The Alibaba group is often referred to as 'the Amazon of China'. And while some may call this analogy inaccurate, there's still no question that Alibaba's cloud hosting service is a direct competitor to Amazon's AWS platform.
Both offer powerful cloud hosting platforms and tools that are firmly aimed at enterprise users such as object storage.
But is this Chinese eCommerce giant any good when it comes to web hosting? To find out, you'll have to read my Alibaba Cloud review.
Alibaba Cloud Review: First Impressions
Alibaba Cloud offers far more than cloud hosting. All of the following cloud services are also available:
- Elastic computing: scalable and adaptable cloud processing
- Database services: compatible with a variety of SQL languages
- Storage hosting: includes object storage for excellent metadata management
- VPC Networking: on-demand shared computing resources
- Domain services: DNS and domain registration
In this Alibaba Cloud review, I'll mostly focus on the Alibaba hosting service. However, particularly for developers, these other services add significant value to the Alibaba Cloud platform because they aren't offered by most hosts.
User-Unfriendly Set Up
In place of a server management program like cPanel, Alibaba Cloud forces you to use its own custom software which doesn't include any 1-click installer packages.
Instead, to install site-creation software, I had to manually upload files through an FTP system. Beginners will find this difficult to do and, once the server is up and running, may have to repeat the same process to add software updates.
The Alibaba control panel is visually appealing and simple to navigate. The problem is simply that it's limited in features compared to competitors like cPanel, forcing you to do a lot manually.
Limited Server Locations
In some regards, the Alibaba hosting service feels more like a beta-product rather than a fully-fledged hosting service. One of the areas where this is most obvious is in its limited choice of data centers.
Despite Alibaba's other cloud computing services being offered in over 70 countries, Alibaba hosting is currently only available at its Silicon Valley data center.
Capitalizes on the Advantages of Cloud Hosting
Alibaba uses its cloud architecture to isolate your server container and achieve a 99.99% data reliability rate. In my experience, that's no empty promise: during my Alibaba review, I didn't experience any noticeable downtime or encounter any data corruption.
Alibaba Cloud Hosting Pricing
Alibaba Cloud only offers a single hosting plan, called the 'Web Hosting' package, which costs $5.90/month. That's quite a decent price. But the lack of choice is particularly disappointing as Alibaba's other enterprise applications are designed for scalability.
Alibaba Cloud Hosting Plan in More Detail
Let's take a closer look at the specs included with the 'Web Hosting' package:
|No. of Domains||1|
|Email Addresses||Not supported|
|HDD or SSD||SSD|
|Customer Support||24/7 Live Chat|
|Free Trial Period||30-day|
It's a lackluster spec sheet. $5.90/month is a high price to pay for 5GB of storage, which will only be enough to host a pretty small website. 50GB monthly bandwidth is also optimized to only around 30,000 visitors a month, which isn't ideal.
Alibaba Cloud Performance
I checked my Alibaba site's performance using Bitcatcha.
The results were average. Despite the platform's other flaws, users shouldn't have trouble loading your pages.
Alibaba Cloud Review: Not An Impressive Performance
I can't recommend this platform. It's difficult to use, limited in specs and clearly an afterthought Alibaba has tacked on to its enterprise-level cloud processing services.
For that price, you can get much
Do you have Alibaba Cloud reviews of your own? If so, please add them below!
- Simple structure plan
- Extremely reliable
- Reasonable site performance
- Limited storage
- Only one data center
- Restrictive custom control panel
- Difficult to install CMS programs