Why you Should use Namecheap?

December 13, 2016 Hosting Reviews

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Shared hosting for less than a domain name costs

Namecheap hosting is better with our unique approach to hosting infrastructure. We deliver amazing server speeds, unparalleled website performance and deliver 100% uptime, backed by a guarantee.

The shared infrastructure M1000 blade. Every component is fully redundant from power supply to network card to the high-speed SAN delivering unparalleled uptime, performance and reliability. The result? 100% uptime, every month.

The latest Dell server technology:

We back up our claims with an industry-leading guarantee for our shared hosting. Should we fail to meet our 100% uptime SLA, we’ll issue account credits.

100% uptime SLA.

cPanel comes with all of our shared hosting packages, giving you full control of your website through your web browser. cPanel is the #1 control panel worldwide, and it’s included free with all accounts.

cPanel control panel as standard.

Our servers are secured to the highest possible standards, using hardware and software firewalls alongside our own in-house security package. The result? Namecheap servers are the most secure and private around.

Total security as standard.

Our support team works around the clock and is available via Live Chat and our Helpdesk to assist you with your hosting service, whenever you need it.

Real people to help you 24 hours a day.

Deploy WordPress or the app of your choice in just seconds with our Softaculous application installer. Softaculous also makes updating and maintaining open source applications a breeze.

WordPress and other apps included.

As your site grows, choose a larger hosting package and we’ll help you upgrade at any time. Expecting a traffic spike? No problem – we’ll help you quickly and easily move to an appropriate package to power your website, big or small.

Grow your website and business with us.

Top 10 Web Hosting For WordPress

December 11, 2016 Hosting Reviews

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If you use WordPress to run your website with you will want to use a web hosting company that supports it. Here are the top 10 web hosting companies that do so.

10. HostUpon is a company that allows users to instantly upload their WordPress sites to its server. Customers can choose between two packages. One package provides limited services and the other one provides unlimited services. The package with limited services provides customers with unlimited bandwidth and disk space. The unlimited services package allows customers to access every service that HostUpon offers. The limited services package cost $3.95 a month and the unlimited service package costs $7.95 a month.

9. WebhostingBuzz offers service to people all over the world and is also WordPress friendly. They offer one package to customers that give provide 400GB in disk space and a domain name for free, as well as unlimited bandwidth. WebhostingBuzz service is $4.95 per month and offers customers 99.9% uptime.

8. iPage is a web hosting company that has become popular among WordPress users. It only takes a single click to install a WordPress page. The company also offers a MySQL Database and unlimited domain names, bandwidth and disk space. Customers pay $2.95 a month for services.

7. DreamHost offers constant support to its customers and comes with a User Panel that allows WordPress pages to be installed with the click of a mouse. Any customer that purchases a hosting package from DreamHost can also register a domain name for free. DreamHost charges its customers $10.95 every month.

6. NameCheap is well known in the industry for offering low cost web hosting. Customers who host their WordPress website with NameCheap pay $3.45 a month to get email hosting for free, unlimited bandwidth and 25GB worth of disk space. Like some of its competitors, NameCheap offers customer support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

5. HostMonster is a web hosting company that also offers data backup. For $5.95 every month HostMonster customers can install their WordPress site instantly. FTP accounts and domains are unlimited with HostMonster.

4. JustHost gives customers a free domain name for the remainder of their life by ordering the company’s basic package. In addition to the free domain name, customers can register an unlimited amount of domain names as well. The Simple Script tool offered by Just Host ensures that customers can quickly and easily upload their WordPress site. Prices range from $6.95 to $8.95 a month.

3. Bluehost is a very famous company that has a reputation for delivery quality web hosting services. For $6.95 per month customers can install their WordPress site using a single click and can register an unlimited number of domain names.

2. GoDaddy is one of the most well-known web hosting companies today. Also offering one click installation of WordPress pages, they also offer customers three plans to choose from. See the Godaddy hosting review.

1. Hostgator charges $3.95 a month for one click installation of WordPress pages and unlimited bandwidth and disk space. Get a Hostgator discount with this coupon.

HostMonster Web Hosting Review

December 11, 2016 Hosting Reviews

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HostMonster is a Provo, Utah-based company. It is a part of a repertoire of web hosting companies like BlueHost and FastDomain, which are owned by Endurance International Group (better known as EIG).

EIG itself is, of course, the giant in web hosting business, boasting with over 2 million customers across 40 different hosting brands.

HostMonster is well known for it budget shared web hosting services. The offering revolves around a simple package, whereby customers have the option to upgrade and add extra features. It was incepted since 1996, which qualifies the company as a veteran rather than some unproven young upstarts in the industry.

The company is not a Better Business Bureau accredited business (which is not that big of a deal really, since participation is voluntary and many thousands of other legit companies are not accredited either).

That said, it gets an A- rating from the BBB. There is also a total of 34 complaints filed against HM in the last 3 years, from which all were resolved. Usually, that is a good sign showing a company’s commitment to its customers.

Host Monster Hosting Plans & Pricing

Consistent with the wider industry practice, this host has also consolidated all of its plans into a generic offering:

One Plan with Unlimited Hosting – $6.95 pm

The offering covers 1500GB of storage space, 15000GB of data transfer/bandwidth and there is also a host of facilities to support your whole array of web strategy, from a small personal web page to a full-blown E-Commerce website.

All these are offered at an amazing flat rate of $6.95 every month (although this price goes up and down and sometimes by signing up through special links you can get a discount as well). If customers choose to pre-pay one or two years in advance, HM can sweeten the deal by throwing in one free domain registration.

Unlike plans offered by companies like HostGator, here there is no restriction on the number of sites. The plan allows you to host an unlimited number of full domains or sub-domains under the standard plan.

If these aren’t enough, you can opt for Pro Package, with the promise of the fastest possible speed and a dedicated IP. The Pro Package includes also site backup facility, SSL, Postini Anti-Spam protection and Domain Whois Privacy. There is flexibility here.

If you don’t need the full Pro Package, you can add features incrementally to your plans.

Key Features

  • Free Domain for the Life of Your Hosting
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Unlimited Hosting Space
  • Unlimited Email Accounts
  • Unlimited Domain Hosting
  • Unlimited Email Autoresponders
  • Unlimited Parked Domains
  • Unlimited FTP Accounts
  • Free Online Stores
  • Free Search Engine Submission
  • Free $100 Google Credits
  • Courtesy Site Backups
  • US-based Customer Support Team
  • Easy Web Setup with Free Site Builder
  • WordPress, Gallery, and More

Reliability

The data center is housed in Utah. All the servers are under monitoring 24/7 by a bunch of technicians. As in the case of other hosting companies, it alleges that uptime is 99.9%, but there is little evidence on offer to substantiate the claim.

To mitigate outage, the data center employs a balanced, synchronized power system that is capable of sustaining an optimum level of performance.

Additionally, an extra UPS backup power supply and 24/7 live system monitoring ensure that the disruption to the outage is kept to a minimum. An automatic backup system is also in place to recover any accidental loss of data.

Support

HostMonster has an online Help Center that is dedicated to knowledge base articles, tutorials, user forums and getting started guides. If you run into technical issues, you can get support 24/7 via email, telephone and live chat.

In addition, it also serves as a central point for you to access server status and help desk ticket history. Indeed, plenty of options exist to help you find what you want.

The support staffs are based in Utah, USA, and these support services are open to all paying customers free of charge. Some services like billing enquiries are only entertained on some prescribed hours only.

HM seems to be active in the Twitters space. They make regular tweets, and the team here looks responsive to issues surfaced by the users there.

Comparatively, they don’t do as good a job on its corporate Facebook account; the last I checked (for this review), the last entry was made more than one year ago. But there are more regular updates on the HostMonster fans’ Facebook, which is not surprising.

Control Panel

HM presents a control panel for users directly through the home page of the website. Users are required to login via cPanel for a range of administrative tasks, as is widely practiced in the industry. That makes it easier if you plan to come off from a service provider and subscribe to HostMonster.

Extra Stuff

For the signup bonus, there are one free domain name and a $100 Google Adwords credit offered by the company.

Scripts installation is easy as there are plenty of one-click options. It covers over 70 scripts, such WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and so on.

To quickly build a new website, a simple drag-and-drop website builder, Weebly, is offered.

Money Back Guarantee / Cancellation Policy

Cancellation is easy with HostMonster as you can raise your request via email, phone or online chat. They would need verification that you are the account/domain owner. However, make sure that all files, emails, and databases are backed up before you cancel your subscription.

If cancellation occurs 3 days from the opening of your account, you are entitled to a full refund (any additional packages like SSL, backup, SEO, SiteLock, domain names and domain privacy not included). Beyond 3 days and within 30 days, then you are expected to pay for any free domain names as well as and Postini or Dedicated IP fees.

Pros:

  • Unlimited domains come with the basic shared hosting.
  • The price is decent. You need to pay only $71.40 in exchange for a full year of hosting. They further reduce this rate if you are ready for a longer term commitment.
  • The use of the ubiquitous cPanel for administration purposes. Another plus point about their control panel is the tight integration with billing information.
  • You can acquire dedicated IPs if needed.
  • With 16 years under its belt, HostMonster has ensured right pricing for both dedicated and VPS hosting options. I haven’t got my hand on either, but should the need for a VPS arrive, I would check out their stuff. The assurance that you can always upgrade from existing shared hosting when the business scales up is a comfortable idea.
  • There is also a tight integration of CloudFlare into cPanel. The company also prepares a full tutorial on the setup. CloudFlare mirrors your server content onto other servers, so if downtime happens, the DNS system will locate and switch to a server that isn’t down, all done automatically and temporarily. This is a great way to mitigate downtime on servers.
  • Through the sole account I registered with them, I found an average uptime of 99.85%, which is fairly good considering my monitoring is done over 3 years.
  • All support staffs are 100% U.S. based. It takes about 2 minutes to get through and I find the support competent.

