2016 AwardSpace review: Everything you need to know

Overview: AwardSpace is a hosting provider that specializes in flexible hosting options for beginner and veteran webmasters alike.

Pricing:

Free Shared: $0.00/mo for shared hosting.

Basic: $2.99/mo for shared hosting.

Web Pro Plus: $4.57/mo for shared hosting.

Ideal Customer: Individuals and Businesses that are looking for versatility in hosting options, but that are knowledgeable enough to be comfortable with only ticket level support.

Trends:

Unique Features:

Freebies: There are several other free hosting options on the internet, but few of them compare to the amount of freebies offered by AwardSpace. In an attempt to let potential paying customers try their hosting services, AwardSpace offers free website hosting. The feature of the free hosting is limited, but it does come with several other free features. One of which is a free subdomain that will put your name and theirs together, but does allow you to create a completely custom site. If you upgrade to a shared hosting plan, you’ll also be able to use their free website builder called Soholaunch. This builder was created with the novice in mind and is easy to use with no previous experience or technical knowledge. Along with all paid plans you’ll also receive a free domain name that is entirely your own. All of the free features offered by AwardSpace are geared towards inexperienced webmasters and beginners to help you get started the right way.

Concrete5: While Soholaunch is free across all of AwardSpace’s plans, you can receive their premier site builder Concrete5 free with certain plans. Still easy to use with beginners in mind, this builder is a bit more feature rich and will be enjoyed by more advance users as well. Not only does it have the drag and drop style elements it also has the ability to create more customer elements for an even more functional website. Some of the things you can create include forms, maps, slideshows and more. Creating sites is even easier if you follow AwardSpace’s four step process. Step 1 is to choose a template from literally thousands of different options. Step 2 is choosing the types of pages including home page, contact page, and others. Step 3 is entering the content and images that will fill the pages you just chose. Finally, Step 4 is previewing your work, making any edits you see and putting your site online. This builder is included in only certain plans, but is a valuable tool to help your site.

SMO Services: Social media is something that is necessary for every website owner to think about. Having an account on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest can be a valuable asset in helping spread the news about your new project. Understanding the need to be socially active, AwardSpace has created several social media optimization (SMO) services. The two services they offer are for either Facebook or Twitter. They both include complete account setup, custom graphics and page setup, and integration with your other social channels. All-in-one services are included to help you start getting the most from your account. You’ll be ready to start regularly posting tweets and posts to whichever account you choose. The benefits of a new website being active on at least two forms of social media have been well documented. AwardSpace can help you be ready to talk with your audience right where they are.

Reviews:

After looking at several online review sites we found that Awardspace customers were happy with pricing and available features.

One customer with a good overall opinion of the host states: “Support is friendly and helpful, control panel is easy to build a site or install wordpress/joomla, but the best part is that their costs are low and won’t break the bank.”

Another reviewer writes about their ease of use and functionality: “Professional web hosting with free wp and joomla installers. Very easy to get started with. It incorporates all the tools needed to get the job done.”

We also found negative reviews as well. It seems several Awardspace users are upset at renewal and billing policies.

One disappointed reviewer writes: “Once you make your first payment to them, they just renew it every year without consulting you and for the price they want (usually two times the money you paid the first year).”

Another frustrated customer warns: “After 1 year, they automatically renewed the plan, but this time it was not 8$ a year but >70$/year. That’s why I’d like to WARN anyone who joins AWARDSPACE, to contact their support and disable this auto-renewal thing.”

We also checked Twitter to see what was being said about Awardspace. Their Twitter account is not that active but we found this user who was frustrated with down service and lack of communication:

Pros:

  • Unique Payment Option: According to a recent article posted on their twitter feed awardspace now accepts bitcoin as a form of payment.
  • Free Reseller Hosting: Awardspace proudly states that they are the absolute pioneers in free reseller hosting.
  • Uptime Guarantee: 99.9% uptime is guaranteed for their paid services. No guarantee is given for their free hosting however.
  • Money Back Guarantee: Awardspace promises an unquestionable refund within the first 30 days as a commitment to their clients.
  • Green Hosting: AwardSpace servers use energy from wind power and they offer you the option to purchase green VSP or shared hosting.

