2016 Hostwinds review: Everything you need to know

Overview: Hostwinds specializes in shared hosting that is easy for beginners.

Pricing:

Basic: $4.50/mo for shared hosting.

Advanced: $5.50/mo for shared hosting.

Budget VPS: $7.50/mo for shared hosting.

Ideal Customer: Beginners who are looking for a host that is affordable and easy to figure out will enjoy Hostwinds.

Trends:

Unique Features:

Data Center: When you are choosing a hosting company for your website, it can cause anxiety. Many people want to know where the data will be stored and how it is looked after. While many hosts offer information on the equipment and even location of servers and support staff you may want to see it with your own eyes. That’s exactly what Hostwinds provides on its website. You’ll be given a detailed look, including pictures, at their facilities before you choose to host with them. You can see the Texas-based Dallas Infomart facility as well as the state of the art generator that keeps the servers going in the event of a power outage. Computer hardware gets hot and Hostwinds shows you their advanced cooling systems including a four 500 Trane chillers and 46 ice holding tanks. You’ll even get a sneak peak of their security that boasts 24/7 armed guards that keep watch at check in stations at every door and a perimeter fence around the entire location.

WindSpeed/Shield: In order to have a successful website you need to know that your data is both secure and being shared quickly. Hostwinds has developed two unique features to help with these concerns. To ensure that your page speeds are high this provider offers WindSpeed, which is a series of resources to help your site perform at its best. Included with this add-on service are scans that test your code for issues and optimization. You will also get Apache and MySQL optimization to help you prepare for traffic spikes and lower CPU usage. Hostwinds also offers WindShield to help secure your data from a hostile internet. For an additional fee, WindShield will help you set up a server firewall, administer a PCI compliance audit and other server hardening tactics. These measures will help guard your files from malware and other viruses that are intended to corrupt data and even destroy your website.

Upfront Support Options: Hostwinds puts a heavy focus on their customer support. They offer 24/7 phone, chat, and ticket support to help with any technical or billing issue you may have. There is also an emergency support line for those issues that can’t wait for a normal ticket to be opened. In addition to these standard options, this provider has also created a large database of useful information to help you find the answers to common questions. In this knowledge center, there are over 300 tutorial videos that will help you figure out any basic feature on the site. These videos include info on how to utilize your cPanel, set up any email options, and help setting up an eCommerce store. You will also find several dozen articles in the knowledge base that handles tougher issues on items like the affiliate program and VPS hosting. The support and tutorials along with the other unique features are geared to help beginners get going quickly with little trouble.

Reviews:

We have looked over the most recent online reviews and found several customers have shared their positive experiences with Hostwinds.

This reviewer is very happy with their options and speed: “The ability to pick and choose optional extras was very use full because I needed a faster transfer speed and more ram and it allowed me too with out me spending lots.When I got my server it never lagged, and was always on top form.”

Another customer states: “I asked for help at the helpdesk/live chat and I got really fast help from them, they said me step-by-step how to upload files on my website. The prices are not expensive and they were always uptime since I didn’t occure any problems!”

There were several negative reviews as well that express issues with email and resource availability.

One customer issues a warning about their email system saying: “Their shared server email IPs are all on blacklists for spamming and you will have trouble sending out emails as they will bounce back.”

Here another reviewer complains about the hosting options: “I have a business hosting with them, it should have the double ressources as the “normal” standard hosting. Every account comes with an automatic installer, but guess what you cannot run these apps, because after you have installed them and use them you get an “out of memory” exception. Hostwinds opinion about that is, that it is impossible to increase the memory limit and you should upgrade to a VPS. However you would lose then the automatic installer or its extremly expensive to rent the installer additional.”

Hostwinds customers have also been very vocal on Twitter:

One twitter user here complains about downtime:

Pros:

  • Affordable VPS: Hostwinds has some of the least expensive VPS plans on the market, starting at $7.50/mo.
  • Uptime Guarantee: The host provides an uptime guarantee of 99.9%, but doesn’t have details listed on the site.
  • Free Migration: Hostwinds offers free migration of one website for new clients.
  • Money-Back Guarantee: This provider offers a longer than average 60 day money-back guarantee for hosting fees.
  • Reseller Options: Hostwinds offers a very affordable reseller account for web developers or others who want to venture into the hosting business.
  • Monthly Billing: Many hosts charge a premium for monthly billing, but Hostwinds seems to keep their prices reasonable for monthly users.

Cons:

  • Affiliate Issues: The affiliate program seems to have very specific requirements and a lower payout than many other hosts.
  • Downtime: The reviews seem to reflect an issue with sites being down, but the company does offer an uptime guarantee.
  • Data Limits: Another issues according to reviews is the softcap data limits on bandwidth and disk space.

Summary:

Hostwinds has a lot of beginner-friendly features that make creating and hosting your first site easier than many other hosts. They also offer affordable shared, VPS, and reseller hosting options that could be attractive to a wide range of webmasters.

Although, if you are looking for hosting that is a bit more versatile and has more space for your sites and traffic, you’ll find better options from other companies.

Takeaway: If you have never done hosting or created a website before then you’ll find Hostwinds an excellent starter host for your first online project.

JP Smooth
 

"JP Smooth" is a tech entrepreneur and owner of too many websites lol. After using over 50 hosts in his day, he recommends this host because their hosting is faster than 99% of other hosts (and they answer support calls in under a minute).

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