ColdFusion Hosting Independent Review (How To Choose the Best One)

Welcome to the updated 2021 independent review of the top ColdFusion hosting services.

There are so many different factors to take into consideration when choosing the best ColdFusion hosting for your company’s next project or web app. And there’s a lot of peril in making the wrong decision.

Some of the most painful situations occur when:

  1. Unreliable web hosting is chosen. That’s when the servers may go down, costing your company vital traffic and, as a result, potential revenue.
  2. By dropping your company’s public sales and marketing info, a hosting site can actually cause your company’s profits to decrease. Multiply this over the long term, and an e-commerce site could face major losses.
  3. Along with a direct drop-in profit, SEO ratings will be negatively affected as well. If your site is lost in page two or worse in the search results, your competitors can jump ahead of you in line.
  4. Security issues and datanapping can occur if an unsecured host is chosen.

How can you choose the proper hosting service?

Continue reading as we dissect exactly what you need to know in order to make sure your awesome apps and projects stay with a stable host.

Note: all the links are not affiliate-links and TeraTech does not promote anyone except the companies that we think deserve to be heard of. We appreciate everyone who’s doing CF hosting, and we didn’t want to pick favorites in this guide.

How do You Decide Which CF Hosting is Good For You?

This is the first step when choosing a hosting service: define your company’s needs. Is speed and search rank a priority? Or do you want stability and the potential for longer-term growth? Each host has its own strength and weakness.

After setting down your priorities, you will be a step closer to knowing exactly which hosting company to choose.

But there are other considerations to make before choosing your host.

One big factor: which variant of ColdFusion your company uses.

CF Enterprise vs CF Standard

  • Which version of Adobe ColdFusion are you running? CF Enterprise is an advanced version of the development platform. It provides many more features than CF Standard.
    However, you are able to run multiple CF-developed websites on a single server with both products. With ColdFusion Enterprise, you do need to consider that you can support multiple server instances.

Related: CF Enterprise vs CF Standard Buying Guide

Security

  • What level of security does your company need? For those involved with e-commerce or banking, top security is an absolute must-have. You cannot overlook your security needs. Some hosts provide higher levels of security. These sites tend to cost more, but the investment may pay off in the long term if there are no security breaches.
    Other companies may be able to have a somewhat looser approach to security, with the option to ramp up should the need arise later.
    Make sure you can get the best security for your budget.

Site Backup

  • Everyone should know by now that it is crucial that you do a backup of your website. It’s pretty close to unconscionable to run a web app without a backup. But, how do you prefer to do your backup? Some web hosting companies, such as Hostwinds, offer automatic backups as part of their packages. But don’t let such services be your only backup.
    Always — always — back up more than one way. An external offline backup is great to have handy.

Web Hosting Support

  • This is often one of the more-overlooked factors when choosing a host, and many people find out they made the wrong choice too late. Everyone needs a little help sometimes. Some hosts provide real-time assistance, while others focus on a ticket support system. Make sure that your host company will offer the help system that your business needs.

Scalability

  • Your company has ambitions. It wants to grow, both on its balance sheet but also with its online presence. Your future ColdFusion hosting company shouldn’t be blocking those ambitions but helping them along. It has to scale with you and your plans.
    Be sure a hosting service won’t penalize your company’s growth.

Price Point

  • I put this point last, although your instinct may be to put it first. But it’s often better to have some semblance of what you need put together and then deciding the cost. Most hosts offer a wide variety of services and support. These added features come with an increase in price. Can you afford to pay for this? Does the host fit your budget?

Finding the proper balance between those factors can be difficult. So, it is very important that you are clear on exactly what you need.

How Did We Pick the Best ColdFusion Hosting Companies?

The “best host” has to fulfill the needs listed above, while also embracing ColdFusion with the sort of dedication that inspires confidence.

When putting together a “best” list, one walks a bit of a tightrope. I readily admit what draws me to a particular company may not be all that enticing to you. But I put myself in the position of a CIO making big decisions — often stressed out and sometimes underappreciated. What matters most to you?

I’ve been told by many that they pay as much for peace of mind as they do stability or speed. But there’s no reason to favor one over the other. Some balance of all the factors above offers the best value for your company.

All that aside, keep in mind that this is an independent review. We did not get any $$ for this, nor any other benefit from any of the companies listed in this blog post. We did not want to pick any favorites here.