Cons:

  • Limited Support: Support is only available through a ticket system. Their website also offers a FAQ section for specific questions frequently asked by other users.
  • Barebones Free Plan: AwardSpace has set up their free hosting to be more like a trial option with very limited features and lower speed.
  • No Backups: AwardSpace does not offer backup with their plans and it is stated that backups are the responsibility of the customer.
  • No Managed VSP: There are three different VSP options to choose from but none of them are managed.

Summary:

AwardSpace is a great option for anyone who wants to start a website and have the options to grow into different plans that their files may need over time. With versatile options and affordable pricing they are a solid option for many different site owners.

If you want a host that offers specific hosting plans for larger sites with more personalized service, you may be better off continuing your search.

Takeaway: With so many options and great prices, AwardSpace has something for most website owners.

Ranking the Top 5 Reseller Hosting Companies

If you’re a web designer, development company, or just someone who wants to start an online business, the idea of reselling hosting directly to clients has probably crossed your mind.

Selling hosting under your name can be a valuable tool to increase the lifetime value of your customers and create a steady income from collecting fees for your services dealing with hosting.

Choosing the right host for your needs can be difficult because you’ll be putting your name on their service. Making sure the hardware, software and facilities are top notch is important, but so is the overall allocation of resources to make sure your client’s files are available on the internet without slow speeds and other issues.

To help you pick out the right reseller hosting company, HostAuthority has compiled the top 5 based on multiple criteria including hardware and options.

Number One: GreenGeeks

GreenGeeks is an awesome reseller option for anyone who is starting to offer hosting to customers. Five different plans allow you to move up as you get more clients and need more data. Each of the plans gives you the ability to create an unlimited number of cPanel accounts, and the “seed” program gives you 50 GB of SSD disk space and 500 GB of bandwidth. With those options, a local web developer could offer to host dozens of small businesses for the low monthly price of $19.95. If you eventually need more space, you can move up to the sprout, plant, tree, or even forest plans that offer more space. None of their reseller plans cost over $99.95/mo making them an incredibly affordable option for anyone wanting to venture into the hosting business. GreenGeeks is suited for beginners and experienced resellers in the United States or Canada.

Our Full Review of GreenGeeks

Number Two: InMotion

Coming in at number two, InMotion offers some very reliable and versatile reseller options for anyone looking for award winning service and rich features. There are three different plans available to those wanting to resell, R-1000S, R-2000S, and R-3000S. The features that InMotion offers are hard to resist for anyone who is planning on signing up customers under their brand name. Each account is put on SSD drives to ensure speed and reliability. You’ll also have access to free WHMCS billing software to keep payments organized to make sure reselling is worthwhile. Unlike other reselling plans, you’ll receive a free eNom license so you can sell your own TLD’s and SSL certificates. The packages have different resource availabilities, but the most expensive plan is incredibly affordable at only $27.49/mo. You won’t be alone with 24/7 award-winning customer support by phone, live chat, and email. InMotion is one of the best resellers online and is an inexpensive way to start providing hosting to your clients.

Our Full Review of InMotion

Number Three: JustHost

JustHost offers reseller hosting with competitive pricing and large amounts of data to ensure your customers can upload large files and handle heavy traffic flow. The plans in the “reseller club” start at $18.99/mo with 40 GB of disk space and 800 GB of data transfer for an unlimited amount of websites, but this plan doesn’t come with WHMCS like the other three. The data that you can get with these plans is staggering with the highest (the R4-US plan) giving you 200 GB of disk space and 4 TB of data transfers for your clients. These resources make JustHost a great option for those looking to sell to high traffic webmasters and web application developers to make sure the data is easily accessible. The ability to create custom packages is another feature for someone who wants to go after particular niches in the online community, and the ability to install softaculous will be helpful to attract clients who wish to use popular content management apps like WordPress. Excellent resource levels at affordable prices make JustHost a great option for resellers looking to make a serious business from hosting.

