Shared Hosting, VPS, and Dedicated Servers: Oh, the choices!

So you’re thinking of setting up a website or an online application. Congratulations! You’re about to embark on a journey that will test your patience, your sanity, and your credit card limit.

But before you can start building your masterpiece, you need to make a decision: what kind of hosting are you going to use?

There are three main choices: shared hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated servers.

Shared hosting is the cheapest option. It’s like living in a dorm room: you share the space with a bunch of other people, and you have to follow the rules.

VPS hosting is more expensive than shared hosting, but it gives you more control and flexibility. It’s like living in an apartment: you still have to share the building with other people, but you have your own space and you can make your own rules.

Dedicated servers are the most expensive option, but they give you the most control and flexibility. It’s like owning a house: you have complete control over your space, and you can do whatever you want with it.

So, which one should you choose?

It depends on your needs and your budget.

Shared hosting is a good option if you’re just starting out and you don’t need a lot of power or flexibility.

VPS hosting is a good option if you need more power or flexibility than shared hosting can offer, but you don’t want to spend the money on a dedicated server.

Dedicated servers are the best option if you need the most power and flexibility, and you’re willing to pay for it.

Here’s a handy analogy to help you choose:

  • Shared hosting is like riding a bus: it’s cheap, but it’s slow and you have to share it with a bunch of other people.
  • VPS hosting is like driving a car: it’s more expensive than riding a bus, but it’s faster and you have more control.
  • Dedicated servers are like owning a private jet: it’s the most expensive option, but it’s the fastest and you have complete control.

So, there you have it.

The next time you’re thinking about hosting, remember the three main choices: shared hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated servers.

And remember, the best choice for you depends on your needs and your budget.

But whatever you do, don’t choose the wrong one.

Because if you do, you’ll be living in a nightmare.

A nightmare of slow loading times, constant downtime, and endless technical support tickets.

So choose wisely.

Your website’s future depends on it.

So, that’s why you should be using Opalstack! They have answer to all your needs, being shared hosting, VPS or dedicated server. Give them a try!


Shared Hosting: A Cost-Effective Friend, But Does it Grow with Your Business?

Shared hosting is often the first step for small businesses venturing online. It’s budget-friendly, easy to set up, and perfectly adequate for basic websites with low traffic. However, as your business grows and your digital presence expands, shared hosting’s limitations might start to show.

One potential hurdle is resource limitation. Shared hosting, by definition, means sharing server space and resources with other websites. This can lead to performance issues if your website experiences a sudden surge in traffic, or if another website on the same server experiences a spike in resource usage. This can translate to slower loading times, frustrating your visitors and potentially impacting your sales.

Security is another concern. While reputable providers implement security measures, a security breach on one website on a shared server can potentially put others at risk. This is particularly worrisome if your business handles sensitive customer information.

Furthermore, shared hosting often comes with limited customization options. You might not have full control over server configurations or be able to install specific software needed for your website’s functionality. This can hinder growth and innovation as your business evolves.

While shared hosting is a great starting point, it’s essential to consider your business’s long-term goals. If you anticipate significant growth in traffic, require specific software, or prioritize robust security, you might need to explore upgrades like VPS hosting or dedicated servers that offer more resources, control, and isolation.

Remember, your website is often the first impression your business makes online. Ensuring smooth performance, robust security, and the ability to adapt to your growing needs are crucial for success. So, while shared hosting might be a comfortable starting point, be prepared to re-evaluate your options as your business flourishes.

But not with Opalstack

Opalstack, my favorite shared hosting provider (they also provide other services), is free of any problem mentioned before. It’s a perfect friend for a small business and a blog writer like me. Flexibility, ease of use, no hidden costs.

I really recommend you checking out Opalstack.


Website for a new business

For a small business looking for a flexible website hosting service, I would recommend a shared hosting plan that provides the ability to install and manage a website through a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress or Drupal. This will give the business the flexibility to customize their website as they see fit, without having to rely on a SaaS website builder.

There are many hosting providers that offer shared hosting plans with CMS installation options, and I really vote Opalstack for the best of them! They offer affordable pricing plans, easy-to-use control panels, and reliable customer support.

If you are comparing bunch of service providers remember that before making a decision, it’s important to consider factors such as uptime guarantees, server speed and location, security features, and customer support quality. It’s also a good idea to read customer reviews and compare pricing plans to find the best fit for the business’s needs and budget.