I thought that we/ CFers, needed an independent, reliable, list of all CF hosting companies out there. And, the list will go on… 😉

In-House Hosting or Managed Hosting?

After you have determined what your base factors for hosting are, you need to decide between In-House hosting or Managed Hosting. This depends on how you plan to have your servers arranged.

In-House Hosting is where all servers and networking equipment are owned and operated by your company itself. This costly option has become the domain of big players, with millions of users capable of logging in at once. If you’re in that range — lucky you! But then again, you wouldn’t even be debating which web hosting service to choose, now would you?

Managed web Hosting is a dedicated server or cloud server owned by a third party host. These are then offered to you as a client for a premium. You’re essentially renting virtual space for your company’s online presence.

So which one is right for you? Let’s make a pros and cons list for each.

In-House ColdFusion Hosting

Pros:

  • Actual control over company-owned and -maintained servers
  • Keeps sensitive information secured within the company
  • Internet connection not required for data access
  • Cost-effective for companies not concerned with uptime

Cons:

  • Higher initial costs
  • More manpower and money needed for maintenance, upgrades, and day-to-day operations
  • Dedicated space is needed for servers
  • More vulnerable during natural disasters if no external backup is available

Managed ColdFusion Hosting

Pros:

  • Dedicated server place is no longer required
  • Cloud hosting is great for smaller companies who may outgrow their infrastructure
  • Scalable and flexible
  • Connectability lets you access from any place that has internet capabilities
  • Easy backup

Cons:

  • Speed limited by internet connection
  • Third-party hosting sites can have direct access to sensitive information
  • Loss of internet connection means no access to data
  • Dedicated solutions can be more difficult

Co-location ColdFusion Hosting

There is another form of data hosting. Co-location (shared) hosting is when your data is stored on a server at a third-party location. These servers can be accessed directly on-site or remotely. Shared hosting offers a hybrid of advantages and disadvantages from In-House and Managed hosting.

Pros:

  • It is inexpensive, making the option great for startups.
  • It is very convenient, allowing the third party to manage while you focus on other things.

Cons:

  • It has limited capabilities. Does not scale very well.
  • There can be security concerns with the lack of customization.

ColdFusion 2021 Goes to the Cloud

Yes, that is the main thing that Adobe’s ColdFusion experts and developers promise with CF 2021. Many are touting the development platform’s newfound love of cloud computing. From multi-cloud abilities, allowing users to pick and choose cloud hosting services at a granular level, to an agnostic stance about which service you use, the newest version of CF promises to have more cloud capability than its predecessors and competitors.

Adobe ColdFusion Hosting in the Cloud

AWS (Amazon Web Services)

According to Amazon:

AWS is a secure cloud services platform offering computing power, database storage, content delivery, and other functionalities to help businesses scale and grow.

AWS can be very helpful for ColdFusion developers.

Related: Brian Klaas speaks about: Level Up Your ColdFusion Web Apps With Amazon Web Services.

AWS (Amazon Web Services) Pros:

  • AWS has more than 5 times the computing power than other leading providers.
  • Over 14 years of experience with hundreds of thousands of customers all around the globe.
  • Has obtained the following industry certifications:
  • HIPAA
  • SOC 1/SSAE 16/ISAE 3402 (formerly SAS70)
  • SOC 2
  • SOC 3
  • PCI DSS Level 1
  • ISO 27001
  • FedRAMP
  • DIACAP and FISMA
  • ITAR
  • FIPS 140–2
  • CSA
  • MPAA

AWS (Amazon Web Services) Cons:

  • AWS can have a steep learning curve for those companies with large enterprises.
  • By default, AWS does not have Enterprise-grade support. Separate plans must be purchased.
  • Cost: AWS works as a utilities company. You only pay for what you use. They have a wide array of products with different price points.
  • Website: https://aws.amazon.com/

Digital Ocean

Digital Ocean is a cloud computing platform that focuses on simplicity. Both simple to use and simply priced, Digital Ocean can provide for your ColdFusion needs. The community at Digital Ocean recommends running ColdFusion through Apache Tomcat or Apache HTTP Server.

Digital Ocean Pros:

  • Very reasonably priced compared to other competitors.
  • Simple to use and Amazon S3 compatible.
  • Extreme user friendliness with its U/I

Digital Ocean Cons:

  • No paid support.
  • Pricing is the same whether you upload data or not.
  • They do not offer as many regions as other services.
  • Cost: Basic services start at $5 per month and can scale up to $960.
  • Website: https://www.digitalocean.com/

GCP (Google Cloud Platform)

GCP is a cloud platform that boasts using Google’s core infrastructure, data analytics, and machine learning. It is completely serverless relying strictly on cloud dynamics. They pride themselves on leading the industry in price performance.