Our Full Review of JustHost

Number Four: HostGator

Coming in at the fourth spot HostGator offers a solid reseller program at some of the cheapest rates on the internet. One of the most attractive features provided in the HostGator reselling program is the ease of scalability. You have the option to upgrade (or downgrade) to one of their five plans at any time you deem necessary. This flexibility can give you the peace of mind to know that resources are available when you need them for your hosting company. Based off of rare metals and minerals the plans range from aluminum to diamond level with pricing from $19.96/mo to $79.96/mo. Data levels may be a bit low for larger ventures with the aluminum plan starting at 50 GB of disk space and 500 GB of bandwidth and the diamond plan topping out at 200 GB and 1400 GB. However, these data levels won’t be a problem for most resellers. HostGator has great round the clock customer service and cPanel options, as well as the ability to brand their tutorial videos with your company name to increase the professional image to your clients. This is an excellent opportunity for someone looking for a reliable host that has great customization options all for an affordable price.

Our Full Review of HostGator

Number Five: SiteGround

SiteGround rounds out our list of the top five resellers and is a reliable hosting option overall. Although, this provider does reseller accounts a little differently. They cater their plans to web designers and agencies to provide hosting specifically for client sites they develop. This does limit the number of accounts you can have but is one of the best options to help designers build trust and maintain a relationship with clients. So, if you’re looking to sell hosting to thousands of webmasters, you’ll want to look at the other four on the list. The pricing system is quite a bit different than other hosting companies but is easy to understand. The SiteGround reselling credits make it easy to track and manage your client’s needs and help you earn a side income by allowing you to resell at a premium price.

Our Full Review of SiteGround

2016 Memset review: Everything you need to know

Overview: This is a British company that promises to keep all your data secure in the EU.

Pricing:

VM1000: $5.00/mo for shared hosting.

VM2000: $10.00/mo for shared hosting.

VM4000: $19.00/mo for shared hosting.

Ideal Customer: Anyone looking for a highly personalized hosting package. This is a British company that promises to keep all your data in the EU.

Trends:

Unique Features:

Port Patrol: Keeping tabs on your website can be difficult to do while running your company. Downtime means that visitors aren’t able to access your site. Memset has created a proactive monitoring service. While other hosting platforms may offer to alert you when something is wrong with your server or files, Port Patrol was created to detect and fix issues before the site owner even knows about them. The service has three levels to choose from including basic, advanced (self monitored), and advanced (Memset monitored). Basic is free to all customers and the advanced plans are $8/mo and $39/mo respectively. The free Port Patrol includes regular pinging of your site; if it becomes unavailable for more than 10 minutes the server will be rebooted. Should that not work, you will be alerted. The advanced plans include this basic service along with other features like load monitoring and disk space usage as well as SMS alerts for any issues that are found.

Penetration Patrol: Having your website attacked by malware or hackers can cause you to loose trust with your customers and may even cost you your business. While there are various things you can do to protect your files, it helps to have expert monitoring programs like Penetration Patrol from Memset. This service detects intruders that are attempting or gaining access to your server without prior permission. This service works even if the “hackers” get past firewalls and scans for vulnerability to alert website owners of potential problems. Memset is very security conscious and offers a range of products to keep your files safe including Port Patrol (server monitoring), Packet Patrol (Firewall), and Perimeter Patrol (vulnerability scanning). Penetration Patrol acts as the final barrier of a protected site to keep you and your customer’s data safe from the hostile internet. If you have vital information that you can’t afford to let go to malware, this may be the host for you due to their stance on security.

