What is Media Temple?
Media Temple is one of the more peculiar names in hosting.
On one hand, it’s not nearly as famous as major hosting companies (including its parent, GoDaddy).
On the other hand, Media Temple claims to service over 100,000 customers and 1.5 million websites.
This isn’t insignificant in the hosting world, but even more impressive are some of Media Temple’s clients.
Media Temple’s more famous clients include Adobe, Obey, Samsung, and CBS, to name a few.
So is Media Temple another hidden gem—less well known, but secretly selling the top-tier hosting packages?
Or is Media Temple only good for a select few, perhaps the top-paying and most technically-minded customers?
The truth, as usual, is complicated.
Media Temple isn’t perfect, but it sure packs a punch—even if it’s not ultimately for everyone, quite a few will find the services they didn’t know they needed.
Luckily I’ve tested out Media Temple personally. So without further ado, let’s dive in!
Media Temple: Cons
Let’s jump right into Media Temple’s shortcomings.
Media Temple doesn’t have many flaws, but the ones it does have might make it unattractive to some potential customers.
That’s because they have to do with price. Media Temple is, frankly, on the pricier side.
Dedicated hosting starts at $2,000 a month.
You get the idea. Now, not all products are expensive, and as we get into the positives, the price will even out.
Nonetheless, these price tags will be automatic disqualifiers for certain types of prospective customers.
Particularly, those looking for affordable personal websites/blogs (especially those not anticipating much traffic) might be overpaying with Media Temple.
It’s not just the basic price tags alone, but Media Temple offers a lot of add-ons and upgrades that are useful, but which can add up quickly and be overbearing for small-time freelancers.
This might be better if Media Temple had more consistent free trials/money-back guarantees.
Some products have a ten-day free trial, but it’s not uniform.
Even if it was, ten days is not much time compared to the industry standard of two weeks to thirty days.
Finally, although it’s a minor concern, I wish Media Temple had slightly more on-site resources (such as a strong selection of video tutorials).
Overall, however, Media Temple’s faults mostly boil down to cost: it is on the pricier side, to say the least.
There is some good news, however—just keep reading.
Media Temple: Pros
What can redeem Media Temple’s pricing?
Well, first of all, I’m being a bit dramatic.
When you look at what you actually get per product, the prices become far more reasonable.
For example, web hosting starts at $20 a month, but accommodates up to 100 websites.
If you were building sites for clients, that’d be a fantastic deal.
Even if you’re just a freelancer working on your own business, the web hosting options are worthy of consideration, depending on your budget.
The thing with Media Temple is you’re getting top-tier tools and specifications with your hosting package.
So yes, things are more expensive, but considering how high-quality the features and specs are overall, it definitely falls within reason.
This is even more the case when you take into account customer support, ease of use, security, and reliability/performance.
Media Temple is very easy to use if you are using a managed solution, and customer support is top notch as far as representatives go (and not bad for on-site information).
Finally, Media Temple has some of the best security and reliably good performance of any company I’ve used.
For those looking for premium quality, Media Temple is certainly worth considering.
Media Temple: Pricing
If you’re approaching Media Temple’s pricing a little cautiously because my earlier comments, fair enough.
I’ll be the first to admit Media Temple took me aback with its prices.
The typical formula for hosting companies is to start the shared web hosting off with a few bucks a month—typically in a $2 to $4 range—and make the higher tiers in the range of $12 to $20.
Obviously things vary significantly, but most companies make a point of offering shared web hosting as their cheapest products.
Media Temple also offers shared web hosting as its cheapest products, but these packages start at $20 a month, then go to $30, and end at $60 a month.
Most companies price WordPress plans similarly to their shared web hosting plans (because they are essentially similar products), and Media Temple also does this by ranging their managed WordPress hosting from $20 to $60.
Media Temple also offers VPS hosting options, both unmanaged/self-managed and managed. Self-managed options start at $30 a month and extent to $1,000 for the most serious users.
Managed VPS options go from $55 to $1,500 for the extra support.
Dedicated hosting plans are top-tier with Media Temple, going from $2,000 a month to $2,699.
Cloud hosting (managed, and via Amazon Web Services) does not have preset prices—you’ll need to contact for that.
One second-to-last note: it depends on the plan, but usually signing up with Media Temple will be a one, two, or three-year commitment (with varying discounts the longer you commit).
And the final note: don’t let the Media Temple site-builder, Virb, slip under your radar.
There’s only one tier, at $10 a month, but it’s basically a hosting option as well, so I expect some people would find a cheaper one-stop-shop that still uses Media Temple quality quite appealing.
Aside from Virb, let’s unpack a little.
Clearly, Media Temple’s prices are significantly higher than the normal price ranges companies offer.
