Micfo Review: Enterprise-Grade Cloud Hosting for Bloggers
If your blog’s hosting needs have evolved beyond the cheapest shared plans available, but you’re not quite ready for the super-connectivity and customization of some of the developer-centered, app-oriented hosting companies out there, you might wonder what your options are.
One of those options is Micfo.
The first iteration of Micfo was founded by now-Executive Director Amir Golestan as a sixteen-year-old in Dubai. When Golestan moved to the United States in 2010, the company moved along with him, and it gradually evolved into a cloud hosting powerhouse.
While Micfo serves customers across the globe, its headquarters are located in Atlanta, Georgia, with an additional office in New York.
The company does not seem to target any one specialization or niche, but does offer enterprise “infrastructure as a service” (IaaS) to customers in a number of sectors, both public and private.
Micfo’s Hosting Plans and Features
For bloggers that may experience significant fluctuations in traffic and related server resources, cloud-based hosting offers a number of competitive advantages at a price that’s typically more budget-friendly than dedicated servers.
Micfo clients include major brands such as Ferrari, L’Oreal, and W Hotels.
Micfo offers 3 cloud hosting plans: Classic Cloud, Turbo Cloud, and Cloud 9. Each plans offers specific amounts of storage, bandwidth, CPU allocation and bandwidth. The top two tiers include a free dedicated SSL certificate.
Micfo also offers dedicated server hosting services. You can choose from 4 plans at various price points.
The price points for Micfo dedicated hosting plans are significantly higher than for the cloud-based plans. This is the norm for those two types of hosting. In exchange for that additional cost, you’ll get a superior hardware architecture and improved server performance.
Also, each dedicated plan can be customized to a certain extent. All dedicated hosting plans include remote access and remote reboot capabilities as well.
Infrastructure and Security
With datacenters in six major U.S. cities — Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Seattle — Micfo has invested in a diverse and strategically positioned network that serves customers well.
Shared and reseller customer accounts are assigned to best-in-class Dell servers, with a RAID 10 configuration that connects multiple hard drives together. This creates what is functionally a single huge storage system for enhanced reliability and superb performance, as well as redundancy in backup of customer data.
What Can Micfo Do for Bloggers?
E-commerce is a topic that’s front of mind for many bloggers whose ambitions transcend ad revenue and round-up posts. But setting up an e-commerce site, or transitioning an existing site into a dual-purpose site, can seem complex.
If you plan to start selling products and services, you’ll want to make sure your web hosting company makes a transition to e-commerce as smooth as possible.
While Micfo does state on its website that it’s a great partner for e-commerce projects, the details are lacking; the site visitor is encouraged to call Micfo to learn more. There is discussion on the company’s site of uptime and server reliability, but these are a given need of any serious blog or site owner; they’re the minimum you should expect, not a nice-to-have add-on.
Micfo is correct in stating that reliable servers with sufficient redundancy and resources to support smooth, stable site operations are crucial for e-commerce but again, you’ll have to call to get details. Unlike some of their competitors, Micfo doesn’t list which shopping cart apps are available for integration.
Micfo Customer Support
Among mid-priced hosting services companies, Micfo is notable for an exceptional set of customer support options and resources.
As its major competitors do, Micfo gently steers its customers towards the self-help customer support first. It makes financial and organizational sense: the more you can help yourself with the little quirks and questions, the more time the professional staff will have for the really big, complex issues.
Unlike some of its competitors, Micfo encourages potential clients to call to get details about hosting plans.
A series of video tutorials on technical problems will help customers new to web hosting. Topics include blog management issues such as managing URL redirects in cPanel or creating and using FTP accounts.
In addition, Micfo has gathered a wide-ranging collection of concise, written tutorials and how-to’s on common administration and troubleshooting issues. The Micfo knowledgebase is comprehensive. It’s divided into six broad categories, including general, sales, technical, customer service, billing, and affiliate program topics (although this last category is empty).
The technical support department is available around the clock, seven days a week with network and systems engineers providing professional assistance.
You can secure individualized attention from these engineers by submitting a ticket request or by calling Micfo’s toll-free telephone number. For simpler requests, as well as questions or problems with sales and billing, you can use Micfo’s handy Live Chat feature on the company’s website.
The technical support department itself is available around the clock, seven days a week with network and systems engineers providing professional technical assistance.
When a customer initiates a support request, Micfo assigns the customer a specific representative to serve as a single point of contact for that request. Busy bloggers will appreciate this practice.
You’ll also enjoy having a single client portal through which you can read updates and respond to any additional requests for information on your submitted tickets, keeping all helpful support information in a single, easy-to-find interface.
Billing and Guarantees
Micfo accepts customer payments via major credit cards as well as PayPal.
New customers can choose whether to pay on a monthly or a yearly basis. If you start off monthly and later decide you’d prefer the convenience of a single annual payment, you can do so. You’ll need to submit a written request to the billing department to initiate that change.
The company also offers a general, 30-day money-back guarantee and a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
Micfo: Right for Bloggers?
If you’re new to blogging, or have a limited budget, you can probably find a more economical hosting plan elsewhere. Micfo isn’t for shoestring startups or small brands with limited resources and needs. And it may not be adequate for established brands with serious technology requirements.
But if you’re experiencing a significant bump in growth or are planning an expansion into an area that will require additional resources, Micfo is worth a look. You will pay slightly more, and there are no unlimited resources offered as sweeteners to attract new customers, but you’ll also get more in return — additional resources, enhanced performance, and improved stability.