FortRabbit: A Revolution in Hosting

As someone who's been building websites for more than 20 years, not a lot has changed about the experience of hosting a website. There are scores of new cloud-based startups that cater to modern web apps, but for most folks who are just hosting something built in WordPress or Craft CMS, it's pretty much the same as it ever was.

Welcome to FortRabbit

FortRabbit aims to shake all of that up, sometimes in astounding ways. Their hosting service is built on (the fast and extremely reliable) AWS, is incredibly affordable, and is just... different. This post aims to highlight some of the most refreshing departures from your traditional hosting setup.

PHP as a Service

Most traditional hosting companies market their pricing based on two main parameters: The amount of web storage you're using and the amount of traffic your users generate. FortRabbit turns that on it's head and charges you for the number of PHP processes your site has access to (among other things, such as how much memory those processes can use). This is great, because access to PHP processes (and the ability to effortlessly add more) has a far greater effect on how your site actually performs compared to plenty of other metrics.

Local Development by Design

Much to the chagrin of security and quality assurance professionals everywhere, a lot of the web is still being developed and updated in live production environments. This is great... if nothing goes wrong. But something will inevitably go wrong. And the benefits of ensuring your designer or developer isn't tinkering with your live site are real.

There isn't anything stopping the fine folks who manage your website from doing things this properly with a traditional hosting company, but FortRabbit is built under the assumption that things will be done the right way, and that makes it far more likely that best practices will be the default.

Built for Craft CMS

Wherever I'm able, I build projects for the web in Craft CMS (because it's ah-mazing). FortRabbit is a preferred Craft hosting partner, and it shows. They offer comprehensive guides for properly setting up Craft projects on their service, their support team knows about and understands some of the nuances associated with Craft, and they've even built a first-party plugin for deploying Craft code, assets, and databases to their service.

Documentation

This is hardly the most important item highlighted in this post, but it's a great example of how different things feel hosting a project on FortRabbit compared to just about anywhere else. Not only is their documentation comprehensive (and in cases like Craft CMS, software-specific), but FortRabbit's documentation is specific to you. There's a li'l dropdown menu on their documentation pages where you tell them what project you're working on and they swap out all of their documentation examples with the actual paths and logins that work for your actual use-case. It's a literal dream, and I love it.

And, y'know... more

Their support is wonderful, security (especially because of local development by default) is rock solid, they've got great collaboration tools that make it easy to share access to a project with other members of your project's team. I've never been one to recommend hosting companies to folks, because they're all kind of... the same. But FortRabbit is different, and the differences are better in every way.