Aspiration Hosting. The name evokes the idea of a starry-eyed startup, a person with big dreams of popularity or a profitable business. But despite the company’s obvious target for this demographic — the flexible plans, the cutting-edge cloud technology, and the specialization in Magento — its own history seemed rather mysterious. There’s almost no information about company background or staff on the website. The fog of mystery lifted though when we were able to track down the delightful story of its founding by a risk-friendly entrepreneur whose recent wedding involved jumping off of Sydney Harbor Bridge in a sky suit.
In the case of Aspiration, the company does indeed seem to be an extension of its bold founder. They aggressively set the bar for customer service, which shows in their customer ratings which average 4.7 out of 5.0.
Innovative Cloud Servers
The world is embracing cloud hosting, and Aspiration knows this. In fact, cloud is all it offers. No more wasting time on annoyingly slow shared servers — jump right into the action with the cloud, and have a fast, reliable host from the get-go.
Unlike many other cloud hosting providers, Aspiration charges a flat fee rather than a flexible data payment. This can be a godsend for some, but for most customers, it won’t make much of a difference. Either way, you’ll get tons of storage, unmetered bandwidth, unlimited domains, and a plethora of other goodies.
Aspiration well outperforms many other hosts. Its servers run at 10 Gbps — an internet speed you probably can’t even comprehend — on SSD servers, as is now standard.
Bandwidth is unmetered, so there’s no charge for going over, and the resource limits aren’t bad regardless of which plan you choose.
But what really makes Aspiration Hosting plans sparkle are all the free add-ons. Aspiration’s service is optimized for the e-commerce platform Magento. Their main client base is Magento store owners or Magento developers who together make up an estimated 70% of Aspiration’s total clients.
Aspiration Hosting also supports other PHP applications like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. Aspiration offers LiteMage and LiteSpeed Cache to make sites load lightning-fast. You can also explore LiteMage Cache powered Magento demo stores and choose from among several global locations. Aspiration also provides an SSL certificate — necessary in this day and age — and for all but the most basic plan, Aspiration’s own CDN.
Long load times can be a conversion, SEO, and engagement killer, especially for businesses and online stores, so the company provides all the tools you need to make sure your site runs clean and fast.
If business is booming and you need a plan with a little more oomph, a cloud server might be the better choice. It runs at nearly the same capacity as a dedicated server without the high price tag, so it’s hard to go wrong. Server management and security are handled by the company so you can focus on building and growing your site. But don’t worry, there’s SSH access if you need it.
Better yet, the cloud server plans come with the same extras as cloud hosting and more. Magento, Aspiration CDN, and the free SSL certificate now are bundled with Anycast DNS, better backups, and all server licenses are taken care of. And if the normal plans aren’t enough, just scale up! You’ll get just the amount of storage, RAM, and CPU you need.
Overall, there’s not too much redundancy as far as choices go. It’s simple enough to find a plan that fits your company’s needs, and there’s essentially no cap on how much your website can grow as long as you’re willing to pay for a larger plan.
Aspiration Hosting’s Infrastructure
Feature lists are all well and good, but it’s nice to keep up with the technical side of things and dig into the nitty-gritty. How does Aspiration Hosting keep your data safe and deliver content fast?
To start, MySQL is strongly integrated and you get daily backups of both it and your website. Sweet deal! Aspiration Hosting also supports Drupal, Joomla, Ruby, and WordPress. All the standards in content delivery and frameworks are available, which is reassuring.
Softaculous and Installatron are also included, so integrating third-party apps is a snap. And, to get you started, you can transfer an existing site — including your existing cPanel and email accounts. There’s no cap on the number of domains and subdomains you can create, but there is a data quota you should be mindful of.
There are a few version control systems that can be enabled at no charge, including Git and SVN, so it’s easy to keep track of your file history. SSH access is included in all plans, as is cPanel — and cloud servers get cPanel/WHM. Free malware cleanup thanks to Sucuri monitoring helps keep your site clean, too.
Finally, let’s talk about the speedy side of things. Aspiration CDN claims to be faster than CloudFlare internationally, while LiteSpeed is proven to be a much better, quicker server than Apache and even nginx. It can stand up to intense server load that would make Apache crash and burn.
Overall, it seems that Aspiration is all about speed. Get your site transferred in less than three days, make sure everything is speedy with a great CDN and web server, and install all the apps you need on the fly. No delay and no downtime required.
Exemplary Customer Service
To top off the great technology and features, Aspiration is boosted by its widely celebrated customer service. The company calls its customer service “unparalleled,” and promises support at any hour, on any day of the year.
Visiting the “Contact Us” page will present you with a variety of links to specific departments: web design, technical support, business, etc; it’s all there. And the response times are solid.
Most requests are handled through the online helpdesk and ticket/email system, but a phone support service is provided as well. For clients with lower level plans, there is a charge per month to use the phone support — it’s a small team with not too many staff to spare — but the helpdesk is still available for all who need it.
We tried out Aspiration Hosting’s live chat module and before we could blink, their Operations Manager, Leslie Barton was communicating with us. We liked the fact that the live chat tool allows for attachment of files like screen grabs, which is convenient for troubleshooting. Nerds will like the emoticon chat options and you can email yourself a transcript of the chat afterwards.
