As you already know Apache Tomcat JSP is a web servlet container that is favored by a certain set of developers. Not any hosting company will do that. So today we are going to classify what are the prerequisites you need to run this server and the best hosting companies.
Usually, most of the great Tomcat JSP hosts are great Java hosts. Just search for web hosts who are receiving rock-solid reviews from Java developers and who keep updating with the latest releases. Another thing is that cPanel and the mod_jk module are essential for the development of JavaServer Pages (JSP) and servlets.
After reviewing more than 1500 hosting plans with more than 380 hosting companies, we have selected the ones who are having all the technical requirements to run a Tomcat JSP site. And also we considered the reviews from Java developers. After that, we picked the ones who are keeping Java updated, who are using cPanel, and the ones who offer the mod_jk module. At last, we contacted real customers and their honest reviews.
So, the following are the hosts we are going to talk about; the best five hosts for Tomcat JSP
Bluehost (keeps Java updated with cPanel)
- A2 Hosting
So, let’s start.
What is Tomcat?
Basically Apache Tomcat is an open-source web server and servlet container. Which is capable of implementing multiple Java EE specifications including Java Server Pages (JSP).
Furthermore, the JSP engine of Tomcat is called Jasper and its current version is 2.0.
In 1999 Tomcat was developed and released by Sun Microsystems. Though it sounds like a programming language, it is more a facilitating technology that is helpful in developing dynamic Web Pages on HTML, XML, and many other document systems.
JSP is the same as PHP. But based on Java; a class-based, object-oriented programming language.
The latest official JSP version is 2.3 and Jasper 2.0 tackles JSP 2.* versions.
Nowadays many people label servlets and JSPs as old technologies when compared with MVC frameworks like Spring and Struts. However many legacy projects are still using servlets and JSPs so that there will be a continuous demand for developers who are capable of working with JSPs.
Tomcat will provide you management and configuration tools while using its JSP engine to create a pure Java environment that enables the running of the Jave code.
So the collaboration of Tomcat and JSP offers the ability to generate dynamic web content. You don’t need to install and use a full applet on the server.
In conclusion, this particular approach will save time and money. Because Tomcat is an open-source developed and maintained by the Apache Software Foundation. So you can use it for free under Apache license 2.0.
The current stable version is 8.0.15. But 7.0.* releases are widely used.
Components of Tomcat
- Catalina (servlet container)
- Coyote (webserver)
- Jasper (JSP engine)
- Clustering (load balance across multiple servers)
- High Availability (schedule upgrades without disturbing the running system)
This is known as Catalina (the dubbed version of Tomcat’s servlet container). Coyote is the connecter component that supports the HTTP I.I. Coyote allows Catalina to act as a plain web server for local files and HTTP documents.
As Tomcat JSP and support for that kind of web apps is a niche feature, your web host should be capable of handling .war files and deploying web apps and websites built using such functionality.
Tomcat Software and Hardware Requirements
Tomcat 9.× requires Java Development Kit version 8 (or later), other than the older releases that used Java 1.1 via 1.5. And the Java servlets for Tomcat 9.× will be 4.0 with JSP 2.2 specifications.
The above requirements are more important with Oracle than with Apache because most of them revolve around Java support. In a nutshell, you have to look out for the Java requirements for your server. But they differ according to the version of Java and Tomcat you are using.
Additionally, you have to check with Oracle for the latest updates.
Requirements of Tomcat 6.0.× and 9.0.×
Tomcat Hosting Factors (Things that you should look for when finding a host)
1. Tomcat and cPanel
See if the host offers cPanel for server management with the integrated module. This will enable JSP and servlet functionality. And also you can deploy JSP and servlets via the cPanel.
Even though this often comes with cPanel, it’s better to confirm before moving forward.
Moreover, cPanel may be a standard offering with shared plans. But for VPS plans and dedicated servers, there might be extra charges.
2. Latest Tomcat releases
If you are planning to use the most latest Tomcat releases, use unstable releases for testing and development purposes you will need a host who has a good tracking system on the latest Java/JVM updates.
