Linode Hosting Review: High Performance for the Tech-Savvy
Linode is definitely not your mother’s hosting provider. With this company, you won’t find any entry-level shared hosting plans with bargain-basement price points and one-click WordPress installation scripts.
Instead, Linode aims at a more specialized, and inarguably much smaller, slice of the hosting market: app developers and tech startups. If you need power, cutting-edge technology, and Linux support for your blog, Linode is definitely a provider to consider.
Linode is a portmanteau of the words “Linux” and “node.” Linode is a company that obviously specializes in Linux, and that experience serves its targeted market well.
About Linode and Its Infrastructure
Christopher Aker founded Linode in 2003. Fourteen years later, it boasts over 400,000 users in over 130 nations all around the world.
Linode has prioritized investing in its infrastructure while keeping that focus on Linux, which has resulted in a speedy network of solid state drive (SSD) servers with impressive enough performance to attract big client sites, including The Onion.
The Linode servers are spread out between nine different datacenters in Tokyo, Singapore, Frankfurt, and London, as well as four data centers in the United States (Atlanta, GA; Newark, NJ; Dallas, TX; and Fremont, CA). The network Linode has put together yields a 99.99% uptime rate.
New customers can select the datacenter they prefer. Generally, the center that’s closest to your users will result in a smoother, better user experience and faster page load time, due to a reduced latency rate (the period of time that elapses between a user’s input and the server’s response). You can verify which datacenter location is best for your needs with Linode’s speed-testing tool.
VPS Hosting Plans
Linode only does VPS – virtual private servers that run individual copies of the OS (operating system), enabling bloggers to install specific software as needed.
Based on virtual machines, as opposed to physically separate machines, VPS hosting plans generally cost less than dedicated physical servers. What does this mean for you, the customer and blogger? You essentially get a nice mix of the advantages of both: most of the benefits of that dedicated machine but without the (sometimes exorbitant) associated cost.
Linode offers a range of VPS hosting options with a wide range of associated transfer rates and storage limits. All Linode plans offer root access and SSH.
You can also arrange for regular backups as well as other “extras” for additional fees.
If you’re not keen on the added technical demands of managing your own Linux VPS machine, you can get Linode’s experts to take care of that for you with its Managed Hosting add-on. If problems arise, your Managed Hosting team is there to take care of it for you — 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Managed hosting services generally provide time-saving benefits to busy bloggers, leaving them free to focus on managing and growing their businesses and blogs.
In the case of Linode’s managed hosting services, you’ll also benefit from automatic backups. If you sign up for three months or more, Linode’s experts will also migrate not just one but two existing blogs or sites to your new account, free of charge, thus saving you downtime in the transition between servers.
The Linode Control Panel
Unless you sign up for managed hosting services, you won’t find cPanel in your Linode interface. Instead, you get Linode’s own control panel, which most will likely find simple enough to learn. Users can change their panel interfaces around to suit their own preferences.
Linode is perhaps not as beginner-friendly as some of those more entry-level hosting providers who do offer cPanel to all users, but for the users the company targets, working with the Linode server is easily accomplished, using an advanced API platform and DNS management tools, or the Linode command line interface (CLI).
Linode also offers an iOS app to work with your Linode server, track any submitted ticket requests for customer service, and manage your account.
Keep in mind that Linode’s focus on developers and Linux means that you won’t find any of the usual site-building tools or script installers that one would expect to see offered through other hosting providers. So you’ll need to install WordPress or whatever blogging platform you choose yourself, or hire someone to do it for you.
Linode gives you the technical blank-slate studio; you build and deploy your site. To accomplish this goal, Linode has built an API and published a robust online guide to working with that API, including samples of code and other resources to assist you.
If you run into a problem with your Linode server or blog deployment, the company offers a robust collection of technical how-to guides called the Linode Library. The library also includes quick-start guides and tutorials, which might be particularly useful to Linux newcomers.
If that doesn’t help, you can ask for more personalized attention through Linode’s ticket system, by telephone, or IRC chat (for simple requests).
Billing and Cancellation
Linode’s billing is a bit unusual, compared to some of the larger, more commercially popular hosting providers. Basically, you’ll be billed for all Linode products on a monthly basis for the prior month’s usage.
If you did not use the full allotment of resources for that plan during the prior month, you’ll be billed at a specific hourly rate. If you hit the cap for your plan, your bill won’t exceed that plan’s specified payment cap (unless, of course, you go over your allotted bandwidth limit).
For more detailed explanations on Linode’s pricing structure for each of its plans and services, refer to the information on the company’s pricing page.
The company accepts customer payments via all major credit cards as well as PayPal. You will, however, need to set up your Linode account initially using a credit card, although you can later transfer funds into your Linode account using PayPal to advance against ongoing charges.
Linode’s website advises new customers to start off on the smaller end of the available plan sizes if they’re not quite certain which level is right for their blog. It’s relatively simple to transfer to a bigger plan if you find you need it later on. In this regard, Linode seems to offer a scalability that’s especially beneficial for new startups.
Linode offers a money-back guarantee but it’s not very substantial. At only seven days long, the guarantee period is barely better than no guarantee at all. However, you won’t be committed to a months-long contractual term.
Who Should Choose Linode?
If you’re an app developer or tech startup in need of a top-flight, cutting-edge Linux foundation for your blog, especially considering any possible future site plans, Linode is worth a close look.
But if you’re simply interested in launching a straightforward blog or informational website — something relatively static through which you don’t anticipate collecting or processing lots of client data, for example — Linode’s specialty might be overkill for you.
Do be aware that Linode will require a bit more effort and attention from the user than more traditional, beginner-friendly plans. If that’s not realistic for you, check out Linode’s managed hosting services, or a more entry-level provider instead.
Image Source: Pixabay | jarmoluk