Leslie underscored Aspiration Hosting’s emphasis on customer service. “We offer 24x7x365 high-level engineers to all our clients that can help with anything from server to software issues,” Leslie said. “We also have a web developer on staff available to all clients that will help with programming, he is an expert in Magento as well.”
All of Aspiration Hosting’s support is provided as a complimentary service, but Leslie Barton told us something surprising about this. “Even if you have our developer fixing code for your Magento store, it won’t cost you anything.”
What are the parameters of the free developer resource? Barton gave us this helpful information: “It covers just about everything short of actually designing and creating your site for you. The only other thing to mention that isn’t free is major Magento upgrades. For example someone going from say 1.7.x to 1.9.x. There is quite a bit of work that comes with those types of upgrades so we will generally quote a price for it or suggest another developer that may be able to help.”
History of Aspiration Hosting
Unlike many businesses, Aspiration Hosting doesn’t have a background story about its founding, or staff information on its About page. It does have a description of its services and features, and high review ratings (4.7 out of 5.0).
Aspiration’s Operations Manager pointed us to a profile of founder James Lee featured on Magento.com. It turns out Lee is a “Magento Master” and a Magento forum moderator who has a background in electronics, coding and IT. Lee discovered Magento in 2008 and joined the forums, citing what he saw as high potential for the software.
In his words: “After joining in, I realized that there are not many people with expertise when it comes to servers and hosting and things like that. A lot of developers and users, but not many from a hosting provider point of view. That’s why I decided to contribute and help those people. Initially, there were a lot of problems with basic things like file permissions and things like that. That’s why I started.” After being immersed in all things e-commerce in the forums, Lee began shifting his company’s direction to focus on e-commerce and Magento.
His advice to developers? “Please get your server environment right — security and everything. . . Unless you want to manage the server yourself, which takes a lot of hours, it’s better for you to have a security expert to really help you manage it so you can let them worry about that, and you can just worry about your code.”
Like many entrepreneurs, Lee has a high tolerance for risk. He got married last October on top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge. “As in on top of it, where you have to climb on top with a safety suit and everything,” Lee explained. “Let’s hope the ring doesn’t drop from there.” So how that risk pay off? “It didn’t drop, and James Lee is now happily married!,” reported Magento in its profile of Lee.
Overall, Aspiration runs a clean, reliable site and their About page is part of that. It would be nice to be able to get a sense of the people and unique story behind Aspiration without having to search online for it.
Aspiration gets its point across quickly. The two options — cloud hosting and cloud servers — are right on the front page. And if you explore more, you’ll see all sorts of apps, mostly tailored to online stores and businesses. It does what it needs to do for this audience.
But other users may find themselves at a deficit. Casual customers may be better off finding a host that provides apps tailored to their needs, rather than one designed around Magento. Artists could go for a portfolio-type site with just a small focus on e-commerce apps. And WordPress users may want something that better integrates that CMS.
This hosting is best suited for one kind of site: an e-commerce store, small or large. That is what Aspiration Hosting does best, but it’s also the only niche it caters to. Other types of websites will work, but it’s certainly not designed specifically for them. But is that really a bad thing? Ultimately, that’s up to you.
Luckily, there aren’t too many drawbacks to this host; its benefits far eclipse any issues to be found. Aspiration sets a standard many others fail to uphold, and here are just a few ways it does so.
It’s already on this list, but it deserves a second mention. Live chat, a helpdesk, a knowledge base, and phone support — for such a small company with under 50 employees, this is quite the feat. Company representatives appear to be polite and responsive no matter the gravity of the complaint.
Aspiration Hosting shows a level of integrity and dedication to quality many companies don’t bother with. There’s a solid 30-day money-back guarantee and, though it’s nestled away in the ToS, a service credit for downtime.
The company is also quite generous in many respects, the complete site transfer and all the free apps and addons, serve as solid examples. The unmetered bandwidth in cloud hosting is quite nice as well. Aspiration even took the time to develop a CDN that they offer for free.
It’s clear that Aspiration Hosting keeps its customer’s best interests in mind, and all the features it offers vastly increase this host’s quality. All the add-ons and extra features appear to have been carefully selected and tailored to meet the needs of its user base.
Right For You?
So with all these questions answered, is Aspiration Hosting the right pick?
If you run an e-commerce website, especially one that’s already published somewhere, the answer is almost certainly, “yes.” Everything in this host’s packages is tailored specifically to growing and advancing your business while providing the speediest service on the market.
From the reasonable prices, to the integration of Magento, to all the tools designed to keep load times at a minimum and upkeep at a maximum, this is the perfect choice for growing businesses.
Even if you’re just a casual designer, this isn’t a bad way to break into the cloud hosting market. The basic plan is comparatively cheap for what it provides. You may have no use for Magento, but the CDN and LiteSpeed will keep your website loading lightning-fast no matter what sort of site you run. As such, we think Aspiration Hosting is a good choice for businesses across every niche.
Still unsure if Aspiration Hosting is right for you? Check out our sister website WhoIsHostingThis.com. There you’ll find what actual users think of their hosting services.