GCP (Google Cloud Platform) Pros:

  • They possess the fastest I/O among the competition.
  • They are very strong in storage segmenting and data analytics.
  • It has a one-click browser-based SSH Console.

GCP (Google Cloud Platform) Cons:

  • No actual control over Virtual Machines.
  • The choice of programming languages is limited. (ColdFusion is not preconfigured on GCP; however, a VM can be created on Compute Engine and uploaded.)
  • It is difficult to transition away from Google Cloud Platform.
  • Cost: GCP offers individual products so you can build the package that best suits your needs. A handy pricing calculator is available on the site to assist in constructing your custom line of services.
  • Website: https://cloud.google.com/

Hostek

Hostek has a team of ColdFusion experts on hand. They also offer Fusion Reactor, a ColdFusion Monitoring platform, along with their services.

Hostek CF Hosting Pros:

  • Their support system offers three different ways to contact them:
  • Live Chat
  • Online Ticketing System
  • 24/7 Phone Line
  • You get one-month free trial.
  • There are a wide array of technical specs with additional add-ons for purchase.

Hostek CF Hosting Cons:

  • Fluctuating performance speeds.
  • Poor uptime.
  • The control panel is not user-friendly.
  • Cost: In order to get a quote with Hostek, you must first schedule a free consultation with one of their experts. Together with Hostek, you will build a plan most suitable for your needs.
  • Website: https://hostek.com/

Illuminated Hosting Services

Very good company when it comes to their users and services. They are well respected and praised on forums and client satisfaction charts. Advanced Hosting Services feature some of the following technologies: ColdFusion hosting, .NET, NodeJS, PHP, Lucee, and WordPress 1 click install, site.pro, and Python etc.

Illuminated Hosting Services Pros:

  • All Major Languages Available
  • Illuminated also specializes in Dedicated Servers, VPS, Private Cloud, Hybrid Cloud and Colocation services.
  • Good customer service and support.

Illuminated Hosting Services Cons:

Microsoft Azure

One of the fastest-growing cloud service providers is Microsoft Azure. It contains more cloud server regions than any other service provider. It is trusted so much that 90% of Fortune 500 companies trust their data with them.

Microsoft Azure Pros:

  • Adequate flexibility with access to VMs.
  • Fully scalable and compatible with CFML.
  • Great networking technology.

Microsoft Azure Cons:

  • Expensive compared to other providers.
  • Not very compatible with platforms other than Windows.
  • There have been a series of outages in the past.
  • Cost: Microsoft follows the way of GCP and AWS with a pay-as-you-go system, with a free 12-month introductory period for some services. Depending on your selected products, you build a package best suited for your budget. Compared to other providers, Microsoft Azure is expensive, which Microsoft tacitly acknowledges by offering a cost-saving primer.
  • Website: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/

BONUS SITE: Docker

Docker is not CF hosting site.

It lets you run a cf server on any cloud hosting device.

What is Docker? According to the folks at Docker.com:

Docker is the company driving the container movement and the only container platform provider to address every application across the hybrid cloud.

Related: Mark Drew offers an enlightening perspective on how to get started with Docker in our podcast, Getting Started Fast with Docker.

Pros:

  • Since the containers that Docker uses are smaller than VMs, your current servers can support more containers than VMs.
  • Docker has lightning fast boot times.
  • Docker works on all operating platforms.

Cons:

  • Containers are much more hacker-friendly. The security is not as prevalent among containers than VMs.
  • Containers are not 100% isolated.
  • Limiting access when dealing with containers is more tricky than with VMs.
  • Cost: Docker’s basic community edition (CE) is available for free use. However, Enterprise packages are available through consultation and quotes.
  • Website: https://www.docker.com/

Adobe ColdFusion Hosting Partners

Adobe ColdFusion has offered a list on its website with the noted partners for ColdFusion hosting services. It’s worth listing them here.

Coalesce

Coalesce Solutions works with your company to create a bespoke solution tailored to its business model and ambitions.