Cons:

  • Payment is strictly yearly and upfront, so you can have your cash tied up without the monthly option. Moreover, there is no refund policy, I always feel that service providers who don’t over refund are effectively rip-offs.
  • The SimpleScripts script installer is not as efficient as one might think. To include a CMS on your site could take a long time.
  • There is still lead time for chat support, but once it is through, you would be glad of the competent technical help extended.
  • As in the case of Bluehost, service representative has a problem if your query departs from their well-reversed scripts because he or she will advise calling a different number in a different department when the easier thing is probably just forwarding the call or equip service representatives with the right responses.

So, Is Hostmonster a Good Choice?

All in all, this company looks no different from other standard shared web hosting companies, and there are no unique features to shout about. Still, the services on offer are all well integrated and you will be handed the standard website tools. The obvious advantage is their highly competitive prices, which would surely entice many users.

The other plus points for me are the reliability and comprehensiveness of the support services. Support staff who are based in America ensures that there is no language barrier as all of them are native English speakers, those in the US would like that.

My thinking is that Host Monster can definitely measure up with the very best web hosting providers out there. The company is reputable, reliable, and with a knowledgeable and responsive support system to boot.

As you can probably tell from this review, I recommend you join HostMonster as their plan is considered feature rich and it is priced competitively. It has all the things one could expect from a good host!

GoDaddy Hosting Review

December 11, 2016 Hosting Reviews

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GoDaddy is the number one web hosting company in North America (by virtue of market share), which is why I wanted to write this review to see if it really does stand up to the hype.

So far it is the only company in this business that buys air space on TV. With its slick advertising message, it has influenced a whole new generation of new users to go to GoDaddy.com for their first domain names and hosting requirement, without even bothering to check out the competitions out there.

Personally, I feel GD is a good choice to get domains (brand new or a premium domain through auctions), but not necessary so as far as hosting is concerned.

$1.99 .com domains from GoDaddy – Use this link to get .com for $1.99.

But let me tell you my experience and what I have gathered from reading reviews of GoDaddy from around the web, so you can make up your own mind.

Company Introduction & Background

The strength of the company mainly revolves around domain names and domain auctions. According to RegistrarStats.com, GD is the world’s No. 1 ICANN-accredited domain name registrar for .COM, .NET, .ORG, .INFO, .BIZ and .US domain extensions. That said, it also offers web hosting service to compliment the domain registrations.

It is easy to deduce the domain registrations provides the main thrust of its business when you see the entire front page of the website is dedicated to the registration of domains. It has to be so since the company is responsible for the management of some 53 million domains. While I appreciate the significant role domain registration plays in their business, this blog is to focus on their web hosting services.

GD prides itself as the “largest hosting provider of secure websites”. They do command some respect as the company plays host to well over 10 million customers with 5 million websites, all securely inside their facilities.

Founded in 1997 with a name not as ubiquitous as GoDaddy, it was part of the umbrella group that also includes Blue Razor Domains and Wild West Domains.

Their facilities are spread across 5 US states, with an additional one in India. The company headquarters are located in Scottsdale, Arizona.

For the wider market in the US, the company is forever linked to crazy TV ads mostly featuring beautiful women in tight T-shirts such as Go Daddy girl, Danica Patrick, the famous Nascar driver.

And let’s not forget about their outrageous Superbowl ads; the company is so proud of that video and actually archives it on the website in a special ‘commercials’ showreel (you can find it on YouTube as well).

The company also has some bad time when its former CEO Bob Parsons was seen in a video shooting and killing elephants in Africa (tat sickens me more than anything else. Yeah, let’s kill innocent animals and call it a “sport”).

He was then replaced by Scott Wagner, who in turn was replaced in 2012 by former Yahoo and Microsoft executive Blake Irving. Under a new leadership, the company is thriving better than ever. According to VentureBeat, it rakes in $1.3 billion in annual revenue.

 

BBB.org Rating

Very few hosting providers have an A+ rating (the highest possible) from the Better Business Bureau, and GD is one of them. The company has also been a BBB Accredited Business since early 2000.

Some people had also left reviews on BBB in regards to their experience with GD. Of the total 45 documented comments,12 were positives, 1 neutral, and 34 were negatives.

As far as complaints go, there were a total of 769 (at the time of writing this post) against GD. Although some had to do with advertising and billing, most were related to products and services. I would venture to say that probably 90% of those were related to their web hosting service.

GoDaddy’s Hosting Plans & Pricing

GD has the most confusing (especially for newbies) set of packages. There are 2 main web hosting services offered here, each one divided into 3 plans.

Although the company  seems to put the priority on the budget hosting plans; one explanation could be that maybe there are more upsell opportunities as well as new domain name purchases.

Website Builder package

For the absolute newbie, GD would recommend you their Website Builder package. The Website Builder resembles, in features, to those of the SiteBuilder software, which is commonly provided by other hosting companies.

Website Builder makes website creation like a breeze for non-technical customers through their drag-and-drop interactive forms and pre-defined templates.

There are 3 different plans to choose from under “Website Builder”:

  • Personal – Reg. $5.99 (on sale for $1.00 /month)
  • Your website is restricted to a maximum of 5 pages.
  • Business – Reg. $8.99 (on sale for $4.49 /month)
  • This plan stretches the number of pages to a limit of 10 pages.
  • Business Plus – Reg. $14.99 (on sale for $7.49 /month)
  • This one allows for 999 pages.

Users have to adhere strictly on resource allocation, and with the most basic plan, you have to settle with that measly 1GB of disk space.

Web Hosting Package

Other than Website Builder, there is the Web Hosting plan. This is synonymous with other shared hosting plans employed by its competitions, which we have reviewed quite a fair bit.

Customers are granted access to a Linux or Windows server, within the predefined amount of disk space, database allocation, and email addresses.

The Web Hosting is further divided into 3 categories:

  • Economy – $6.99 (on sale for $3.99 /month)
  • 1 Website
  • 100 GB Disk Space
  • 10 Databases
  • Deluxe – $8.99 (on sale for $4.49 /month)
  • Unlimited Websites
  • Unlimited Disk Space
  • 25 Databases
  • Ultimate (called the same way whether you are on Linux or Windows) – $14.99 (on sale for $7.49 /month)
  • Unlimited Websites
  • Unlimited Disk Space
  • Unlimited Databases

Ultimate is the only one that comes close enough to unlimited resources; still, there is a limit on email accounts. Pay attention that GoDaddy shared hosting plans are not available on Java platform, and the company seems to be in no hurry to introduce any reseller schemes.

Users can opt for either virtual or dedicated servers, and both are packaged at competitive pricing. Moreover, they can also decide on what OS to go for their servers.

VPS offerings are centered on CentOS, Fedora or Windows operating systems, and they are split into 5 different price bands.

For its cloud hosting solution, the company employs both pay-as-you-use model and pre-paid model. Customers on pre-paid model have to commit to a fixed fee on a monthly basis.

How Does It Compare When It Comes to Uptime/downtime?

Company’s data centers spread across a vast geographic area, from the US to Europe and to Asia, collectively constituting over 70,000 square feet.

All data centers are equipped with redundant UPS power and N+1 air conditioning, fire protection and 24/7 on-site monitoring.

The website does not explicitly states their policy on eco-friendliness, but this may not be a significant enough factor in businesses hungry for profits.

GD does regular and incremental backups on customers’ sites at fixed frequency and complements that with full backups over a longer interval of time. According to the website, all backups are transferred away from the data center in order to mitigate the risk of any on-site issues.

The company guarantees of a fairly standard 99.9% uptime, but it does not publish any stats to support that claim on its website.

Support & Customer Service

According to Go Daddy Careers the company employs 500 in-house developers, with another 3,300 employees in various functions. They offer support on 24/7, throughout the year.

Customers can access support through phone and also via email. Customers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the US are provided with a local support number respectively, but they all end with the same support staff. Support scheme does not cover live chat.

The company also encourages active customers’ participation in users forums and groups, which plays a supplementary role in dispensing technical support service.

IdeaShare

In addition, they also have dedicated staff blogs hosted on their site (The most famous one being that of Bob Parsons, Executive Chairman & Founder of GoDaddy.com). They have created an IdeaShare that resembles a suggestion box to solicit users’ inputs on new features and updates.

Hosting Concierge

There is also a fast track support option called Hosting Concierge to get websites up to speed quickly. Customers on Website Hosting or cloud hosting plans get free Hosting Concierge for the first 30 days.

Assisted Service

For dedicated server customers, they can choose between the Assisted Service and Managed Hosting plans for any additional support required (extra fees involved).

The company would waive all support fees on virtual and dedicated servers if it is established that it (the company itself) is the source of the concerned fault.

Control Panel

Like many other web hosts, GD also has a purpose built control panel that eases the tasks of customizations and configurations. The customers use their normal login ID to get access to the control panel, which is permanently embedded on the main GD website.