Miniserver VM: Memset has positioned themselves to be very developer friendly by offering such rich enviroments for development. Miniserver VM is just another way they’re making it easy to create rich apps and websites. Built on the Open Source Xen hypervisor, this secure and scalable cloud service is safe and cost effective. This is a shared cloud hosting option, but resources are separate and promised to be just as secure as dedicated options. Xen manages all the data on the server to make sure the resources being used between the products aren’t hampering the speed and functionality of other programs being developed on the same hardware. The flexibility offered by Miniserver VM is incredibly useful and resource needs can be changed right from your control panel. Being able to run your software as if it were on a dedicated server, without the cost, is a huge benefit for small and independent developers.

Reviews:

We searched different online sources to find out how customers feel about Memset. We found several users pleased with their service and uptime.

One happy reviewer writes: “We moved all of our sites to dedicated server on Memset over a year ago. The service has been excellent. No downtime so far and no complaints about performance or service.”

Another customer delighted with their service states: “Any web host that promises 100% uptime is lying, but Memset get pretty close. Their support team are knowledgeable and friendly, and will go out of the way to assist.”

We also found negative reviews for Memset. Some users seem frustrated with customer service and infrastructure specifications.

One disappointed user states: “Memset Infrastructure seems really overloaded and possibly, mis-managed. It is clear that Memset do not use any kind of clustering, don’t have redundancy to cope with fatal errors.”

Another reviewer warns about customer support problems saying: “We’ve had to waste a lot of time proving that problems are on their end. Their immediate reaction is always to ask you to pay for extra support.”

We also checked Twitter to see what customers are saying about Memset. We found one user happy to expand his service:

Another user is having trouble with a down site and slow support:

Pros:

  • Green Hosting: Memset stays focused on the environments with carbon neutral hosting, a paperless office, and they even provide their staff with electric bicycles free of charge.
  • Free cPanel: The popular control panel comes free and standard with all hosting plans.
  • Four Blogs: Multiple blogs help you and the company stay up to date and in communication.
  • Excellent Security Options: There are few hosts that compare to the level of safety that Memset provides for your files.
  • Multiple Tools: The site offers many different tools like a PageRank checker (Google), RAID calculator, and a password generator.

Cons:

  • Limited Support: While phone support is available, there are limited hours to contact the company directly.
  • Confusing Website: There are literally hundreds of options and pages to go through which makes it difficult to navigate.
  • No Guarantees: There don’t seem to be any guarantees (Money-back or Uptime) listed on their website.

Summary:

Memset is a company that really wants to host sites from the United Kingdom and Europe. This is also a provider that goes through incredible lengths to keep your data safe from malware and other hostilities online.

If you aren’t based in Europe or want a host that has simple, straight-forward options you’ll want to look for something else.

Takeaway: If you are based in England or Europe, or the bulk of your visitors are from European locations, the Memset servers located there will provide fast load times. Your files will also be kept very safe with all of the security options offered.

2016 OVH review: Everything you need to know

Overview: OVH is one of the largest hosting companies in the world and caters to many international clients.

Pricing:

SP-30: $40.00/mo for cloud hosting.

SP-60: $80.00/mo for cloud hosting.

SP-120: $160.00/mo for cloud hosting.

Ideal Customer: Anyone looking for one company to supply all their hosting needs while providing scalable services for a growing business.

Trends:

Unique Features:

One Week Rental for Dedicated Servers: OVH lets you rent dedicated servers for one week, which is not very common. It’s not the same as a free trial – you do pay for the week you’re using the servers. This is a good option if you want to learn about the performances of their dedicated servers without commitment. You can see how the servers are compatible with your applications. You can see how you can scale up if there is an unexpected peak in your activity during the week. You get unrestricted use of the servers of the Enterprise, Hosting, or Infrastructure Range. Enterprise Range has servers with optimized RAM and 256 IPs with no monthly fees. Hosting Range offers free licenses for Plesk, Windows, cPanel, DirectAdmin, Virtuozzo, and 256 IPs with no monthly fees. Infrastructure Range offers vRack private network and 256 IPs with no monthly fees. Also included for free in the one-week offer are cPanel, DirectAdmin, and other tools that you’d normally pay for. OVH’s one week rental for dedicated servers can give any new business owner a leg up by seeing how well their site will operate with the host before purchasing a plan.

