Note: When I wrote this article the hosting service was offered by Steadfast Networks but is now operated by Fluid Hosting. I really cannot fault their service, the sites I have hosted with them load blindingly fast, and much, much faster than any other shared host I have used, even those that cost twice as much.
In the article below please note that all references to Steadfast now refer to Fluid Hosting who have taken over the operation. Steadfast still offer dedicated servers and I can recommend them too, but they now service a different market.
I’d heard some good things about Steadfast Networks hosting services recently and decided to give them a try out and see how they dealt with Joomla! Read on to find out why they are an affordable hosting, especially if you are mildly techy and don’t mind tweaking a few things.
Steadfast is inexpensive – $4.95 per month, with no setup fee and no contract – you could leave after a month if you were dissatisfied for any reason and it would have only cost you $4.95.
Support is good – very quick to respond, usually around 10 mins.
Uptime has been great for me, very happy. I have read a review where a Steadfast user had their site Dugg (digg.com) and it resulted in 16,000 visitors in one day – Steadfasts $4.95 account handled that traffic fine.
Technical Notes – IMPORTANT: A full tutorial on setting up Joomla at Steadfast Network will follow shortly. In the mean time please be aware of the following:- You need to manually install Joomla at steadfast – there is a one click installer but it is determined to place Joomla in sub directory called joomla.
Manual install is very straight forward though – simply upload the Joomla zip from joomla.org and you can use Steadfasts file manager to unzip the package online.
The other important thing to note is when you install Joomla you need to add two lines to your .htaccess file otherwise you will get a couple of errors as you run through the installer. They are the following:
php_value mbstring.language neutral
php_flag display_errors “0”
These lines can be placed anywhere in the .htacess file – note you will need to rename htaccess.txt to .htaccess
With the above minor things considered Steadfast is working great for me – I’m setting up a little demo site on my Steadfast hosting at Halloweeni. Not much there yet but you can click around and make sure things work for you, the site isn’t down etc.
I’m finding performance is very good – no down time in the past week since I added this domain. Latency is low, i.e pages load very quickly including the admin interface. Everything is snappy.
Read on for the rest of my rant… The important stuff is above.
The first thing that impressed me was the pricing, Steadfast’s hosting plans start at only $24.95 for a year! working out at around $2 per month!
However I decided that might not quite be enough for the site I was setting up, and also wanted to keep the option for multiple domains open down the track (not offered with the starter plan which is only for one domain name) so I opted for the Basic Plan, Giving me the following features for only $4.95 per month! And no setup costs!
500 MB of Disk Space
30 GB of Monthly Data Transfer
Hosting for Unlimited Domains
Unlimited Email Accounts
Enterprise SPAM Filtering
$4.95 per month – Free Setup
$26.95 per 6 months – Free Setup
$52.95 per year – Free Setup
The first thing that strikes me about the feature set above is it’s real and honest and this gets a big thumbs up from me.
We’ve all seen the hosts that offer unlimited bandwidth! unlimited disk storage! etc, etc. These hosts simply are not being honest with their supposed quotas. one of the bigger hosts claims to give 500 GB of disk space but if you read the fine print in their terms and conditions you’ll notice they state that you may not store more than 5 GB of media files such as movies, music files, etc within that 500 GB quota. Which is of course utterly rediculous, who would stor 500 GB of HTML documents? thats proabbly enough HTML to fill the entire world wide web! (obviosuly not but I hope you get my point – the only reason you would want 500 GB of disc space is for your meda!).
So back on track – the quota offered by Steadfast is real, honest and I’d eat my hat if they didn’t let you use all of it unlike other hosts who wil cut you off t the knees long before you use up the quota of infinite bandidth they sold you when you signed up!
A quote I found from someone reviewing Steadfast on another site was this:
“Ok i’ll make this short.
For 4.95$ per month my site successfully resisted about 16k uniques in one day (got dugg :D)”
That was one of the many pieces of feedback that impressed me.
The bandwidth (data) and disk space allowance isn’t huge on this plan but it is adequate to run a small Joomla site and an excellent option for someone wanting to get their toes wet with Joomla without much startup cost.
The 100MB of disk space with this plan would be more than sufficient as long as you don’t want to upload many media files. A typical Joomla installation with extensions usually weighs in around 15-20 Megabytes, at least for me though I do have a tendency to pack my Joomla installations with a lot of bits and bobs. This would leave another 80 MB for your media, etc.
Install Joomla on Fluid Hosting and take it for a spin I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.