There are comprehensive controls to be performed on their domains and hosting plans through the Control Panel, subject to what services they have acquired.

Unfortunately, the screens are pretty cluttered with information, links and hidden menus (in a way not dissimilar to their actual website!), so users would have to go through familiarization exercise(s). It does not look as elegant as Cpanel, but it can pretty much get the job done when you can make sense of the screen.

For customers on virtual and dedicated servers, they are provided with a Simple Control Panel, a product for the management of the server itself.

Extras

Customers of the Website Builder plan will be entitled to free stock images, $100 in Google Adwords credits, £32 for Facebook advertising, $50 for Bing and Yahoo!, and 10 Fotolia credits.

Those opt for their Website Hosting (i.e. shared hosting) and VPS plans will have 10 Fotolia credits and £32 in Facebook ad credits.

Dedicated server plan subscribers get the Adwords and Bing/Yahoo! Credits. And the freebie for VPS and dedicated server customers is one free SSL certificate.

Cloud hosting customers receive access to a range of server images.

GoDaddy’s Hosting Connection provides one-click installation option, through its own library of 4.1 million applications and scripts.

The features are:

  • WordPress
  • Drupal
  • Joomla
  • Zen Cart
  • e-commerce sites
  • social networking tools
  • and more

Through its Hosting Connection, customers can have direct access to WordPress templates. Compare to Fantastico, this is a surely more comprehensive one-click package.

Cancellation Policy

This company is one of the few that advocates strict no money-back policy. In fact, it is clearly stated on their website that “all prices and fees are non-refundable”.

So, if you must insist on a money back plan, then GoDaddy may not be for you.

GoDaddy Reviews by Other Customers

In order to get the big picture when it comes to GD and its services, I decided to put my own experience aside for a minute and take some time to read what other folks had to say about it on blogs and online forums like Whirlpool and Cnet.

And as expected, just like any other web host, GD has both positive and negative reviews and ratings. But, I think when it comes to its hosting plans specifically, compared to companies like HostGator or iPage (read my iPage review), GD gets way more negative comments.

That said, GoDaddy’s domain registration reviews are much more positive and I can personally attest to that as I have bought a countless number of domains from them all with no problem (though almost any provider you go with is going to be the same as far as domain registration goes).

Here are the main points of the review I read online divided into pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Long established player in the industry, so there is little chance they will elope with your money.
  • The SSL on offer here is the cheapest one can find. A premium SSL costs a very decent $100, others could easily charge double.
  • Anytime refund policy. There would be equitable reimbursement for any days of service unused.
  • The choice of packages available is mind boggling. Whenever you business is ready to expand, regardless at what scale, you are bound to find a new package that is suitable.
  • The 7 months I was with them, uptime was an impressive 99.89%. No complaint at all!
  • Support staff is 100% US based, these cover chat, phone, and support tickets.
  • Even the sales (not technical) chat support is fantastic, among the very best I experienced (I expand more of this below).
  • High competency for staff manning the support phone line; all native English speakers with good product knowledge.

Cons:

  • Rip-off price for their dedicated and VPS packages – always looks out for their incredibly good coupon deals if you are not prepared to blow your budget.
  • Entry-level package is useless. The packaging that includes one domain per account only and the lack of basic CMS installs make it an extreme challenge to even get started.
  • GD sometimes can be over keen to sell you upgrades to a VPS, especially. Even if the traffic is entirely manageable, you are still asked to upgrade account, which is not necessary at that time.
  • The deployment of “4th Generation Technology” for their servers, a phrase they coined to mean ultra fast and highly scalable. But really there is little improvement over what they would call a 3rd generation technology, looks more marketing gimmick to me.
  • That tend to capitalize on up-sells opportunities during checkout. The kind of stuff they try to sell you are miles apart from what you were looking for. The tactics are so overwhelming and make one wonders if a wrong purchase decision has been made.
  • There’s no cPanel on shared accounts. The standard cPanel is so embraced as it has been proven to be the easiest platform for both novice and vets alike. Expect some adjustment with that interface provided by GD. For example, simply adding an “Add-on Domain” to your hosting account just takes about 15 minutes – the problem is that it is 15 minutes longer than it would typically take.
  • The absence of cPanel also makes setting up email becomes more difficult.
  • Common rant from developers is the difficulty experience when worked with their servers, apparently due to some setups employed by the company itself. I don’t have that problem since I am no developer, but pay attention if you are.
  • They are not the most responsive provider when it comes to support tickets, in the market. Wait time to your tickets are typically about 12-24 hours. And the response comes in the form of standard format (as they simply cut and paste from their website), so the level of personalization is really poor here.
  • They really chat good (as mentioned above), but that applies to sales only. Customers often find the support chat less than desirable. And that could be annoying. (Maybe the company needs to read this!)
  • There is no complain about the quality of phone service, but you will have to wait. Average wait time is about 8 minutes before you are through with a real person.

My Overall Take

The core business of this company is obviously domain names sales. Granted, they also try to promote their web hosting plans, but from their website, the clear priority is always on domain names and one gets a sense that they are not particularly competitive in this field.

In addition, the website is designed in such a way and I had to navigate all over just to get my hands on all the necessary information.

It certainly does not impress on pricing consideration. But even with their cheapest hosting plan, their GoDaddy’s Website Builder, it is never a value for money option.

Cost wise, it is close to any low-cost shared hosting plan; the distinction about GD is that they take the trouble to remove all technical related jargons and present their technology as idiot proof to entice users online.

The lowest price band promises a maximum of 5-page, a ridiculous pricing when you could easily build a good WordPress website or template site elsewhere at no cost.

But if you are looking at providers who can help you on all your domain management and hosting in one place, Go Daddy will be a good choice as they simply enjoy the benefit of scale. But in return, you will lose out on live chat customer service tools, and the industry most ubiquitous cPanel would not be available to you.

Apparently they are good in marketing targeted at budget users, but the difficult to navigate website and the absence of money-back guarantee would not make me a fan.

eHost Web Hosting Review

December 11, 2016 Hosting Reviews

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Are you looking for a professionally designed and hosted website?

If yes, then eHost web hosting is an ideal ally. This web host empowers you to design your site from scratch as per your needs with literally no programming skills or technical knowledge.

While eHost is relatively new to the hosting world, it is growing consistently and offers high performance hosting services at competitive prices with quality customer support. It offers true value for money with several freebies, different web design templates and a free domain name.

Let’s take a look at their features, major advantages and disadvantages.

EHOST COMPANY BACKGROUND

eHost is the brainchild of the Endurance International Group (EIG). Being a part of EIG, eHost has been providing cloud-based solutions, including web design, web hosting, domain name registration and other related products and services to individuals, businesses, and non-profit organisations.

Even though eHost has not received any rating from the BBB (Better Business Bureau) so far, the fact that it is a part of the popular Endurance International Group makes it a reliable hosting provider. In fact, this web host is constantly being optimised for conversion by EIG.

FEATURES AND ADVANTAGES

Let’s look at the various features offered by eHost.

Performance – Speed and Uptime

This web-hosting provider offers an uptime guarantee of 99.9%, which is pretty high and should suffice for your website. If your shared server experiences a significant amount of downtime and falls below your uptime expectations, you can receive one month of credit to your hosting account free of charge. Of course, planned downtime due to maintenance activity is not included in this clause.

Their ‘terms and conditions’ clearly state that the uptime of your server will be calculated as the reported uptime from the OS as well as the Apache Web Server, and this may differ from the uptime that is reported by any other individual monitoring services. You can request credit by creating a support ticket to eHost’s billing department with proper justification at the eHost Helpdesk.

Aside from the higher uptime, since eHost uses high-performance, load balanced servers, websites hosted by them have faster page load speeds and handle traffic better. Thus, you can rest assured that your visitors will have a seamless experience while navigating through your site.

Security

eHost understands the importance of effective security measures for the storage and communication of your data. You have access to an enhanced security suite (worth $100 in value) that ensures a highly secure hosting environment for your website. It gives you a sense of security by providing 24×7 network monitoring services.

You also receive anti-virus protection built-in if you use the hosted email service provided by your eHost account.

Customer Support

eHost prioritises customer satisfaction above all else, and they understand that technical issues or problems could arise at any hour. This is why they offer 24/7 support via phone, live chat, and email. Their trained and qualified support personnel ensure that your complaints are addressed and resolved as quickly as possible.

The best part is that they try their best to live up to their claim of answering your calls within two minutes and thus keep your wait time to a minimum. They possess an extensive, online help centre, where you can find solutions to most queries. eHost also offers easy to follow, step by step tutorials to setup your hosting service.

 Control Panel

eHost offers the industry standard cPanel to help you manage your hosting account. If you are an experienced webmaster, this makes your life a lot easier because you’re already used to this dashboard.

However, if you’re new to web hosting, this is a great dashboard to get started from and is very easy to pick up and use. It is extremely user-friendly and enables you to host unlimited domains from a single cPanel dashboard.

cPanel offers you access to a simple eCommerce package with which you can build an online store and start selling your goods online. You can select a shopping cart of your choice and integrate PayPal for an easy payment solution.

If you base your blog or websites on WordPress, you can design them easily as eHost supports the popular CMS with easy installation. Also, cPanel provides you access to a state of the art, drag-and-drop website builder. It gives you the liberty to choose from hundreds of different templates that can be used to create professional looking websites with no coding knowledge.