Why Shared Hosting?

Shared hosting plans are a popular choice for small businesses or individuals who are just starting out with their website. Here are some benefits of shared hosting:

  1. Cost-effective: Shared hosting plans are typically more affordable than other hosting options, such as dedicated or VPS hosting. This makes it an ideal choice for small businesses or individuals who are just starting out and have a limited budget.
  2. Easy to use: Shared hosting plans are usually easy to set up and manage, even for beginners. Most providers offer a user-friendly control panel with tools that allow you to manage your website, domain, and email accounts.
  3. Scalability: Most shared hosting providers offer the option to upgrade to a more advanced hosting plan as your website grows and your needs change.
  4. Technical support: Shared hosting providers often offer 24/7 technical support to help you troubleshoot any issues you may encounter with your website.
  5. Resources: Shared hosting plans typically include ample resources such as disk space, bandwidth, and email accounts, which can be more than enough for a small business or individual website.

Overall, shared hosting is a great choice for small businesses or individuals who are just starting out with their website and are looking for an affordable and easy-to-use hosting option.

Therefore, go look Opalstack if you have any hosting needs!


Microsoft Power Platform summarized

What is Microsoft Power Platform? There’s surely a lot of buzz about it right now. Maybe it’s time to open the mystery little bit for those who haven’t been following it before.

Microsoft Power Platform is a low-code platform that provides users with the ability to build custom business applications and automate processes without writing a single line of code. As the platform gains popularity, it becomes increasingly important for organizations to implement a governance framework that ensures the platform is being used effectively, securely, and efficiently. In this article, we will discuss the key components of a Microsoft Power Platform governance framework and how organizations can implement them.

  1. User Access and Permissions: One of the most important aspects of Power Platform governance is controlling user access to the platform. This means defining the roles and responsibilities of users, as well as setting up permissions to control what users can see, do, and change within the platform. Organizations can use Azure Active Directory to manage user access, ensuring that only authorized users have access to sensitive information and resources.
  2. Data Management: As Power Platform is used to store and manage business data, it is essential that the data is stored securely, managed effectively, and audited regularly. Organizations should implement data management policies and procedures that define how data is stored, processed, and accessed within the platform. This includes defining data retention policies, establishing data backup and recovery procedures, and implementing data security measures such as encryption and multi-factor authentication.
  3. Compliance: Compliance with industry standards and regulations is critical for any organization using Power Platform. Organizations should ensure that their Power Platform deployment meets the relevant compliance standards, such as GDPR, HIPAA, and SOC 2, by conducting regular audits and reviewing their policies and procedures.
  4. Training and Support: Training and support are critical components of Power Platform governance. Organizations should ensure that users receive adequate training on how to use the platform effectively and that support is available when needed. This includes providing training resources such as user manuals, video tutorials, and in-person training sessions, as well as establishing a support team to handle user inquiries and resolve technical issues.

In conclusion, Microsoft Power Platform provides organizations with a powerful tool for automating business processes and building custom applications. To ensure that the platform is being used effectively, securely, and efficiently, organizations should implement a governance framework that covers user access and permissions, data management, compliance, change management, and training and support. By doing so, organizations can reap the full benefits of the platform and achieve their business goals.


Cloud gaming PC gives you cheap option

This post includes shadow discount code, scroll down to get it!

Cloud gaming is a type of online gaming that allows users to play video games over the internet using a remote server rather than a local gaming console or computer. A cloud gaming PC is a computer that is used to run and stream video games to other devices over the internet.

Here’s how it typically works:

  1. The user selects a game to play and launches it on their device (such as a computer or smartphone).
  2. The device sends a request to the cloud gaming server to start the game.
  3. The cloud gaming server, which is a powerful computer with high-end hardware, loads and runs the game.
  4. The game’s video and audio output is streamed from the cloud gaming server to the user’s device in real-time over the internet.
  5. The user’s device receives the video and audio stream and displays it on the screen, while also sending back inputs from the user (such as button presses or mouse movements) to the cloud gaming server.

This allows users to play games that would normally require a powerful gaming PC or console on devices that might not have the necessary hardware, as the processing is being done on the cloud gaming server.