Surely these products must be overpriced, right?
As I’ve said, I was initially surprised by Media Temple’s price tags.
How much better could its products be to warrant the numbers?
I’ll get to it in the features section, but the short version is that Media Temple manages to make its prices reasonable.
Now, you’ll have to take a good look at what your hosting needs really are—for smaller users and those who intend to use more personal websites/blogs, Media Temple may not be the best option.
For small businesses however, including individual freelancers, it’s certainly worth looking into.
After using Media Temple’s hosting for a while, I found that the price meant very high quality performance and technical specifications.
I would encourage you to try a Media Temple product if you can, but not all of their products come with a free trial or money-back guarantee.
Those that do are only ten days, pretty short for the norm.
So in short, yes, Media Temple has pricing significantly higher than average.
Once you take features and performance into account, however, the prices become reasonable. Which leads me to the next item…
Media Temple: Features
What features could make Media Temple’s high prices worth it?
Everyone will have to be a judge for themselves—I don’t know your business needs—but broadly speaking I think Media Temple might surprise you.
Let’s start with the products that are typically popular on other platforms for their affordability: shared web hosting.
Media Temple’s cheapest option, Personal, is $20 a month but comes with 100 sites, 20GB of SSD storage, 100 databases, and 1TB of scalable bandwidth.
Choosing the second and third tiers increases sites to 500 (for both), SSD storage to 100GB and 250GB respectively, bandwidth to 2TB and 5TB respectively, and databases to 500 (though the third tier also includes a dedicated container).
They also come with malware detection and removal, and CDN and WAF (Content Delivery Network and Web Application Firewall)—however, they’ll only apply to a few sites, not all of your potential sites.
Web hosting options also come with backup and restore features and DDoS protection.
The top two tiers have even better security tools.
First off, it’s true that some other companies will offer second or third tier web hosting options with unlimited sites and unlimited storage, but Media Temple is offering, aside from higher resource allocation, better quality resources.
Part of what makes Media Temple pricier is something called the Grid.
To put it simply, the Grid is a shared hosting system built specifically by Media Temple to be better quality than the typical shared hosting arrangements.
The Grid is highly compatible with Linux, has lots of server enhancements (like CDN or SSD), and has a unique clustered architecture (according to their website).
Features like scalable bandwidth apply particularly well to The Grid—your site’s bandwidth will go through hundreds of server processors up to the capacity. Surely there are storage caps—it’s all on SSD.
With this in mine, it’s a little more reasonable to have some limits on resource allocation.
And in any case, it’s a pretty generous allocation of resources for web hosting options—I kind of doubt most of you would really run up to your plan’s capacity.
WordPress hosting (remember it’s managed) has similar prices, but allows for only 2 sites, 50GB of SSD storage, and 250,000 monthly visitors on the first tier or 10 sites, 200GB of SSD storage, and 500,000 monthly visitors on the second tier.
You can probably tell by now that this is meant for serious WordPress bloggers—the types of people who are expecting regular traffic, who really need to make use of their WordPress platform.
The prices are reasonable when one takes this into account.
VPS Hosting is actually not too expensive on Media Temple, especially when one considers the quality. Self-managed VPS Hosting starts with 2GB RAM, 20GB of SSD storage, and 2TB of bandwidth.
Options go up to 64GB RAM, 500GB of SSD storage, and 8TB of bandwidth.
These are pretty much the same for the managed options, despite some price differences.
All these general rules apply to dedicated hosting and AWS cloud hosting—though these can be on the more expensive side, that’s largely because the specifications are hard to beat.
If you seriously want a single dedicated server, and you want it done right, Media Temple might have you covered.
One final note again for Virb: Virb comes with cloud hosting, custom domains, and a ton of other features you’d expect for a decent website-builder.
It’s a great alternative, feature-wise, to Media Temple’s shared hosting if you want their quality but not at those price points.
Overall it’s complicated—look real hard at what you want, but in my opinion, Media Temple does very well as far as features are concerned, with plenty of resource allocation as well as high quality allocations at that.
Ease of Use
That sounds great, but maybe you’re still unconvinced that Media Temple really stands out from the crowd.
Let’s look at some other things, starting with ease of use.
I had my doubts about Media Temple when I first started, even unrelated to price.
I got the vibe of a company meant for people who fully knew what they were doing and that would mean a user-interface meant more for technically-minded people.
The first part is still true in my opinion, but the second part isn’t.
Naturally, if you choose a self-managed hosting product, you’ll get a more technical interface. For web hosting,
WordPress hosting, and other managed products, you’ll get a very pleasant user interface.
Mainly this is all in a decent cPanel, of course.
One good thing about Media Temple is the higher price means less bloaty stuff and more solid content on your screen.