You can also use Google Webmaster tools from the cPanel to get valuable insights about your site’s traffic and monitor your site’s performance in Google search results.

You can set up unlimited email addresses on your own domain with email forwarding, autoresponders, and customisable spam filters built-in.

 Satisfaction Guarantee

As customer satisfaction is of prime importance for eHost, they offer an attractive 45-day money back guarantee for their shared hosting services. If you are not happy with their hosting plan or find a better web host, you can get a refund by submitting a ‘refund request’ to the eHost support team within 45 days of signing up.

If your claim is valid, you are entitled to a refund of the complete, basic shared hosting fees paid earlier. Your refund does not include administrative fees, custom software installation fees, additional setup fees, and other additional charges.

 Such a clear and precise clause makes sure that customers are always satisfied with the offers and services of the eHost.

Plans and Pricing

eHost offers a single hosting plan that comes with a free domain name for the duration of the plan, support for unlimited domains, a 45 day money-back guarantee, thousands of professional web design templates, enhanced security features (worth $100 for free), and free marketing tools.

The detailed features of the plan offered are discussed below:

Pro Shared Web Hosting

(for individuals or small business owners)

This shared hosting plan starts at $2.99 per month for a 3-year subscription, $3.99 per month for a 2-year subscription, or $4.99 per month for a 1-year subscription, or $6.99 per month for monthly subscriptions.

The rates mentioned here include a 50% discount that is currently active on the official eHost website. When your subscription period ends, you may have to renew the plan at the original rate.

 This plan offers unmetered storage space and bandwidth, which means there are no pre-set limits. eHost claims that you will have more than enough storage space and bandwidth to ensure a significant online presence for your website or blog.

 In some very rare cases (aside from 99.95% of eHost’s customer base), there may be some restrictions applicable on accounts that utilise resources beyond the requirements for normal operation of a personal or small business website.

 Under this plan, you can create unlimited POP/IMAP email accounts, with each mailbox having a storage capacity of 500 MB or 10,000 email messages (whichever is applicable first). Your eHost Pro hosting account also has access to unlimited MySQL databases.

Advantages

• eHost offers a free domain name for life. This is an awesome deal as it saves you a lot of money spent for domain name renewals on a yearly or bi-yearly basis.

• It offers a highly effective website builder with thousands of design templates to choose from, that help you to build a professional looking website in very little time, with minimum effort and coding skills.

• You get plenty of freebies such as $100 Google Adwords credit, $100 Yahoo!/Bing paid ads credit, 1GB cloud storage with justcloud.com, a free Yellowpages.com listing, and a toll-free phone number (only for the US).

• The price of the shared hosting plan offered by eHost is very competitive, considering the numerous features offered.

Disadvantages

• This web host offers only one shared hosting plan and doesn’t have any VPS or dedicated hosting services. Therefore, it is suitable only for individuals or small business owners with considerably lower website traffic.

• If you require significantly higher bandwidth or storage space, then, the unmetered bandwidth and storage space offered by eHost might not suffice.

 The Final Verdict

If you are running a small blog or website with lower daily traffic, then, eHost could prove to be an ideal, pocket-friendly hosting service. It would literally hold your hand through the entire setup and design phase to help you get your website up.

However, if you expect significant growth in traffic or require unlimited storage, then, eHost isn’t your cup of tea. It is growing consistently and they might introduce better hosting plans in the future, but for now, they’re best suited for smaller websites with little traffic.

Have you used eHost before? How was your experience with them? Let us know in the comments below and thanks for reading!

Fatcow Hosting Review

December 11, 2016 Hosting Reviews

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The most important things when it comes to getting your own blog or website up and running are a domain name and a good hosting plan. However, finding a good hosting plan isn’t that easy.

Choosing a hosting provider just because it offers some free domain names and Adwords credit, or some other free stuff is definitely the wrong criteria.

There are plenty of important parameters to look out for, such as reliability, uptime, speed and performance, the control panel’s interface, tech support, email services, and the price. The reliability can be determined by how long the hosting company has been in business.

For example, it is very easy to trust and rely on a web hosting provider like FatCow that has been offering hosting plans since 1998 for individuals as well as businesses.

However, that isn’t the only variable you need to consider before you decide though, so here is a review of FatCow to see if you should sign-up for it or not.

FatCow – Brief History

It has established itself as a leader of web hosting providers for small businesses. FatCow is listed under its parent company’s name, The Endurance International Group Inc. (EIG). Ever since its founding in 1998, the company has aimed to deliver the best value and customer service experience for individuals, and SMEs.

If you check their features and plans which we have discussed below, they have kept them as simple and easy-to-use as possible. FatCow offers shared web hosting solutions with a one-plan one-price philosophy.

FatCow Hosting Features and Pros

Let’s check out some of the key features that have made FatCow a reliable and quality web hosting solution provider over the years.

Security

FatCow’s data centre is under constant surveillance with security personnel on-site, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Virtual security for the servers is handled by two firewalls. To help conduct safe payment transactions and maintain the confidentiality of data on their hosted sites, FatCow offers SSL certificates (secure encryption) to all their customers.

There are two types of SSL certificates available – Positive SSL (low cost security available at a price as low as $31.99 per year) and Extended Validation SSL (maximum security, starting at $269.99 per year). For small businesses and growing websites, the Positive SSL certificate plan will suffice while larger businesses would do well with the extra security offered by the Extended Validation one.

You can even purchase a SiteLock security plan from the FatCow website for as low as $1.94 per month. SiteLock helps detect any security breaches on your hosted website. It scans your website for any potential malware or harmful code in order to stop any hacking attempt pre-emptively.

It also helps remove malware automatically using the Secure Malware Alert and Removal Tool (SMART). Timely removal of malware or harmful code will help you protect your website and keep it from being blacklisted due to any unusual behaviour.

Performance – Uptime and Speed

If you check the official FatCow website, you will immediately notice a big difference between it and the websites of other, popular web-hosting services. The key difference is that FatCow doesn’t claim or mention any uptime guarantee in its list of features.

However, after hosting an e-commerce website using FatCow servers, we found the uptime to be very close to 100%, over a period of one year. It is obvious that you may expect downtime occasionally, but the server availability is tremendous in case of FatCow.

Also, FatCow’s support team is highly capable when it comes to getting the servers back up in case something happens.

With as many as 800 servers (clustered architecture) in its data centre located in Boston, USA, FatCow offers great server performance and minimum downtime. This is because when one server faces any downtime or similar issues, another fast server takes its place.

Your FatCow hosted website will load very quickly because of the powerful servers and responsiveness. Overall, this hosting provider delivers optimum performance for your website.

Customer Support

If your website goes down and you can’t seem to troubleshoot the cause from the knowledge base, you need quick access to technical, customer support that can help fix the problem.

FatCow’s support team is top notch as they are available 24/7, and will have the expertise to get your website back up and running quickly. Even if you subscribe to their most basic package, you’ll have access to their support team at any time of day, any day of the week.

This clearly shows that they value their customer’s time and understand the impact any hosting issues could have on their business.

FatCow offers great LiveChat support, where an expert helps you out without keeping you on hold for too long. However, they also offer telephone and email support so you can get in touch through those means as well. You may even contact the FatCow support team through the online support console by filling the required form on their website.

Control Panel

It offers a very easy-to-use, Control Panel dashboard with all the necessary features to maintain and manage websites, domain names, and emails. The control panel features a built-in file manager as well to help you upload files if you don’t have FTP access because of your ISP or if you don’t have a client handy.

The control panel also provides an ‘HtAccess Editor’; a security tool to handle password protection, hot link protection, and block IP addresses from visiting your website.

You can also create websites quickly using the user-friendly, drag-and-drop site creation tools accessible from FatCow’s control panel. Some of the preferred site-builder tools are ‘Website Creator by CM4all’ and ‘Weebly Drag and Drop Builder’.

Both these tools are available for free to create basic websites without requiring any coding on your part. However, if you want to create more complex websites or need additional features or functionality, you need to purchase one of their paid plans.

The other two site-builder tools, SiteDelux and ShopSite Starter (for e-commerce), contain very limited features and you can easily download better, free alternatives from the internet.

You can also use the ‘goMobi Site Builder’ to create mobile-friendly websites. However, it is a paid service starting at $1.98 per month.

Additionall, you can have access to the WordPress platform, which is definitely preferred by many webmasters and bloggers today. You can use the 1-Click Setup feature to set up a WordPress website or blog up and running in minutes.

Various Hosting Plans and Pricing

FatCow offers ‘The Original FatCow Plan’ for simple and smart web hosting. Pricing starts at $15 a year (promotional price only for the first term that you select). Renewal rates for the plan start at $10.99 per month (for a 12-month subscription), $9.99 per month (for 24-months) and $8.99 per month (for 36-months). It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

This plan includes a decent storage space and bandwidth that is sufficient for personal websites or small business websites. You are also entitled to unlimited email accounts and unlimited domains per account. You get a free domain name for the first year. Additionally, you get access to plenty of marketing tools such as:

  • HubSpot’s Website Grader
  • A Toll-free phone number (free in the U.S.)
  • Free YellowPages.com listings
  • $100 Google Adwords Bonus credit
  • $100 Yahoo/Bing Search Marketing credit

There has been a tremendous increase in demand for WordPress hosting plans as of late, which has resulted in many hosting providers offering dedicated plans for the popular CMS. Since 2014, FatCow has been offering two WordPress-based plans for hosting. These plans are discussed below:

WP Starter

This plan is available at a starting price of $3.75 per month. It offers pre-installed themes and plugins, and a customised control panel for user convenience.

