Swiss web hosting comparison – what is the best?


Engineer answer: it depends. 🙂

Currently my hosting is in the US. It works fine, is quite cheap, but does offer Let’s Encrypt SSL certtificates. Also, from Europe, reaching sites in the US there is always some latency.

I’m going to show the results of my comparison of four different hosting providers in Switzerland, for small websites, mostly WordPress based, including its email management.

What are my web hosting requirements?

I manage three independent domains, with different users and targets. They are all wordpress based websites. Apart of that, I’ve a few PHP pages self developed, some dynamic photo albums, and other static pages.

For each of the domains I’ve a few email addresses, almost all of them only forward the email to other provider (Gmail or other).

I like to have SSH access. I need also one less secure FTP user to upload files to a specific folder.

Less than 100GB of space are needed. The space for emails is not important. I could also survive with 50GB.

As currently the browsers show the sites as unsecure when you do not have a SSL certificate, I also need one for each of the domains.

What did I test?

Basically from registration, the configuration panel, domain configuration, creation of databases, import a existing wordpress website, creation of email addresses.

Which hosting providers were tested?

Price / year + domain / yearComments
Infomaniak.ch180 Fr. (100GB) + 10.7 .ch + 11.4 .com5 physical adresses, same on all domains. Unlimited aliases. No free forward only emails.
Cyon.ch180 Fr. (250GB) + 14.9 .ch + 24.5 .comInterface a bit outdated.
Hostpoint.ch180 Fr. (250GB) + 15 .ch + 20 .comSimilar cPanel to Ionos. Fast and easy to use.
Hostfactory.ch120 Fr. (50GB) + 15 .ch + 27 .comVery reactive and brand new interface. Independent vhost per domain.
Ionos.com$84 (unlimited) + $20 / SSLOne .com domain included. One SSL certificate included. No extra free SSL certificate.

Infomaniak review

Since more than 15 years that I know Infomaniak and a few times I tried to move my websites there. Unfortunately their system continues to be not targeted to small but complex users like me. This time I was confident things would work, I paid for the hosting and emails. After three days I asked for the reimbursement. The email support service was excellent, even on a Sunday I got competent answers after less than two hours. No problem with the reimbursement within 30 days.

So what is wrong with Infomaniak?

Let’s say, Infomaniak would be my preferred swiss hosting provider if I would be the IT responsible for an association or would have my own company willing to have all the data in Switzerland. Their infrastructure is top with multiple data centers; their services great, when you have a single domain (with maybe small other associated domains). But their offer is not for managing completely independent domains. For that you are expected to buy one package per domain, which at the end becomes quite expensive.

My main problem was with the emails, as the email package (5 emails) is attached to a base domain. While you can associate other domains to the same package, the base email address will be from the base domain, and aliases will be automatically created for the other domains. You cannot have userA@domain1 and userA@domain2 adresses with independent access in a single email package. Also, each email is expected to be an hosted, with (unlimited) storage. Infomaniak e-mail service is very good and with an interface similar to Gmail.

You can self-service everything, including restore from old DNS configurations, restore from automatic backups, etc.SSH access is via password (you can manually configure ssh key once connected). The interface can be in any official Swiss language plus English and Spanish.

Cyon review

This company from Basel offers a very fast service. One can easily register without credit card and test the service for thirty days. The website design would need some revamp, the menu at the top is not so practical. There is SSH access via SSH key, all kinds of email configuration, DNS, etc.

I missed the possibility to have self-service restore and also the possibility to change the interface language to other than German.

Email service is quite easy and complete, you can do whatever you want with email adresses on the configured domains.

Hostpoint review

Like Cyon, the registration is easy and automatically one gets 30-day access to the management panel. The interface from Hostpoint is very similar to the cPanel from Ionos, but fortunately with no-popups and advertisement.

All is configurable. Each domain can use Apache, nginx with Apache/PHP of nginx only. Databases Emails, FTP and SSH access are easily created. A plus from Hostpoint, the FTP access is by default limited to west European countries (one can disable the limit).

While is possible to see and restore the DNS changes, there is no free possibility to restore the website or database. It is only possible to create backup and download the data.

Hostfactory review

This provider has a smaller package – 50GB for 120 Fr/year. It is also easy to register and have a 30-day test package by Hostfactory. The interface is very well done and responsive.

One big difference on this provider, is that each configured domain is completely independent, including the SSH access and the vhost where it resides. There are advantages and disadvantages of this solution, but at the end I think it is quite a nice choice for cases like mine, managing completely independent websites.

There is one hand quite concern on the security for the SSH, FTP accesses, with non standard ports and ssh only from listed IPs. But the passwords are not one-way encrypted. So anyone on the provider side can see what password you did setup.

Hostfactory says there are daily backups during 30 days and a self-service restore. I could see the possibility to personal backups and found a page for listing backups and make restores. Currently no backup appears there, so I could not test the restores.

There is no possibility to change language of the interface to other than German.

Conclusions

At the end I could not yet decided for which host to go. I see that my usage is not compatible with Infomaniak, but for others I would suggest to check it out. I will probably remain with Infomaniak for managing my domains registration.

Between the others, I’ve a small preference for Hostfactory. The main negative point of Hostfactory is the price, as it provides only 50GB for 120 Fr, jumping then to 300 Fr for 100GB!

Cyon misses self-service restores and a more practical user interface.

Hostpoint misses the self-service restores.

The speed tests I performed with Google tools, did not show big differences. The test importing a WordPress website worked smoothly on all providers.

I wanted also to test Hoststart, but it required to pay in advance (like I’ve done for Infomaniak) and the data would be stored in Germany, in hetzner.com datacenters, for which I did read some not so good reviews. So I removed it from my possible providers.

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