That is to say, you won’t be bothered by advertisements or near-advertisement promotional stuff, and you won’t find the cPanel crowded with junk either. Nope, straight to the point and with a slick design, too.
As for Virb—yes, it’s easy to use. It’s a great website builder, and with one of the best user interfaces I’ve dealt with.
They’re usually pretty easy to use, but Virb also makes the hosting side painless, which is a nice bonus.
Overall, Media Temple can be extremely user-friendly as long as you ask for it.
Ease of use is solid, as are features—can we safely assume Media Temple’s customer support is up to par?
In this case, yes.
As far as options for directly contacting customer service representatives go, you can call, submit a support request, live chat, or tweet to their Twitter account.
My experience obviously isn’t representative of everyone else’s, but for what it’s worth, I have found Media Temple’s representatives to be among the most helpful in the business.
Even live chat support, which I generally find to be lower in quality than tickets, can be in-depth or helpful if you need it.
If you’re want help managing your cloud hosting, you can get CloudTech—the upgrade will allow “certified” engineers to take care of everything for you.
Now, how are the support resources aside from representatives?
In my opinion, Media Temple does alright here, but it’s nothing to write home about.
They have a community page that is fairly detailed: there are lots of helpful articles that you might not find on the main help page.
Their community page is certainly one of the better community pages.
Their help page is okay. I think they need to have a lot more articles, and a lot less self-promotion.
Sometimes, I think the community page is a better help-page. I think you’ll still be able to answer most basic questions by referring to the help page, and more specific questions can be safely found in the community page.
Media Temple also has a “resources” page that is kind of similar in format and content to company blogs—however, it is a little more informative and to-the-point.
A lot of stuff might seem too basic at first, but if you look longer, you’ll find a very comprehensive set of articles.
I almost wish it were consolidated with the help page.
My overall verdict is that on-site information is decent, but nothing spectacular.
It’s good enough that most of your problems should be taken care of, but it’s not as robust as what other companies offer. Media Temple might be investing more in its representatives, and if this is the case, it’s certainly an investment that’s paid off.
Overall, Media Temple has very good customer support.
Security and Reliability
Maybe this section is the climax of the article.
You’ve heard about how Media Temple performs for various things, and you’ve heard about the price.
I’ve also mentioned quite a few times that Media Temple’s gist is a higher price for better quality.
So presumably this is going to be especially true for security and reliability?
Even if Media Temple had good customer support and was easy to use, without being very reliable, I would consider the prices too high (personally).
Why do I say that?
Well, for starts, I’ve had very good uptime and low response times.
That’s not uncommon for less expensive hosting companies, however, so it’s a good thing Media Temple does well in other ways.
They have a good set of security protocols both physically and digitally.
Physically, servers are well-guarded and monitored; digitally, they come with the latest specifications and cyber-defenses.
Another way that Media Temple excels is in add-ons and upgrades.
I’ll admit, I kind of find this annoying. I prefer to see how much companies can include in certain plans or packages.
Nonetheless, Media Temple might reign supreme for the amount of tools, protocols, etc, that you can pay to add to your package.
These things range from security tools like SSL certificates to the high quality CDN and WAF boost (which makes your site not only faster, but more secure).
In terms of security and reliability, The Grid makes Media Temple’s web hosting options among the best I’ve seen.
In sum, Media Temple has among the best security and certainly top-tier reliability and performance.
As usual, you’ll need to take a look at the specifics of what you want, but about any Media Temple product is guaranteed to at least be reliable and secure.
Do I recommend Media Temple?
A lot has been said. After all of it, where does Media Temple stand?
Obviously, price will be a concern for some, and it’s not something I plan on disregarding anytime soon.
Yes, many people looking for very simple hosting solutions will underuse (and therefore overpay) for Media Temple.
However, a variety of smaller users can still find a good deal in Media Temple.
In particular, these would be people who want the general affordability of web hosting but greater security and/or performance standards; individual freelancers who want solid websites, and in particular freelancers making websites for clients; plenty of small businesses upwards.
I shouldn’t need to say it, but medium to large businesses will have plenty of options with Media Temple as well.
It’s easy to use, but has more affordable options for technically-minded users (or customers with tech-savvy people on their team).
Customer support is excellent, meaning mostly representatives, but even the online information and resources aren’t too bad.
Finally, if I haven’t emphasized it enough, Media Temple has solid specifications, security, and plenty of strong features that ensure great performance.
The Grid is one example of this, but other optional upgrades make the point as well.
I’ve been very pleased with the performance, and my uptime is one measurement of that.
In sum, Media Temple is not for everyone.
But even if you want to save money, it’s worth looking into—you might find some high-quality products are well-worth the price!