WP Essential

FatCow offers this plan at a starting price of $6.95 per month. This is a very good plan if you are looking for long-term WordPress hosting for your website or blog. In addition to the features of the WP Starter plan, this one offers super speed with SSD-based infrastructure.

You also get enhanced security in collaboration with SiteLock experts that deliver a deluxe security bundle to remove malware. It entitles you to personalised support from relevant experts to sort out any site hosting issues as well.

The Cons

  • This website hosting service is suitable only for personal use or small businesses. There are no fixed plans for large businesses and their services are not scalable.
  • FatCow offers shared hosting plans with the claim that it provides ‘oodles’ of bandwidth and disk space. However, there is no mention of the exact percentage or figures.

They clearly state that “99.95% of all customers will have more than enough storage space and bandwidth to meet their needs”, provided they are individuals or small businesses. There are chances (rare) that FatCow puts constraints on hosting accounts that happen to use resources more than expected for the normal functioning of personal or small business sites.

  • It does not support file storage and file sharing.

Except for these disadvantages, FatCow is a great hosting company that is ideal for personal websites, blogs, and small businesses. However, you would need to look elsewhere for hosting if you’re a medium or large business or need higher bandwidth.

So what hosting provider do you currently use? How do their plans compare to those of FatCow’s? Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!

GreenGeeks Web Hosting Review

December 11, 2016 Hosting Reviews

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Do you feel responsible for the well-being of the environment? If yes, then there is a strong likelihood that you will favour GreenGeeks as your host provider for your website or blog, because, as the name suggests, GreenGeeks claims to be an environmentally responsible web hosting provider.

Apart from the usual hosting features, their unique selling proposition is the fact that they put three times the energy that you consume back into the grid through wind energy (300% carbon offsetting) and ensure that you have a negative carbon footprint (which is a rare achievement for any web host).

This top quality green energy hosting service is bound to make you feel really good that you are not harming the environment in any manner. To top it all off, being a relatively new hosting service provider, they have already made good progress in establishing themselves as a reliable name within the web hosting industry.

So, in this article, we will look at the detailed features provided by GreenGeeks, the different hosting plans as well as the advantages and disadvantages.

GREENGEEKS COMPANY BACKGROUND

It was launched in 2008 and has served more than 35,000 customers (from over 150 countries) by hosting more than 300,000 websites and is based in Los Angeles, California. GreenGeeks has also established itself as the industry’s leading green energy web hosting provider.

Despite being relatively new, this web host manages to provide reliable customer service to you at affordable prices, because of the tremendous experience (around 40 years) of its management team with regard to web hosting.

The founder and CEO is Trey Gardner, who has significant exposure to web hosting. It has been a Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited business since 2009, which means they are committed toward the resolution of customer complaints, if any.

GREENGEEKS HOSTING FEATURES

The most important feature offered by GreenGeeks is the possibility of a positive carbon footprint on the environment, as they replace three times the amount of energy your website will utilise with wind power credits.

It is leading the green revolution in the web hosting world, which is why many other hosting companies have tried to adopt a green approach in recent years.

Let’s now take a closer look at the various other features offered by the GreenGeeks web hosting service provider.

PERFORMANCE – SPEED AND UPTIME

As is the case with most hosting providers, the GreenGeeks team focuses more on preventing any server downtimes or failures. Their uptime percentage is about 99.9%, which is the industry standard these days and quite good.

They use the best breed of server hardware which is pretty robust and is a world-class data facility. Also, they purposely keep a low number of websites hosted on a server to ensure better server access speed and a solid performance by hosted sites at all times. This strategy combined with their proactive or reactive service monitoring ensures significantly higher efficiency of the servers.

What is heartening is the fact that even if there is any unfortunate non-recoverable hardware failure, the GreenGeeks support team is able to get your site up and running again very quickly and efficiently, because they perform nightly backups. This is a major reason for their high uptime percentage.

GreenGeeks has multiple data centres in different countries, like the U.S. (two), Canada (one) and the Netherlands (one). These strategically planned locations for the data centres ensure that you can opt for the data centre that is closest to your targeted visitors. This leads to significantly improved and faster performance for your website.

SECURITY

As part of their well-planned infrastructure powered with 300% clean renewable energy, the GreenGeeks data centres have raised floors, climate control, around the clock security, fire suppression systems, UPSs, water detection systems as well as generators to ensure that your website and hosting data is absolutely secure.

 With your hosting account, you also get secure IMAP or POP3 email accounts. So, you don’t need to worry about the security of information shared via your emails.

 CUSTOMER SUPPORT

Since GreenGeeks has not been around as long as many other big names in the website hosting industry, it is apparent that they see it as important to impress their customers with their dedicated customer service. Their support team is friendly and patient enough to assist absolute novices as well as those who are highly skilled and to interact with tech-savvy webmasters and get their hosting issues resolved.

 They do not outsource their support to save costs and thus ensure customers don’t leave. The entire support team of GreenGeeks is in-house and spread across North America. You can take advantage of their support anytime via Live Chat or emails.

 Their phone support is available from 9 am EST to Midnight EST (Mondays to Fridays) and from 9 am EST to 8 pm EST (Saturdays and Sundays). The response time is pretty quick and if there is a complex problem, they will inform you about the extensive research required and get back to you with a resolution of the problem after a while.

CONTROL PANEL

It offers you with the industry standard and user-friendly cPanel, which can be used for easy DNS management and monitoring of your website statistics. It is good to see GreenGeeks stick to this already known control panel and do not experiment with any custom version of cPanel, as it makes it easier for most webmasters having other hosting accounts to navigate through the cPanel.

 So, if you have handled any cPanel before, the control panel of GreenGeeks is exactly the same and you won’t have to refer to some help documentation to start using it. Your cPanel is also equipped with one-click installations for popular scripts like WordPress and Drupal.

SATISFACTION GUARANTEE

They win customers over by offering a 30-day money back guarantee of their services. If you do not feel satisfied with them within this period, you are entitled to receive the full refund.

VARIOUS PLANS AND PRICING

The different GreenGeeks hosting categories and plans are discussed below:

SHARED WEB HOSTING (INDIVIDUALS OR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS)

This Ecosite Starter plan is comprehensive for all your basic hosting requirements. It is available at $9.95 per month (monthly subscription), $6.36 per month (one-year subscription), $5.56 per month (two-year subscription) or $3.96 per month (three-year subscription).

With this hosting plan, you get:

  • Unlimited web space and data transfer
  • Free domain name registration or transfer
  • Free website migration and nightly backups
  • Unlimited domains on one account
  • IMAP or POP3 email accounts
  • Free tools for site building, SEO, marketing, etc.
  • Dual Quad Core frontend servers
  • SSD, Raid 10 storage array

 VPS HOSTING

All the GreenGeeks VPS hosting plans come equipped with a cPanel or WHM License, a free eNom domain reseller account (to register, transfer and manage domain names as well as sell SSL certificates, WHOIS ID Protect, etc.), the free nightly backup and migration service, the CSF Firewall, LFD, Mod Security and many other Apache configurations as well as PHP or MySQL optimisations built in.

The configurations for the five different VPS plans on offer are listed below:

GO TO GREENGEEKS.COM

GO BACK TO THE BEST HOSTING PAGE

Plan 1

Plan 2

Plan 3

Plan 4

Plan 5

RAM

1GB

2GB

3GB

4GB

8GB

SSD Raid 10 Storage

25GB

50GB

75GB

100GB

125GB

Premium Bandwidth

1,000GB

1,500GB

2,000GB

2,500GB

3,000GB

Cores

4

4

4

4

4

Price (Monthly Subscription)

$39.95 per month

$59.95 per month

$79.95 per month

$99.95 per month

$159.95 per mont

DEDICATED HOSTING

All the GreenGeeks dedicated server plans make use of server-grade Intel processors, hard drives, memory and equipment.

The different dedicated hosting plans are discussed below:

Price

Processor

DDR3 Memory

SATA Drive

IP Addresses

Data Transfer

Entry Server

$169 per month

Intel Atom 330 Dual Core

2GB

1x500GB

5

10,000GB

Standard Server

$269 per month

Xeon E3-1220 3.1GHz

4GB

2x500GB

5

10,000GB

Elite Server

$319 per month

Xeon E3-1230 3.2GHz w/HT

8GB

2x500GB

5

10,000GB

Pro Server

$439 per month

Xeon E5-2620 2.0GHz w/HT

16GB

2x500GB

5

10,000GB

 The GreenGeeks official website requests that you get in touch with their sales team at 1-877-326-7483 to make the right choice with regard to the dedicated server hosting plans.

RESELLER HOSTING

GreenGeeks offers you 100% white label hosting platforms, which give your brand logo to the control panel, utilise private name servers and more, with their reseller hosting plans.

The different plans are discussed below:

Price

SSD Web Space

Premium Bandwidth

cPanel Accounts

Seed

$19.95 per month

50GB

500GB

Unlimited

Sprout

$24.95 per month

80GB

800GB

Unlimited

Plant

$39.95 per month

120GB

1200GB

Unlimited

Tree

$59.95 per month

160GB

1,600GB

Unlimited

Forest

$99.95 per month

200GB

2,000GB

Unlimited

ADVANTAGES OF GREENGEEKS HOSTING

 A key factor in favour of GreenGeeks is that they don’t charge anything for setting up or migrating your domain, thereby allowing you to get your hosting needs fulfilled within an affordable budget.