Now, there is of course different approaches to this paradigm. For example Google Stadia (now shutting down) used concept described above. It was designed to be more towards console gaming experience and PC people were wondering what is there for them.

Along comes virtual PCs in the cloud. The best option here is Shadow PC.

There are several benefits to using a cloud-based virtual gaming PC:

  1. Accessibility: A cloud-based virtual gaming PC can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, allowing you to play your games on the go or on any device.
  2. Scalability: Cloud-based virtual gaming PCs can be easily scaled up or down to meet the demands of your gaming needs, without the need to purchase additional hardware.
  3. Cost-effective: A cloud-based virtual gaming PC can be more cost-effective than purchasing a physical gaming PC, as you only pay for the resources you use and do not need to worry about hardware maintenance or upgrades.
  4. Performance: Cloud-based virtual gaming PCs can offer high performance, with the ability to choose from a range of hardware configurations to meet your gaming needs.
  5. Ease of use: Cloud-based virtual gaming PCs are easy to set up and use, with many providers offering pre-configured gaming environments that are ready to go out of the box.

Experiences of using Shadow virtual PC

This post will include later a discount code for which gives you 5 EUR / USD off from first month. Makes it a bit cheaper to try.

I have been using ShadowPC for half an year now. It’s practically very easy. You install their client to your PC, Mac or phone and that application is basically remote desktop (with benefits) that connects to virtual PC running in the cloud. There will be full-blown windows instance with Admin rights for you. So, basically you can do everything you could do with your physically owned Windows machine.

Then I installed Steam, downloaded games and started playing. In my case, the PC is located at Frankfurt with pretty hefty internet connection so downloading is very fast. However, in my experience, disk io has been pretty slow which sometimes shows as increased loading times.

I have played with Shadow using Mobile broadband, public wifi-networks and strong fiber connection. Shadow tries intelligently change bitrates etc to match your connection speed to keep pings down. You can also set them manually. My connections have been using 15 Mbps – 50 Mbps settings depending on the network.

I have played even FPS games online with Shadow PC. There’s lag of control, about 30ms in my case, which is caused by round trip time from my PC to cloud and back. But then my ping to game servers in Europe is usually 0ms or 1ms because my pc locates often in the same high speed network than game servers themselves. So lag is in the different phase of the connection.

Due the lag, it’s not perfect for super accurate high speed gaming (CS:GO or Apex Legends) but for a bit slower action (Scum) or strategy games (XCOM, Civilization) it is perfect.

Test virtual cloud gaming pc

Go and test it by yourself. The investment is minimal and with code you get 5 USD/EUR off:

Join me on Shadow and save 5€ on your first month! Just use my referral code JASSUEBI or click here:


2022 Cheap hosting and domain

I’ve been long term client of GoDaddy when it comes to domains. I think has been in GoDaddy for 10 years or something. Not anymore.

When Godaddy purchased Webfaction the change was huge. Pricing with Webfaction was clear: Everything was included except special stuff and capacity. When GoDaddy came along, pricing started to be very cumbersome, hard to understand and at the end: pricey.

GoDaddy goes with same plan in Domains. They’re advertising super cheap domains and most of the services are very cheap when you buy them. But, as we know, domain stuff is usually recurring. So, after 3 years or so, cost is much higher and in most cases automatically billed.

In most concrete terms, my domain with WHOIS privacy was just renewed. Cost for 3 years was whopping 120 USD.

I’ve been saying it many times but I say it once more. I use Opalstack, maybe the best shared hosting provider, to run this and many other sites. Opalstack took what Webfaction had and made it even better. And for my use case it’s perfect.

Even though I love Opalstack, I don’t want to keep my all eggs in the same basket so therefore domains have been in GoDaddy and my DNS is done via Cloudflare (which I really love, btw).

When I got notification that I was invoiced 120 USD for the domain and the privacy product, I got a bit angry and upset because I felt just as it was: I was played.

I somehow remembered that I saw domain registrar stuff in Cloudflare control panel back in the day so in five seconds I was looking at the domain costs in Cloudflare. Cloudflare says that they’re not making any profit from domains. And domain was cheap enough (10 USD / Year). And, of course, privacy product was included in domain price.

If I had moved my domain to Cloudflare earlier, i would’ve saved 90 USD.

Cheap website fast?

I say what you’ll need:

Opalstack for webhosting that scales well and doesn’t need more money every time you use it.