Coalesce depends on ColdFusion and AWS to build compliance-centered application server solutions to support their requirements as a PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) Level 1 Service Provider, as well as those of their customers operating in highly regulated environments with requirements such as PCI, HIPAA, FISMA, and FedRAMP.

Pros:

  • Works with Adobe as a preferred vendor to build and offer ColdFusion AMIs globally through AWS Marketplace, including AMI versions optimized by Coalesce for security and AWS service consumption.
  • Helps re-platform CF to work on AWS.
  • Emphasis on security.

Cons:

  • AWS-centric, with an overall emphasis on migration and compliance.

Website: https://www.coalesceservices.com/migration-acceleration

CFDynamics

CFDynamics provides hosting services for ColdFusion developers and webmasters that need high-speed delivery and a stable development and hosting platform.

The ColdFusion-centric hosting service tries to pack in as many logical, useful services as it can into its packages.

Pros:

  • Virtual Private Servers keep your data stored away from prying eyes.
  • A lot of bang for your buck.
  • Money-back guarantee within 30 days of starting.

Cons:

  • The admin panel and UI could be better.

Website: https://cfdynamics.com/

Hostek

Hostek is an Adobe ColdFusion hosting partner. They maintain a team of ColdFusion experts on hand. They also offer Fusion Reactor, a ColdFusion Monitoring platform, along with their services

Hostek CF Hosting Pros:

  • Their support system offers three different ways to contact them:
  • Live Chat
  • Online Ticketing System
  • 24/7 Phone Line
  • You get one month free trial.
  • There are a wide array of technical specs with additional add-ons for purchase.

Hostek CF Hosting Cons:

  • Fluctuating performance speeds.
  • Poor uptime.
  • The control panel is not user-friendly.
  • Cost: In order to get a quote with Hostek, you must first schedule a free consultation with one of their experts. Together with Hostek, you will build a plan most suitable for your needs.
  • Website: https://hostek.com/

Media3

This ColdFusion hosting service has been around since 1995.

Pros:

  • They know CF better than most. Entire support, billing, sales, and control panel functions are driven by CF.
  • Also a ColdFusion Cloud Hosting company.

Cons:

Website: https://www.media3.net/adobe.cfm

Newtek Technology Services

Newtek has provided ColdFusion hosting solutions since 1997. Newtek is also a provider of regulatory compliant solutions, including HIPAA, PCI DSS, SOX, FISMA, and more.

Pros:

  • Around-the-clock US-based phone support.
  • Packages built around size of business.

Cons:

  • Some history of reliability issues.

Website: https://newtekwebhosting.com/coldfusion/

Vivio Technologies

Vivio is a ColdFusion Hosting partner offering remote IT Server Management. Vivio creates hosting plans on an individual basis giving control of IT infrastructure and costs.

Pros:

  • Automatic backups.
  • Bespoke solutions.
  • Money-back guarantee.

Cons:

  • No free domain included.
  • Higher pricing at entry-level.

Website: https://viviotech.net/coldfusion-hosting/

Lucee CFML Hosting

What about the people using open-source CFML, such as Lucee?

Here’s the list of hosting services as well.

Hostmedia

Pros:

Cons:

  • Some history of reliability issues.

Website: https://www.hostmedia.co.uk/

Lightsail

An option that a lot of CFers like to do is to do a Lightsail deployment on AWS and use Lucee.

Pros:

  • It is not pricey and
  • a good option because you have full control of the server.

Cons:

  • A few occasions with failure or bad code deployment, but that is also on you and the quality of your code. 🙂

Website: Installing Lucee on AWS (EC2 or Lightsail)

When deciding on a host for your Adobe ColdFusion, remember to keep your company in mind. There are many providers available. Be sure to take note of exactly what your needs and restrictions are. Doing so will allow you to make the proper choice for all your ColdFusion hosting needs.

What hosting service do you avail of? What factors led to you making that decision?

Join us in the comments below.

Michaela Light is the host of the CF Alive Podcast and has interviewed more than 100 ColdFusion experts. In each interview, she asks “What Would It Take to make CF more alive this year?” The answers still inspire her to continue to write and interview new speakers. Michaela has been programming in ColdFusion for more than 20 years. She founded TeraTech in 1989. The company specializes in ColdFusion application development, security and optimization. She has also founded the CFUnited Conference and runs the annual State of the CF Union Survey.

Originally published at https://teratech.com on September 21, 2020.

ColdFusion development, security and optimization. CEO at TeraTech. Host of CF Alive podcast.