  • They offer unlimited web space, data transfer, bandwidth and domains. Everyone expects their website to grow and such unlimited features help their customers to take care of their site expansion needs well in advance.
  • GreenGeeks will allow you to contribute your bit to the environment with your hosted website being powered by 300% wind energy, leading to a negative carbon footprint. This is a huge advantage.
  • You can get your new GreenGeeks account setup activated pretty quickly. So, if you are in a hurry to get your hosting needs sorted out, this host helps you achieve that in a very efficient manner.
  • It not only makes it easy for you to install WordPress with the one-click option, but also helps you to understand how to use the WordPress platform effectively. With WordPress hosting being on the rise in recent years, you may want to host a WordPress site sooner rather than later.

 DISADVANTAGES OF GREENGEEKS HOSTING

  • It offers only Linux-based hosting and does not cater to your Windows-based hosting requirements.
  • The phone support team of GreenGeeks is not available around the clock, while its Live Chat and email support are. So, if you are one of those who like to talk about the issue as soon as it occurs, you may find yourself waiting if it happens outside the hours that the phone support team works.
  • GreenGeeks offers only one type of shared hosting (web hosting) plan with no possibility to upgrade.

 THE FINAL VERDICT

 Having discussed every feature offered by GreenGeeks, you will realise that it has a lot to offer apart from the obvious benefit of using a clean renewable energy hosting service provider.

 There are plenty of plans offered to cater to your different hosting needs and their prices are pretty competitive. Also, the fact that there are hardly any additional costs involved makes us like GreenGeeks even more.

 You can always take advantage of their 30-day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with their services. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and try it out!

iPage Web Hosting Review

December 11, 2016 Hosting Reviews

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Every webmaster or blogger needs a website hosting service that addresses their needs well. There are hundreds of hosting providers available now and we often get baffled trying to choose the best one.

While there are a number of good hosting services available, iPage has gained immense popularity because of its dynamic hosting plans that offer many advanced features.

The fact that iPage does not require site owners to have technical knowledge is a big positive. The simple, responsive features and affordable pricing of iPage hosting plans make them very attractive to webmasters that don’t have technical coding skills.

Let’s review the salient features of iPage hosting services along with some disadvantages.

Brief History of iPage

Since 1998, iPage has been offering web-hosting services to internet users all over the world. Their main focus has been on securing the websites and emails of their customers.

They strongly believe in flexibility and so offer simple, flexible hosting plans for businesses, non-profits, personal, and social websites.

It may not be as popular as other service providers such as Bluehost, Hostgator, or Dreamhost, but it has maintained consistency and its position among one of the top 15 web-hosting providers globally.

The Advantages

This web-hosting platform is ideal for websites that need a simple, reliable server with an easy-to-use interface, in an affordable price range.

Let’s check out some of the key hosting features that have made iPage a popular choice among bloggers and webmasters.

Good Customer Support

iPage offers a pretty user-friendly interface. The objective is to allow customers to host websites with minimum efforts.

It provides sound technical support with two different options: 24/7 telephone support and online web chat. The turnaround time of the technical support team is very low, thus making it relatively easy for website owners resolve any issues they may come across.

Stolid Security

It has a dedicated NOC (Networks Operation Centre) to detect and quickly lock down any security breaches. It even offers a SiteLock Security Suite for appropriate security provision for websites.

In fact, subscribers can post the ”SiteLock Secure’ badge on their website to indicate that the website’s security is being tested frequently. Webmasters can use spam-scanning features to ensure their email is not blocked by staying away from unwanted spam lists.

With the help of daily malware scans, it is possible to keep the website clear of viruses and ensure protection against potential hack threats. iPage also allows users to implement restrictions on server access and access to selected sections of the site through the ‘.htaccess’ file.

Good Uptime and Reliability

100% uptime is simply not possible, even with the advancements in server technologies today. The server will go down every now and then, but good hosting providers ensure that such downtimes are as minimal as possible.

iPage also offers 99.99% uptime, though, realistically, this number can fall down to 98.98% sometimes. Because of such consistent performance, iPage is considered very reliable by most webmasters, novice and experienced alike.

Eco-Friendly

iPage has purchased plenty of RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates) to drastically reduce its carbon footprint and offset their energy usage by almost 200%.

It clearly shows its support for the global ‘Go Green’ initiative. Wind energy is used to power their data centres and servers. Such an eco-friendly initiative entitles every website hosted on iPage to receive an iPage green badge.

Control Panel and Site-building Tools

The control panel offers easy, one-button installation of platforms such as Joomla and WordPress. It also provides the award winning ShopSite, which is one of the most user-friendly shopping cart software for small and medium-sized businesses.

Mojo marketplace is also available. Subscribers also have access to free themes, plugins, logos, and graphics. MailCentral is used as the default email provider and users can create unlimited email accounts using the software.

iPage also comes with some of the easiest to use website builder tools such as “Website Creator by CM4All” and “Weebly Drag and Drop Builder”. Both allow quick and easy creation of simple websites.

CM4All can create some very basic website pages, but it is slower than Weebly though. Weebly’s drag and drop functionality make it a favourite among subscribers to create  attractive web pages filled with contact forms, slides, social media links, maps, and photo galleries.

The third site builder tool available is goMobi that empowers users to build mobile-optimissed websites or blogs.

Low-cost Pricing and Plans

One of the best benefits that iPage offers is the enormous amount of services available at a very low price. Most other service providers with hosting plans in a similar price range do not offer the kind of features that iPage does.

iPage Shared Hosting

The iPage Essential Plan for web hosting starts at $1.99 per month only for the initial term, with subsequent renewal rates standing at $8.99 per month.

However, the services offered at this price point, such as unlimited bandwidth and storage space, are very good and competitive. This plan can be purchased with 1, 2, or 3-year subscriptions, with the best value offered by the three-year subscription.

iPage VPS Hosting

The Virtual Private Server hosting plan begins at a price of $19.99 per month (only for the initial term), with renewal available at rates of $24.99 per month. iPage offers 3 different plans for its Linux-based servers: Basic, Business and Optimum.

The Basic plan includes 1GB RAM, 40GB storage and 1TB of monthly data transfers. The Business plan includes 4GB RAM, 90GB storage and 3TB of monthly data transfers while the Optimum plan consists of 8GB RAM, 120GB storage and 4TB of monthly data transfers.

iPage Dedicated Server Hosting

The Linux-based dedicated server plans offered at a starting price of $119.99 per month (only for the initial term), with renewal rates at $149.99 per month. This hosting package is provided in 3 different plans: Startup, Professional and Enterprise.

The Startup plan includes 2 cores, 4GB RAM, 500GB Storage and 5TB Bandwidth. The Professional plan consists of 4 cores, 8GB RAM, 1000GB Storage and 10TB Bandwidth while the Enterprise plan offers 4 cores, 16GB RAM, 1000GB Storage and 15TB Bandwidth.

WordPress Hosting

To cater to popular demand from WordPress lovers, iPage offers dedicated WordPress hosting with two different plans: WP Starter ($3.75 per month) and WP Essential ($6.95 per month).

Other Features

It offers unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth along with robust third-party application support. Users also get 1GB of free cloud storage from JustCloud. It offers free extras as well, such as $100 Google Adwords credit and $100 Yahoo/Bing credit.

Your website also gets a free yellowpages.com listing. The 30-day money back offer allows users to try out the hosting package before taking a long-term decision to continue with iPage.

The Disadvantages

A major disadvantage is that iPage offers dedicated server hosting only for Linux-servers and not for Windows. It does not offer SSH or script library for the hard-core developers and so iPage may not be suitable if you’re looking for such features.

The renewal prices for most hosting plans provided by iPage are much higher than the introductory plans. Most plans are available only for long-term subscriptions (1 year or 2 years or so on) and not with a monthly or quarterly subscription.

With limited shared hosting plans (just one), there is plenty of aggressive upselling witnessed with iPage services. It means that add-on features like automatic site backup, domain privacy, and SSL, need to be purchased separately.

What do you look for in a hosting provider? What features do you consider most important? Have you used iPage before? Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!

WP Engine Review

December 11, 2016 Hosting Reviews

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What do you want to get rid of while maintaining your website or blog?

Most people hate doing the system admin and dealing with hosting related issues.

Some web hosts claim to reduce your workload for the admin, but you still regularly spend time doing admin.

This is because most web hosts focus on too many platforms and they can then only offer limited services.

WP Engine only focuses on the WordPress platform. Thus, you can completely focus on your website or blog and the business that it creates.You do not have to do the admin work and deal with the hosting issues since the WP Engine team completely handles these. This helps you save a lot of time, which you can then spend on other productive activities on your site.

Of course, you have to pay more for this level of managed WordPress hosting!

Let’s look at the higher priced hosting plans that WP Engine offers that are worth the costs. We will do this by looking at what features they offer and the pros and cons of WP Engine.