OVH Partners: If you want to gain recognition and exposure for your expertise, you might want to look into OVH partner program. It puts you in front of 700,000 OVH clients, should you be accepted into the program. OVH is the third-largest web hosting provider in the world and they make frequent stops worldwide, so this kind of exposure is very helpful. There are three levels of partnership: Community Partner, Certified Partner, and Premium Partner. Community Partner allows you to use OVH.com partner logos to increase credibility to your end customers, receive business support, and be listed in the service partners directory. Certified Partner can be achieved when you follow a billable program that needs to be renewed every 2 years. It allows you to gain additional recognition for your knowledge and expertise. Premium Partner is a permanent partnership with OVH that involves joint R & D, joint responses to major projects and offers, and dedicated teams.

Case Studies: OVH has extensive case studies (116 pages) that document how their infrastructures are deployed. The studies span all imaginable industries, from photography & video, expertise accounting, online media, local community, sound design, social network, collaborative work, and automobile. These studies show how people use OVH’s products such as dedicated cloud, dedicated servers, public cloud, etc. and how they implement their infrastructure and scale their businesses. This is a vast source of information and can be invaluable to any business owner looking to host with OVH.

Reviews:

We looked at online reviews for OVH and found that customers were pleased with pricing and site speeds.

One customer happy with the host states: “OVH is a powerful web-host, I think it’s the best by their perfection pricing and the number of features included, in fact, the service is pretty simple to use.”

Another reviewer whose business is doing well explains: “I started hosting a Dedicated server with OVH last month, and it is AWESOME! The server loads fast and does what I need it to do considering I have over 200 clients hosted on it at a time.”

However we also found several negative reviews as well. OVH customers have complained about uptime and feature availability.

This disappointed reviewer warns: “They don’t offer the DNS failover, CDN, load balancer. They say they do, but when you try to set it up, there are always limitations.”

Another customer with uptime problems states: “I have noticed that the uptime on the server is less than 97% which can be a problem for businesses and different companies.”

We also looked at Twitter to see what customers were saying. This user is excited to find an unexpected feature to his hosting:

Another user is very frustrated at downtime and unhelpful support:

Pros:

  • Focus on VPS, Dedicated Server, and Dedicated Cloud: OVH focuses mainly on VPS, dedicated server, and dedicated cloud plans. There’s a detailed explanation on their website on which plan is suitable for your needs and when you should upgrade.
  • Choice Between Data Centers: You can choose between data centers in North America or in Europe. Where you choose will impact your SEO and the speed of file transfers.
  • Community Forum: There’s a community forum that answers any questions about VPS, dedicated server, and dedicated cloud offered by OVH.
  • Affordable Pricing: The pricing is affordable ($3.49 per month for VPS, $34 per month for public cloud for example), considering these aren’t introductory prices that will go up upon renewal.
  • Documentation Center: The support is mainly in the form of a documentation center that answers many questions about network, server issues, and billing.

Cons:

  • No Money-Back Guarantee: There is no known money-back guarantee for any plans, which is typical for non-shared hosting plans.
  • Limited Support: Their support is limited to email and phone. There is no live chat option.
  • Too Many Options: The emphasis on VPS, dedicated server, and dedicated cloud is good, but there are a lot of sub-plans that fall under each category.

Summary:

If you’re curious about how OVH’s dedicated servers operate but you don’t want to make a full commitment, you can rent them for a week. OVH’s products are affordable and you can get a detailed look at how other businesses use their services through the case studies.

Takeaway: If you’re looking for a reliable VPS, dedicated server, or dedicated cloud plan, OVH is suitable. It’s one of the largest web hosting companies in the world, with data centers in North America and Europe. Whether you want to power video games, streaming, big data, CRM, or any other resource-intensive endeavor, OVH seems to have a plan suitable for your needs.

