Alibaba, the world’s largest B2B, and B2C company had launched its hosting and domain registration service a few years back. The company competes with Amazon AWS, Oracle Cloud, Microsoft Azure, etc. It also faces stiff competition from domain registrars such as NameCheap, GoDaddy, etc and CDN service provides like Cloudflare, MaxCDN, etc.
In a short time, the company has become one of the top 5 cloud service providers in the world. It is also the largest cloud hosting firm in the world’s most populous country i.e. China. Alibaba Cloud is hugely popular in China, but not in the US, Europe. This is because the company is a late entrant in these two markets.
Here are some of the most important services the Alibaba Cloud company offers to the users:
Alibaba Cloud has introduced hosting plans for small as well as large websites. It also has a special plan for WordPress CMS users and startups looking for cheap hosting for their SaaS applications.
The price of the Alibaba Simple Application server starts at $4.50. These servers have 0.5 to 8GB RAM, Linux or Windows operating system, and 20 to 80GB storage memory. Alibaba charges a network access fee to the users of its cloud and simple application servers.
For large organizations, Alibaba provides Elastic Cloud Compute service. The servers offering this service have up to 32 core processors and 128GB RAM. The plans of Alibaba ECS start at 12.5 USD. You can customize the plans as per your requirements. Alibaba offers a wizard tool to help users select the server resources as per their application’s requirements.
Alibaba allows you to launch a WordPress site with just a few clicks of a button. The WordPress ready cloud server costs $5.38. This server has 1GB RAM, a single-core processor, and 40 GB storage space. You don’t have to pay the network access fee if you’re using a special WordPress hosting plan of Alibaba.
Alibaba lets users install 100s of apps (including WordPress) by a single click of a button. It provides the LAMP stack for WordPress users.
Alibaba enables you to register a .com domain for $7.99. It is one of the top domain name registrars. The firm controls over 20 million domains. It lets you register over 40 types of domains.
Alibaba is the only registrar that is selling a .xyz domain for below half dollars and a .cn domain for below 2 dollars. The company enables you to register a .net domain for just 10.19 dollars.
To register a domain, the user should own an Alibaba Cloud account. Once you register a domain, you can enable Alibaba’s whois data protection service (which is called as free proxy service) free of cost. When this service is enabled, tools that display whois data of the domain registrant will see the company’s email address, phone number, and name instead of your address, contact number, first/last name.
CDN (Content Delivering Network)
A popular website is often targeted by some rogue internet users. These users target a website from different IP addresses. Alibaba provides a special Anti-DDoS service that employs a smart algorithm to redirect DDOS attacks and prevent the web or a database server from crashing. The Alibaba anti-DDOS module notes down the IP addresses of the attackers. If the origin of the attack is a single country, Alibaba will automatically block the traffic from that country.
The search utility is an important tool for a website. An eCommerce or photo upload website may have millions of images. If its search tool is not sophisticated, visitors will face a hard time in finding an image or a product. Alibaba has built a custom image search tool for websites that have a large number of pictures. This tool uses machine learning to find and display pictures the user uploads. It is a great tool for eCommerce and photo sharing websites.
A single web or database server may not be able to handle a massive amount of traffic. Here’s when the load balancers come into the picture. Alibaba’s load balancer uses a powerful algorithm to distribute traffic across multiple servers. Its price starts at 0.006 USD/hour. The cloud hosting company lets users decide the location of their load balancer.
This is the latest service Alibaba Cloud offers to the users. The company offers 2 email plans, standard and advanced. The 1st plan saves up to 100GB of data. It enables you to attach 50 MB to 1GB files to the emails. It also allows users to create as many accounts as they want. This plan costs $13.5. The 2nd plan i.e. Advanced plan, gives users a 1TB inbox. It allows you to attach files having a size of up to 2GB to the emails. This plan costs 18 dollars.
Alibaba Cloud service supports monthly, hourly, and yearly billing. It accepts payment made with a credit card, debit card, and PayPal. The firm can automatically renew your subscription plan.
Once you buy plans of one of the above mentioned Alibaba Cloud services, you can log in to your dashboard. The dashboard is visually appealing. It enables you to manage the billing and services you’ve bought. It also allows you to create a server powered by an OS of your choice and install apps that you’re planning to use.
Infrastructure and performance
Alibaba has set up 19 data centers across the world, 2 in Europe/US, 1 in Australia/Middle East and the remaining in Asia. Its Cloud servers are equipped with the latest Intel Xeon series processors, I/O optimized SSD cloud services, and high-speed networking equipment. Alibaba offers the best available hardware to its users. Thus, applications deployed on their servers delivers a great experience to the users.
Alibaba offers live chat, email, and ticket based support to the customers. It also gives you access to a forum where you can post questions and get answers from Alibaba Cloud staff or community members. The company also provides paid support to developers, enterprises, and businesses.
Alibaba gives its users free access to documentation that teaches various new generation server technologies. The documentation comprises 1000s of articles written by experts.
The company enables users to try out its premium services worth 100s of dollars at no cost. Users who own the Alibaba Cloud account for more than a year can also avail the freebies.
Final thoughts: Alibaba’s cloud/email hosting, CDN, Anti-DDOS, and domain registration services are affordable. Try it out if you’re looking for a cheap and reliable email/cloud hosting, CDN, and domain registration service provider.