much bandwidth as possible.
So placing a bandwidth allowance isn’t that big of a deal, despite how it looks. The bigger issue is the number:
And on that note, BigScoots is still doing fine. 100GB is plenty of bandwidth for an entry-level plan. In fact, many hosting providers with “unlimited” or “unmetered” bandwidth may ask their first-tier users to upgrade if they use more than just 30 GB of bandwidth.
So being realistic, the bandwidth allowances are plenty for web hosting plans. The bigger issue is the storage, though:
Frankly, this is a larger weakness of the plans. 5GB of storage isn’t that much:
A standard (un-managed), entry level web hosting plan will usually offer AT LEAST 10GB of storage on the low side, with many hosts offering up to 50GB or simply not capping storage. This often will cost less than BigScoots’ plans as well.
So relative to competing web hosts, 5GB is kind of low, and comes at a higher price too. That’s true for the second and third tiers as well, and if you’re managing multiple websites, it might seem a bit limited.
However, it’s also common for managed hosting plans to limit storage. So it’s not a huge deal.
And that leads us to the next point: what does the “managed” part of these packages entail? How good is the ease of use and customer support?
For starters, just about everything you need taken care of can be handled by BigScoots’ staff. That includes:
Handling site migrations; handling software or CMS installations; offering recommendations; fixing broken plugins; setting up email accounts; setting up SSL; and just generally being always available to help with site issues.
The support staff are highly trained and qualified. The general approach of BigScoots is to prioritize quality of support staff over quantity, which is great for managed hosting:
To make things even smoother, BigScoots’ interface is designed to make things as easy as possible.
So all you really need to do is manage your website. That’s a nice change from standard web hosting, which is easy compared to other forms of hosting, but still requires users to do a lot of work on their own.
BigScoots is also impressive on the level of its hosting infrastructure. BigScoots is one of the increasingly rare hosting companies that manages its own data centers:
Even independent hosting companies often pay third parties to operate data centers. Independently-run data centers does not necessarily mean the security is better, but it does mean the common pitfalls of data centers run by third parties are avoided:
For example, transparency. Having just Big Scoots running things makes the hosting a lot simpler and more trustworthy. Plus, their set-up looks good, with on-site security and high redundancy in case things go wrong.
As for performance, BigScoots makes a high guarantee:
Most hosts offer an uptime guarantee, but that guarantee is usually 99.9%, with the higher end being 99.95%. Although it sounds small, there’s a BIG difference between 99.9% uptime and 99.99% uptime over the course of just a month.
In addition, BigScoots guarantees 100% power and network uptime. So performance-wise, it’s all set.
So all-in-all, BigScoots is a pretty great web hosting option, though it may not be for everyone. If anyone is looking for hassle-free web hosting that’s still affordable, BigScoots is the best of both worlds.
But if you’re just looking for affordable web hosting, and you’re comfortable with the responsibilities that come with regular (un-managed) web hosting, then BigScoots is probably not super cost-effective for you, as you can find more affordable hosting with better resources and even features.
If you’re curious about BigScoots, you can check out our in-depth review here.