WP ENGINE COMPANY BACKGROUND

 WP Engine is a web hosting company which has solely relied on hosting WordPress, one of the world’s most popular content management systems. They have served the WordPress hosting needs of more than 30,000 customers in over 120 countries. They became known for their managed WordPress hosting services since they perform all the tedious tasks for you 

So they install WordPress and update it, conduct regular security scans of your site, make regular backups, do the caching, etc.WP Engine has slowly gained popularity as premium WordPress hosts, due to the high price of hosting plans offered by them.

 As a young web hosting company, they have recently grown by leaps and bounds. WP Engine is not yet accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

WP ENGINE HOSTING FEATURES

 You might wonder why WP Engine charges high prices for their hosting services. The only way we can convince you that the price is worth it is if we provide you with an in-depth review of its features.

So, let’s take a closer look at the features that WP Engine web hosting service provider offers.

PERFORMANCE – SPEED AND UPTIME

How do you ensure lower bounce rates and more loyal visitors to your website? You can give your audience a website or blog that always performs exceedingly well with super-fast page loading speeds.

WP Engine scores well here. It has a custom-made, WordPress-optimised caching system. This ensures that your website cashes smoothly.

It uses proprietary Evercache technology that is tailor made for WordPress sites, so your site will work at blazing speeds. It does this as it manages a combination of caching and proxy servers. Your site’s performance will thus easily beat the performance through W3 Total Cache plug-in.

The best part is that you don’t have to do anything: you don’t even have to install or update any plug-in.

The Evercache technology makes your site massively scalable in terms of resource usage, while it handles the increase in traffic. To further enhance the speed of your web pages, a few WP Engine hosting plans offer the Content Delivery Network (CDN).

The WP Engine hosting provider also boosts the speed of your site because they generally spread the resource requests across multiple servers. They thereby do not overload a single server.

You get an uptime guarantee of 99.99% from WP Engine. If you trust the various user reviews, then this is the actual uptime percentage.

However, you can say that they need to provide such a high uptime percentage since they charge so much for their various hosting plans.

SECURITY AND BACKUP

This web host keeps your data protected from potential outside threats. They do this by using powerful firewalls that are updated on a daily basis.

They also conduct regular malware scans of your website so they can proactively detect and eliminate any malware threats.

They will inform you of any security risk to your site; whether it is an emergency maintenance due to any data center issue or a security update of a WordPress plug-in.

WP Engine handles automated daily backups to ensure that your site’s critical applications always have support.

You also get a premium feature in the form of staging. This creates a mirror image of your site. So, you can experiment or play around with the staged version of the site and test it for bugs without changing the main website.

This is a great way to keep your website functioning and secure, while you explore new additions to your site.

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

WP Engine comprises more than 125 full-time support professionals. They work around the clock in shifts to provide their customers with timely support on any issues related to their WordPress hosting.

All the support experts are based in the US and they are technically well versed to provide you with the perfect solution to any hosting issues.

You can call them directly on +1-512-827-3500 for phone support or you can use their ticketing system, based on Zendesk. They also have instant live chat support for sales and technical issues. You can use this support in getting replies to your queries within no time at all.

CONTROL PANEL

At first, you might think that the admin panel interface of WP Engine is not user-friendly. If you have used the standard cPanel or a similar control panel for years, you may need time to get used to the WP Engine admin panel.

But, they have extensive documentation to help you get used to their admin interface. Also, as it is managed hosting, you will not have to frequently log into the WP Engine admin panel.

From the admin panel, you can make instant backups and restore your site with easy snapshot backups taken using the “one-click restore” option.

SATISFACTION GUARANTEE

Every hosting plan that WP Engine offers is risk-free for 60 days. You can try the plans for that long and if you are not satisfied, you get your money back.

Thus, they offer an attractive 60-day money back guarantee. This shows that they give customer satisfaction the highest priority.

 VARIOUS PLANS AND PRICING

WP Engine provides hosting plans for different needs. Whether you host a normal WordPress blog or a complex WordPress website, you can scale your hosting plan based on your needs.

We will take a detailed look at the five different managed hosting plans that WP Engine offers.

With all the plans, you get:

  • 24×7 ticket support,
  • Live chat support between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. CST,
  • WP Engine SSL at $49.99 per year,
  • Unlimited data transfer

Personal Hosting (Shared Environment)

This basic personal hosting plan costs $29 per month (monthly subscription) or $290 per year with two free months.

It entitles you to one WordPress site installation, the ability to handle 25,000 site visits per month, 10GB local storage and more. You do not get the CDN built-in with this plan and you have to purchase it at $19.99 per month. It does not comprise 24×7 phone support or a dedicated IP address.

Professional Hosting (Shared Environment)

This hosting plan costs $99 per month (monthly subscription) or $990 per year with two free months. With this, you get 10 WordPress site installations, the ability to handle 100,000 site visits per month, 20GB local storage, CDN, 24×7 phone support, third party SSL support and more.

If you need a dedicated IP address, you can buy it for $5 per month.

Business Hosting (Shared Environment)

This hosting plan costs $249 per month (monthly subscription) or $2,490 per year with two free months.

It gives you up to 25 WordPress site installations, the ability to handle 400,000 site visits per month, 30GB local storage, CDN, 24×7 phone support, third party SSL support, a Geo IP, a dedicated IP address and more.

Premium Hosting (Dedicated Environment)

You can call the WP Engine team at +1-512-827-3500 to buy this dedicated hosting plan.

With this package, you get up to 150 WordPress site installations, the ability to handle over 1 million site visits per month, 100GB to 300GB local storage, CDN (1,000GB free), 24×7 phone support, third party SSL support, a Geo IP, a dedicated IP address, strategic account management and more.

Enterprise Hosting (Dedicated Environment)

You can also call the WP Engine team to buy this dedicated hosting plan.

This package offers you 150 WordPress site installations, the ability to handle over 5 million site visits per month, 400GB to 1TB local storage, CDN (1,000GB free), 24×7 phone support, third party SSL support, a Geo IP, a dedicated IP address, strategic account management and more.

ADVANTAGES OF WP ENGINE HOSTING

  • They provide you with a huge money-back guarantee period compared to other web hosts. So you have enough time to decide if it is the correct host based on your hosting needs.
  • You do not have to make use of separate cache plug-ins, due to the Evercache technology. You will still achieve better site speed.
  • They do the WordPress plug-in updates, daily backups, malware scans, etc. So, you do not need to worry about any such regular activities.
  • You have the freedom to experiment with new stuff on a live website with the staging facility, as it does not affect the main site. They thus encourage you to innovate and introduce new functionalities or designs to your website.
  • They do not restrict you with the long-term commitment, because they have a monthly subscription option. This allows you to easily cancel your hosting plan.

DISADVANTAGES OF WP ENGINE HOSTING

 You will pay quite a lot for their hosting packages. So, if you are a new blogger or website owner and you are hosting a site for the first time, then it may not be the ideal cheap host for you.

  • They do not give you the benefit of domain names. This is required for every website.
  • They do not offer live chat support all day long, as you can only use this between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. CST.

THE FINAL VERDICT

By now you would have realised that WP Engine is not a “discount hosting” service. You will pay a premium price, because they offer premium WordPress hosting features.

If you need the best-in-class performance, stunning page load speed, excellent customer support and completely managed WordPress hosting, then WP Engine might be the right one for you.

They compensate you for the costs by saving you time, as you do not need to do any of the time-consuming admin tasks.

As they say “time is money” and they literally help you save money and charges for quality features.

Thus, do you own a WordPress site with considerable web traffic? Then this is the ideal web host for you!

DreamHost Web Hosting Review

December 11, 2016 Hosting Reviews

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Selecting the right web hosting service is a proper tough task though. There are many companies in the business claiming to be the best and it’s difficult to find the one that provides the right services and support.

DreamHost is one of those time-tested, reliable hosting services that have been around long enough to establish a reputation for being reliable.

DreamHost is famous amongst its clients for providing speedy and reliable hosting for websites of any scale. It provides features like unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth and much more at unbelievable prices.

This review will give you an overview of the features they offer, along with the pros and cons to help you find the perfect plan.

BRIEF HISTORY OF A DREAM

DreamHost, as the name says is the dream project of its founders. It is an initiative of four college friends who intended to help people through this web hosting platform. They started this company in 1997, and now host over 1,500,000 websites!

FEATURES AND ADVANTAGES

DreamHost offers a number of features through its various hosting plans aimed at a very broad market. Some of the features provided across all plans include user specific domains, great uptime, and excellent bandwidth.

Let’s take a quick look at what DreamHost has to offer:

Great Uptime and Speedy Performance: 

 Ideal Uptime

 It assures 100% uptime.  While this number sounds surreal, it is true. In 10 years, DreamHost servers have only gone down 28 times.

Good Speed, Slow Downtime

 The organisation assures 12.5 Mbps speed though there are some discrepancies. However, on its own, this is significantly faster than most other hosting services are.

Good Customer Support:

The company provides round the clock customer support through email, online chat, and ticket based support.

 Their customer support representatives provide appropriate information and address all queries promptly. The website has a knowledge base of help files with detailed instructions to troubleshoot almost any problem you might run into.

The website has a list of frequently asked questions as well, which is very helpful. You can raise a support ticket on the website that will be answered within 24-48 hours.

SPEEDY WEB HOSTING

If you are looking for perfect speed, then DreamHost is probably one of the best and fastest hosts out there.

Powered with SSDs, their servers work considerably faster than those with normal, mechanical hard drives, making them better suited for high traffic websites. Along with SSD storage, it provides support for unlimited domains, email accounts, 24/7 customer support, and a custom-built, web-based control panel.