Cloudflare for DNS services and domains. You get DNS for free and domains are cheap. And with quite small prices, you get pretty great services!

And, if you need to send emails, take Mailjet for sending emails. It has free tier and it’s perfect for you.

Do you agree or do you have your own favorite services? Leave a comment. It’s trendy again in 2023!


Opalstack Review – Experiences of the PHP guy

If you have followed this page earlier you know that I’m pretty satisfied user of Opalstack services. In this post I’ll provide more insight of Opalstack features. My point here is to get people to know about Opalstack and their way of hosting and therefore get all hosting providers to provide better plans.

Differences between providers

When speaking about Opalstack and web hosting we first need to look at others a bit. As I have history with Webfaction, I have browsed tsohost’s pricing multiple times.

This is how tso sees it. Affordable price, a free domain name (for the first year, a free SSL certificate for the first year and some strange migrations)

Tsohosting is just one player. There are multiple big players in the industry. Bluehost, Hostgator … There’re so many but they seem to share similar things related to pricing. At the front page they’re quite cheap. But then when you dig deeper and would actually want to use hosting for something, the bill starts to grow. It won’t be enourmous, of course, but relatively high compared to starting price.

So there you are. Webfaction was the first hosting provider (that I knew) who offered just piece of machine to you and you can do whatever (practically) you want with it. Always the same cost. Except when you need services that cause costs to provider, e.g. dedicated IPs etc. Additional cost in those cases are understandable.

Opalstack is Webfaction 2.0 in this sense. Basically the same idea. You can host a fleet for your small+mid sized websites and everything with the same cost. You can host large websites as well but there I wouldn’t probably go with shared hosting even though it would be possible. And hopefully you’re not running a fleet of large sites 🙂

512MB RAM 50GB SSD 500GB Bandwidth is Opalstack Valuestack oneliner. No need to put long pricing pages there. That’s what you have. And by the way: if you’re using shared apache (for example traditional PHP sites are hosted this way), memory is not calculated against you.

Need more space? You can buy it. Only memory, space and bandwidth are things that you need to pay for. Other than that just happens.

It’s more than just pricing

We all have contacted customer service in some hosting company before. We had to ask dedicated IP or SSL certificate or something else. Often those experiences are quite bad. Customer service is not enabling you but disabling. Everything is hard with them.

Opalstack goes in the exact opposite direction. They try to help you even when you have made the mistake yourself. They share tips on their forum and are very active there. It’s not that kind of forum where angry customers are yelling but company reps are not there. Nowadays I always check the forums first. What kind of service you can expect to have if you are their customer. Here’s example from Opalstack Community.

Capabilities are great

Do you need to run WordPress? They got you covered. You can choose over different PHP versions so if your plugins need certain version, it’s of course setting in the dashboard.

If you’re finding a place to host WordPress, please look at this post I made earlier. And maybe this as well.

Want to do something with Python? You can do it of course. They have quite well put instructions to things.

Do you have Java solution, modern or legacy? Yes, you can serve it from Opalstack without help from customer service. Just tell the Opalstack system that you need a free port where you’ll be hosting your service and that’s it. Here is example of a need to run Java program.

Want to run software done with dotnet core? And of course you can do it. Go? Node? Rust? Yes. They all are supported. See all features here.

That’s the idea here. There’s no limitations but only enablement.

Is Opalstack for me?

If you wonder if Opalstack would be a right choice for you, I have good news. They have 14 days fully functioning trial. Test it. Enjoy full shell access that so many times are missing from other competitors. Host your and your friends stuff on there. Because why not, it won’t cost you extra.

I haven’t found anything better available to this day. That’s why I’m acting as a Opalstack evangelist here. Because I want them to set the bar high so that others must follow. And this kind of pricing models and user enablement would be the standard practice in the future.

Until then, I keep using Opalstack.


How to Change WordPress Domain

When you want to e.g. publish your WordPress driven development site you probably need to change domain settings in WordPress. It’s not hard at all when you prepare a bit and know what you’re doing.

Too many posts in the internet just says that “go to admin panel and change site url”. Then it should work. Sometimes I wonder how much of testing have those people with this kind of instructions done before writing it down 🙂

So what you need to do?