3. A VPS for Demanding Applications
You can consider a host who offers you a dedicated server instance or private JVM if you, are planning to run a resource-intensive application and like to maximize the resources which are allocated to your app.
Tomcat: A Niche Market…
As I have mentioned above a stable Java support is the most important prerequisite for Tomcat JSP hosting. However, Tomcat Hosting is a relatively tight niche.
For bigger hosting companies Tomcat is not a big moneymaker. Therefore they concentrate mainly on more marketable plans like which are geared toward the millions of WordPress users.
Tomcat friendly hosts
Even though the bigger hosts don’t have Tomcat friendly plans, some new companies are trying to get advantage of the opportunity. Their plans offer you servers which include Tomcat out of the box, saving your time and effort.
This particular hosts often offer starter packages with unlimited resources (disk space, file transfer) at very symbolic prices. And the other serious and useful plans come with a vast range of prices.
Actually that price range is acceptable. Because Tomcat is extremely scalable. So the prices may have a wide range. And the prices for high-end plans may lie in the triple-digit territory.
What to consider before committing?
The following are the questions you must ask before signing up with the company.
- The cost of the plan?
- Do you need a VPS?
- About the contract, it is yearly or month by month?
- Staff’s knowledge about Tomcat
- Options for support
Basically the usage of Tomcat JSP and the need for Java web hosting kind of narrow down your options. But still, there are several available options.
So, now let’s take a look at the best Tomcat hosts.
The top three Apache Tomcat Hosts
Given below are three great options you should consider.
They will install Tomcat for free on Linux based VPS plans or on a dedicated server. Additionally, if your account includes a cPanel control panel, you can install Tomcat all by yourself.
In both options, Tomcat will be an add on to your server’s operating system. So you have to get everything up and running with the help of the HostGator support team.
They don’t offer Java Hosting explicitly. But if you are searching for a web hosting that supposed niche features, A2 Hosting will be a good choice.
The company claims that they are developer-friendly as possible. So you can submit a feature request to be included in A2 Hosting’s development queue. But they already support JVM.
And also the company offers managed Virtual Private Servers (VPS) and dedicated hosting options. And they are only a few companies which provide them.
JavaPipe provides cloud-based hosting for both Java and PHP based websites. Also, they offer you protection against cyber threats which is a leading one in the Industry. Furthermore, they are one of the few providers that offer several options for Tomcat web apps.
Another important thing is that the JavaPipe has cloud-based, developer-oriented hosting from Google, Microsoft, and Amazon. And those options are super scalable and very flexible, so they will be a good choice for niche hosting needs.
Basic Hosting Features
The following features ( apart from Tomcat specific features) are the ones that you should consider when looking for a host.
- Databases: The default option will be MySQL for many hosts. But if you are looking for something else please check whether the host offers it beforehand.
- Uptime: Some hosts will offer uptime guarantees. They will compensate if there is more than an acceptable amount of downtime.
- FTP: This is how you get your files on to your web server.
- Domain Names: Some companies will include a custom name with their hosting packages.
- Support for Subdomains: If you are planning to get subdomains, check whether the package supports them.
- Unlimited bandwidth: If the hosts are providing unlimited bandwidth you don’t have to worry about users being unable to access your site due to traffic.
- Reseller hosting: Reseller hosting will be helpful if you own a web hosting company or want to manage multiple websites with individual environments.
- Control Panel/Auto-Installers: The default one is the cPanel. But some may need Plesk. And please look for auto-installers also because they are helpful in installing WordPress, Joomla etc.
- Money-Back Guarantee: Will you be able to get your money back if you are not satisfied with their services.
- Free SSL Certificate: These are essential for security and SEO.
- High Performance: Are they offering the exact level of performance that you expected?
- Knowledgebase: Are there adequate reference articles available for support?
Pros and Cons of Tomcat
Tomcat is very lightweight. So, Tomcat will be a good option if you are currently working in a Java-based environment and needing something to help you serve up dynamic web pages.
Additionally, Tomcat is open source and free to use.
As Tomcat Hosting is a niche product you have limited options. So you may end up paying more to support its technologies rather than selecting a popular option.