Besides being known for its passion for sports, Chicago is famous as the hometown of Steadfast, a web hosting company recognized for its innovative, managed IT infrastructure services and all-inclusive hosting solutions suitable for all sorts of businesses. With the motto “Strengthen Your Focus”, Steadfast takes great pride in taking care of their clients’ infrastructure with reliability, responsiveness, expertise, exhaustiveness, and flexibility, all at competitive pricing. Thanks to this, you and your team can focus on the projects and priorities that will help your business grow.
Steadfast was founded in 1998 in Chicago and has grown from a small start-up to a multimillion dollar company that manages thousands of websites and millions of domain names. They currently employ around 200 in-house staff members and own three fully redundant data centers in the USA: one of each in Chicago (Illinois) and Edison (New Jersey). The company is specialized in managed services, dedicated servers, colocation, cloud hosting, managed security and data recovery.
Steadfast’s official site is intuitively designed, appealing to the eye and pretty distinctive. It is available in English exclusively, in which it also offers a blog, and quite a good one at that.
When it comes to social networks, Steadfast has graced us with its presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, and all accounts seem to be in good shape.
Plans and pricing
Since Steadfast specializes in supplying managed IT solutions for everyone, from small to large businesses and with the USA in mind, this is reflected in the pricing as well. As for the services, we are talking about a complete scope of custom-designed cloud services that can cover all environments including private, public, and hybrid clouds. In addition, if you seek something more tangible, there is a fine collection of bare-metal servers at your disposal.
Although all of their services are described in detail, to get the actual pricing you’ll have to request an access to Steadfast’s cloud environment or apply for a custom cloud consultation. Roughly speaking, the prices for cloud hosting packages range from $50 to $500 while in the case of dedicated servers they can go from $180 to almost $1000 per month.
If you are looking for a way to save some money, the cheapest option is the smallest cloud hosting package (called X-Small) that comes with 2GB of RAM, 2 vCPUs, 50 GB of storage space and 720 GB of bandwidth.
Like many providers of the same caliber, Steadfast provides no free trials nor a money-back guarantee, although you can cancel their services at any time. However, since they don’t provide partial month refunds, keep in mind that you’ll still have to pay a full monthly fee.
Supported methods of payment with Steadfast include all major credit/debit cards, direct bank transfers and PayPal.
Ease of use
To get a glimpse of a perfect plan for your business needs, you’ll have to fill out a form with your full name, e-mail address, phone number (which is more of a recommendation than a requirement) and the name of the company you represent. Then you can checkmark all services you’re interested in, and these may include: cloud consultation, cloud hosting (public, private or hybrid), cloud storage, dedicated server, backup/disaster recovery, colocation, managed security, time-synchronization-as-a-service (TSaaS) or you can simply choose “Other”.
After this, there is only one question left to answer and that is what you want from Steadfast’s team: to request a service consultation, a price quote, marketing materials and literature or something else (in which case you’ll have to elaborate below). Once the completed form has been submitted, you’ll have to wait a little bit (30 minutes or less) before a team member gets in touch with you regarding your request. We got our reply within 15 minutes, wrapped in kindness and eagerness to help, but not much actual information about the service we were interested in.
Noe that finding a perfect-fit solution via email (or ticket) correspondence might be too time-consuming for everyone’s taste, so we advise you to save yourself the trouble (and time) by reaching them directly over the phone.
Steadfast’s VPS packages may not be as feature-rich as the more common hosting solutions, but they should do the job they are meant to do, and without a hitch. Some of the noteworthy features include support for both Linux and Windows, OS patches and updates, SSD storage, real-time monitoring, proactive response and a security suite with backup and disaster recovery. A full list of control panels is available (including cPanel, WHM, Plesk and InterWorx) as well as CMS solutions and other software.
Speed and experience
Taking pride in its “state-of-the-art” data centers and network, Steadfast invites all users to check out a number of resources they provide for testing performance on their network and other exchange points on the WWW. If the performance leaves you unimpressed, they insist that you ought to let them know, so they can do their very best to “find and fix the issue”.
However, after testing the speed performance of Steadfast’s official site we were taken aback with one of the finest performances GTmetrix (our speed testing tool) has presented us with. The page was completely loaded in mere 3.0 seconds and all of the vital web metrics (largest contentful paint, total blocking time and cumulative layout shift) were beyond all expectations resulting in a nearly perfect A (99%).
As for uptime, Steadfast offers a 99.99% uptime guarantee backed by SLA according to which one is entitled to an account credit of 10 to 100% of the monthly recurring costs in case of suffering more downtime than expected. It is important to note that all SLA requests must be made within 30 days of the incident.
With all this being said, it is highly unlikely that it will come to this given that after a whole month of monitoring Steadfast’s site our uptime testing tool (UptimeRobot) wasn’t able to record even a single second of downtime.
As the company itself claims, Steadfast is obsessed with great support. Understanding that the time is the most valuable resource their clients have, Steadfast’s technical team is always available (24/7/365). In addition, since they don’t utilize call center services, all their users are connected directly to real, skilled, on-site, engineers (that are 100% US-based) who are able to act immediately in solving any potential problem. The average response time with Steadfast is less than 10 minute and the SLA promises it will never exceed 30 minutes.
This all-star team can be reached via telephone number and online ticketing system, both of which are available round-the-clock. There is also a bot-based live chat (with a cheerfully cute little robot), but if you insist on talking to a human, one should appear quickly enough.
For all those who would rather find a solution on their own, there is a well-stocked knowledgebase with around 100 well-written articles.
If you want to build your own dedicated server from scratch, yet you are not sure that Steadfast is the best choice for you, take a look at the solutions offered by InMotion Hosting for they come with the finest of features and a 30-day money-back guarantee, which happens once in a blue moon with this type of hosting. What’s more, InMotion’s hosting packages will also let you save some money for rainy days.
While InMotion and Steadfast have data centers located exclusively in the USA, PraHost has servers in Europe (the UK, Germany and the Netherlands), the USA and Asia (Singapore), making them more attractive to non-Americans. However, if you are in the USA, both InMotion and Steadfast will provide you with enterprise-grade scalability and performance, while PraHost offers more pocket-friendly options overall.
The most obvious thing that Steadfast and HostGator have in common is that both hosts are born and raised in the USA. However, they are vastly different in terms of services, pricing and customer support. While HostGator is more geared towards newcomers with its budget-friendly, feature-packed and easy-to-use solutions, Steadfast is better suited for fully skilled webmasters who don’t have too much time on their hands, but have more than enough money to spend.
Steadfast’s approach to the problem of customer support is noticeably better than the one Bluehost has, although, to be fair, Bluehost’s knowledgebase is quite comprehensive and also user-friendly. When it comes to VPS and dedicated servers, Bluehost throws in more rookie-friendly features (such as a free domain, an SSL certificate and a money-back guarantee) and all at an attractive price. On the other hand, Steadfast doesn’t care much about the bells and whistles, but will bend over backward to support you.
Steadfast’s hardware and network really stand out, which was even more evident when we were presented with evidence of perfect performance during our testing. The company’s two-decade-long experience in the industry and a strong commitment to their customers manifests through 24/7 availability, quickness and the sheer competency of their support team.
However, to get top services you’ll have to pay top dollar. Therefore, if you are worried that Steadfast’s solutions might burn a hole in your pocket, there are more pocket-friendly packages out there and you are likely to find them with HostGator, GoDaddy or Bluehost.