  1. Get your WordPress to new server (if needed). You can follow these instructions I have written down earlier.
  2. It’s important that new domain is directed to this server (DNS).
  3. If your new server has WP-CLI available, use it.
$ wp search-replace 'http://example.old' '' --skip-columns=guid

4. It works. It’s actually a lot easier than many other possibilities. And it takes care all the serialized data in the same time.

If you don’t have WP-CLI available, check Moving WordPress from codex for other options. Just keep in mind that just changing SITE_* constants are not enough but you need to search and replace database.

I’m yet to understand why WordPress stores so eagerly absolute paths to database but it really does so often. It would make a lot more sense to use just relative URLs to everything but maybe there’s something related to multiuser wordpresses that makes sense. However, I don’t understand it.

I run my WordPress and Woocommerce sites proudly in Opalstack shared hosting provider. A lot of ex-Webfaction clients have moved to Opalstack and they’ve experience quite a growth. You may want to check it out.


Free Mail Sending Service

Have you ever suffered from poor email deliverability? You’re using a shared server and somebody sends too much email and whole server gets backlisted. All the mail you send will go to spam folders of your customers and all notifications are missed.

I believe that has happened to most of us. And it’s not only because of a shared hosting. It can also happen to a full VPS solution as your server is new and have no reputation. Want to send 1000 emails to your customers from there? Spam folders guaranteed.

As others, I have been there also. Probably back in the crazy days I may have caused some of those shared hosting blacklistings.. Sorry. But seriously, you don’t need to send that much emails to get blacklisted when there’s no reputation.


I have encountered email sending problem multiple times. When I developed my personal stuff (basically testing it out) with Outsystems I needed to send email. Outsystems does not provide you a server to do that. But it’s more than capable to use a SMTP service if you point one to it.

Many more or less homegrown ways to circumvent the problem has been introduced. Maybe the worst was to use Gmail SMTP with my own personal credentials. Thank god the API limits were minimal. I guess I only could send something like 50 emails in a day with it.

I have googled free smtp service. Nothing really interesting pops out. They are either developer tools or then something pretty shady. Usually these free ones also actually cost something. Not something I’d like to use to contact my customers.

Mail delivery in Webfaction days

When my sites were in Webfaction’s servers sending email was not the greatest experience. Setting it up did actually require something and not all emails were delivered. Once again I was looking for something to use to deliver my emails.

At this point, it might be worth to mention that I haven’t spammed ever. It certainly starts to sound that way when reading this text. But no. I just have had clients and own customers (hundreds or thousands usually) and somewhat relevant material have been sent to them.

Anyways, when Webfaction gave me enough headache I finally found the solution. Actually many of them.

Free tiers

There’s plenty of those email campaign tools which you can use to send transactional emails as well. They usually provide either an API or a direct SMTP access to their service.

My favorite service is Mailjet. Developer friendly. Their main business is to deliver emails to their recepients. You cannot use it for spam (that’s a good thing). You can use either API or SMTP for transactional mails. The free tier is quite big, 6 000 emails per month. Completely free. And if you happen to need some more occasionally, you can buy more very low cost.

2 cheapest tiers in Mailjet

There’s others. I’ve also used Mailchimp. It’s more focused to campaigns and stuff but you can get your things done.

Both services allow you use templates. So, you can use their template design tools to design a template and then just use API calls to fill and send the template. And it’s always delivered to the inbox.

Of course, it takes a bit work to get these services working. Usually DNS magic is enough, so you can get security features like SPF and DKIM to work.

But My Shared Hosting Delivers Emails Just Fine!

If you’ve read this blog before you know that I’m an Opalstack fanboy. Want to know more? I’ve a post about it here. Go read it.

Anyways, there was some discussion in the forums about email deliverability and sending limits. And Opalstack is doing great work with that. No problems with deliverability at the moment. So why bother to use some other service?

A few pointers:

  • Hosting providers are focusing on… hosting. Emailing services are focusing on… delivering email. Do you need more arguments?
  • In case somebody’s script go crazy and spam hell out of the server, you’re fine if you’re using external email delivery service

I recommend you getting familiar with these services. They’re free for small usage and quite cheap in larger volumes as well.


The Thin Client Future

One day I had interesting chat with a colleague. At work, we have windows and mac computers supported by our IT department. You can also run linux but in that case you’re mostly on your own. Meaning if you have problems you need to figure it out yourself.