They have split up their plans into five main categories: virtual private servers, dedicated servers, cloud hosting, shared servers, and managed WordPress hosting.

Every category has a number of plans to suit the customer’s requirements and price points.

VIRTUAL PRIVATE SERVER HOSTING

 Their VPS hosting plans are flexible and scalable to accommodate the varying requirements of a business website as it grows. All their managed VPS plans come with SSD storage, resulting in websites loading a lot faster.

All plans come with unlimited bandwidth and unlimited domains. The pricing is based on the RAM and the disk storage. Below is a list of their VPS hosting plans.

  • The START HERE plan is great for start-ups. It comes with 1GB RAM and 30GB SSD storage at $15 per month
  • The SCALE UP plan is for growing users and comes with 2GB RAM and 60GB SSD storage at $30 per month
  • The GO BIGGER plan is for next level users and comes with 4GB RAM and 120GB SSD storage at $60 per month
  • The MAX IT OUT plan is great for high traffic websites with lots of content, with 8GB RAM and 240GB SSD storage at $120 per month

WORDPRESS HOSTING WITH DREAMPRESS 2

DreamHost offers managed WordPress hosting with their DreamPress 2 plan. This plan is great for bloggers who want a hassle-free, hosted blog that they can use without any major issues. This plan comes with 30GB “SSD storage, PHP 5.5 with OPcache and optional HHVM (Hip Hop Virtual Machine).”

Other important features of this plan are very high bandwidth, auto-scaling RAM, unlimited email addresses, and isolated servers for your MySQL database, as well as in-house tech support for WordPress. These sturdy features are available at $19.95 per month for an annual subscriptions, or $24.95 per month for monthly subscriptions

DEDICATED SERVER HOSTING

If you own any high traffic websites and deal with high profile clients, then dedicated servers are perfect for you.

 DreamHost provides two plans for dedicated servers, i.e. one with a 4-Core CPU, and another with a 12-Core CPU. The details of these plans are:

  • The 4-core server comes with 1TB HDD storage, 4 to 16GB of RAM, with a price tag of $149 to $229 a month for annual subscriptions. For monthly subscriptions, the price goes up to $169 to $249 a month.
  • The 12-core server comes with 2TB HDD or 240GB SSD storage, 16 to 64GB RAM, for $279 to $379 per month for annual subscriptions. For monthly subscriptions, the cost increases significantly to $299 to $399 a month.

 Other features common for both plans include RAID 1 storage, Ubuntu Linux OS, Full Root and Shell access, PHP/PERL/Python/Ruby support, and DDoS protection.

CLOUD HOSTING:

DreamCloud packages are great for developers and entrepreneurs. They provide a dedicated platform to store and test apps and even let you deploy your own cloud servers.

 This platform gives subscribers customisable and scalable servers to store unlimited data and immense computing potential. DreamHost offers a public cloud computing service called DreamCompute and an object storage solution named DreamObjects in this category.

DREAMCOMPUTE

 DreamCompute gives you an open-source cloud server that you can customise to suit your needs. It provides full root access and open stack API access. DreamCompute is available at a minimal price of $10 per month with a 30-day trial period.

Here are the five, DreamCompute plans on offer right now:

  • Plan 1 comes with 1GB storage and provides 1 instance, 1 vCPU, 80GB block storage and 1 IP, for $10 per month
  • Plan 2 comes with 4GB storage and provides 2 instances, 2 vCPUs, 200GB block storage and 1 IP, for $25 per month
  • Plan 3 comes with 8GB storage and provides 4 instances, 4 vCPUs, 500GB block storage and 2 IPs, at $50 per month
  • Plan 4 comes with 16GB storage and provides 8 instances, 8 vCPUs, 1TB block storage and 3 IPs, for $100 per month
  • Plan 5 comes with 32GB storage and provides 16 instances, 16 vCPUs, 2TB block storage and 5 IPs, at $200 per month

These plans also come with other features such as open architecture, open stack, and Ceph support. You also have a choice of OS between Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS and Fedora. All the plans are managed through a simple web-based dashboard, have sturdy security protocols in place, offer high scalability, and have 24/7 support.

DREAMOBJECTS

DreamObjects offers flexible and sizeable online storage options for “personal backups, website and blog files, videos, music, podcasts and much more.” This open-source platform offers free uploads and API requests and comes with a fully integrated CDN.

Let’s take a look at the DreamObjects plans on offer.

  • For 40GB storage, the cost is $0.95 per month while effective price per GB is 2.38¢
  • For 200GB storage, the cost is $4.50 per month while effective price per GB is 2.25¢
  • For 1,024GB storage, the cost is $19.95 per month while effective price per GB is 1.95¢
  • For 2,048GB storage, the cost is $34.95 per month while effective price per GB is 1.71¢
  • For 20,480GB storage, the cost is $299.95 per month while effective price per GB is 1.46¢

These plans are scalable, allowing you to grow or shrink your storage as required, and are coupled with solid file protection and security. They are perfect for software developers who want to replace S3 or Swift functionality via API. It provides great WordPress support as well.

SHARED SERVER HOSTING SERVICES

 If you are hosting a website for the first time, shared server hosting is your best bet. DreamHost provides a range of shared server hosting plans to suit various requirements.

 These plans come with unlimited storage, bandwidth, domains, e-mail accounts, and 24/7 customer support. Add on DreamHost’s 100% uptime guarantee, and the 100% money back policy to sweeten the deal.

The shared server plans are based on the duration of services availed. The two-year plan costs $8.95 per month while the yearly plan is priced at $9.95 per month, and the monthly plan costs $10.95 per month.

The company charges you nothing for the setup, for a new domain or for protecting domain privacy.

Add-on services like SSL certificates, unique IP addresses, and premium support are charged separately. SSL costs $15 per year, unique IP cost $5.95 per month, and premium support costs $14.95 per month.

 THIRD PARTY COMPATIBILITY

DreamHost allows association with third party applications for building websites. Applications and platforms such as GertSimple, Pligg, concrete5, MediaWiki, Joomla, and WordPress are easily available to kick-start your website.

E-COMMERCE AND E-MARKETING

E-commerce and e-marketing companies have a special advantage with DreamHost.

 CafeCommerce is a dedicated platform for web designers that supports building an online shopping website. A discount of $21.05 per month is offered with a shared web hosting account, as well as a 14-day trial period.

 It allows you to create webpages for any number of products, customise templates, and manage inventory. The procedure is as simple as clicking a button and you can start building your online store for free after installing ZenCart.

DreamHost also offers site stats tracking via Chartbeat and $100 worth of Google Adwords credit.

UNLIMITED DOMAINS:

DreamHost offers a number of TLDs or Top Level Domains that you can use to spruce up your web presence. Some of the most popular TLDs available through DreamHost right now are .expert, .xyz, .guru, .ninja, and .today. 

CUSTOM-BUILT CONTROL PANEL

A full featured, custom-built control panel is probably one of the best features a hosting service can have.

DreamHost has spent 12 years building and fine-tuning their web-based control panel so that it is as intuitive and user-friendly as possible. It lets you change your hosting plan, modify payment methods, control FTP access, make new email accounts, purchase new domain names, and do numerous other things as well.

Security Structure:

Programs for data Security

 Data security is every user’s highest concern and DreamHost does take care of the user data they collect, but only to a certain extent.

 It has various programs to secure the servers, however, not all of them are that well defined. They currently provide SSL certificates, IP-based restrictions on the control panel, enhanced user security protocols, and SSH key fingerprints to secure user data.

Managing Subversion of Code

DreamHost allows subscribers to manage the subversion of code based on the access rights a user has. This allows subscribers to create a repository for their code.

MONEY BACK GUARANTEE

A money back guarantee is a great way to win over customers. It shows how confident the service provider is in their service and how committed they are to ensuring customer satisfaction.

DreamHost has a flexible, money back guarantee that lets users cancel their subscription within 97 days with a full refund.

Disadvantages

 Now that we’ve seen the advantages and features, let’s take a look at the disadvantages that we’ve noticed with DreamHost services.

Lacks Windows Support

DreamHost doesn’t support Windows Servers. If you are looking for Windows Server hosting, look elsewhere. They focus singularly on Linux servers and are great at it, but have no Windows servers at all. 

Delayed Support

Another important drawback of DreamHost is the customer support. Though the customer support’s knowledge base is good, it’s somewhat slow.. None of the contact methods gives you instant customer support, including the online chat.

Limited Telephonic Support

Telephonic support is limited to subscribers of their premium and dedicated server plans and is not available for all their users.

 Glitch in Security

Their security plans are not that well defined so that is always going to be a nagging issue for subscribers.

A DIFFERENT HOST

While exploring the features of DreamHost, the picture looks very positive. The company focuses on providing fast and reliable services, and with a 100% uptime guarantee, you are assured that your website won’t go down.

Their plans are very well thought out and offer great value for money. The money back guarantee is a great sign of their confidence in their services and is excellent for trying them out before committing to their services wholeheartedly.

The pricing is very practical compared to the benefits, but the lack of Windows Server hosting, and lack of telephone support are a considerable trade-off. If you’re looking for reliable Linux based hosting, DreamHost should be able to fulfil your requirements with ease.

Are you using DreamHost services right now? In your opinion, what are their major strengths and weaknesses? Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!

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