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Strato-Hosting.co.uk is one of the largest hosting companies in Europe, with 1.4 million customer contracts across six countries. Given this, you would be forgiven for expecting some impressive hosting, and to a degree you'd be right. However, although Strato is certainly strong and offers a broad variety of plans tailored to the needs of a range of customers and businesses, it is outperformed by a number of rivals who offer a higher level of flexibility and more comprehensive support systems.
All of Strato Hosting's shared plans, even the most basic, offer unlimited bandwidth against quite strict hard disk limits, making them more suitable for 'low content, high traffic' sites. However, when you consider that many shared plans offer both bandwidth and disk space at unlimited levels for a similar cost, Strato Hosting still fails to equate to great value for money. Customers from the US should also be particularly aware that prices listed are in GBP, and a conversion to USD will show that they are not quite as great as they may first appear.
In terms of functionality, Strato's shared plans are near the top end of the market. As well as support for all major scripts, giving you the freedom to design your website in the way you want to, there is a range of tools aimed at those with less design experience. The creation of photo albums, mobile-friendly pages, and even whole websites, becomes a foolproof task with Strato's tools. However, the more basic accounts only offer a limited website builder that will only enable you to create 20 or 30 pages, so those looking to build larger sites in this way will need to go for one of the more expensive plans.
VPS and Dedicated Servers
Strato's virtual private servers and dedicated servers are strong but not extraordinary. VPS plans offer a good amount of burstable RAM, so your websites will not suffer from traffic surges, and all servers provide a generous allocation of bandwidth. The company's backup and restore facilities are a particular strength, and this will be a draw for customers who value reliability. However, those looking for particularly high-spec servers will need to look elsewhere, and the Parallels Plesk control panel and AMD processors may put off some users who have a preference for the alternatives.
A good hosting provider is nothing without a strong support system. Strato's offering goes some way to making the grade, but it certainly isn't the best around. A relatively extensive online help center will certainly provide solutions to many common problems, and adequate email and phone support can be relied upon for the more urgent or serious concerns. However, those looking for a more interactive online help environment may be disappointed.
Most customers will probably find their time with Strato very satisfactory, but when there are hundreds of hosting companies competing for your attention, this is no reason to settle for second best. If you want powerful and good-value hosting with world-class support, check out our Top 10 to see some of the alternatives.
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