2016 123-reg review: Everything you need to know

Overview: 123-reg is a UK based hosting company offering affordable domains and a varied hosting portfolio.

Pricing:

Start Up: $2.99/mo for shared hosting.

Business: $4.99/mo for shared hosting.

Professional: $8.99/mo for shared hosting.

Ideal Customer: Anyone looking for-an-all in one hosting option for their business or blog.

Trends:

Unique Features:

Website Builder Packages: 123-reg places heavy emphasis on their website builder. That’s why they have separate plans just for their website builders, in addition to the traditional shared hosting plans. Their website builder packages are Business, Business+, and Online Shop. All plans come with their proprietary website builder, free hosting, free domain for the first year, email addresses, website analytics, and customizable templates. All of their templates are responsive. With the lowest-tiered plan (Business), you’ll get stuck with “Built with 123” on your pages. Online Shop, their highest tier, allows you to build an online store with 10, 100, or unlimited number of products. All packages also come with social icons, photo galleries, blogs, contact forms, image sliders, click to call (good for businesses), SEO functionality, and widget for YouTube videos.

inSites Widget: Smart content is getting more sophisticated. What is smart content? It’s the type of content personalized for the visitor consuming it. Considering 95% of website visitors are anonymous, having smart content makes your website more targeted and powerful. inSites widget helps with personalizing your site for your visitors, by displaying different content customized for them. This widget is included in all web hosting plans offered by 123-reg, including website builder packages and online shop plans. inSites widget increases engagement with your visitors by tailoring your content to their taste.

Online Shop Plans: 123-reg also places special emphasis on online shops. They have special plans just for ecommerce, which are Online Shop 10, Online Shop 100, and Online Shop Unlimited. Online Shop is 123-reg’s proprietary all-in-one ecommerce product and the plans differ in the number of products they allow to be sold. All plans come with free hosting, email, domain name (up to a year), setup wizard, analytic and SEO tools, and mobile-ready templates. With Online Shop, you can manage product options, create your own promotions, track your marketing campaigns, set up online payments, have integrated shipping with UPS, USPS, FedEx, and more, and take inventory. While there are many open-source ecommerce products (e.g. PrestaShop) out there, 123-reg’s Online Shop is designed to work exclusively with 123-reg and there is hardly any learning curve, making these plans ideal for beginning merchants.

Reviews:

We looked at several online reviews for 123-reg and found that people are most satisfied with their pricing and ease of use.

One reviewer recommends them by saying: “123-reg makes a very good entry point for new comers, ie; someone trying to find their feet in a complex business environment.”

Another customer agrees that they are user friendly: “There have been no hidden surprises and the pricing is very reasonable. I would recommend 123-reg to users of all ability, as it allows beginners to understand the basics whilst featuring advanced tools if you need them.”

There were also a few negative reviews. We found that 123-reg customers had problems with uptime and their customer support.

One frustrated customer writes: “I also monitor my websites with Monitor.Us to give me their uptime. This last week it has been reporting a 65% uptime, which I find to be totally unacceptable.”

Another unhappy reviewer warns: “The VPS is a nightmare, downtime and terrible support with ‘pass the blame’ excuses. So all in all 123-REG are a nightmare, I would never recommend them to anyone.”

We also checked Twitter to see what was being said about 123-reg. We found one user happy with the support team:

Here another user is unhappy with their hosting package:

Pros:

  • Attractive Templates: All the templates offered by 123-reg are attractive, mobile-ready at no extra cost, and follow modern design practices. There are templates for business, health and beauty, ecommerce, restaurants, portfolio, one-pager, and others. Most users should easily find something to their liking.
  • Inclusive Website Builder: 123-reg’s website builder is inclusive with hardly any add-ons necessary. It is designed to be easy to use even for beginners.
  • Many Options: In addition to website builder plans and online shop plans, you also have a choice of WordPress hosting, Joomla hosting, Drupal hosting, premium hosting, and Windows hosting.
  • Good Introductory Prices: 123-reg has good introductory prices for one year.
  • Detailed Knowledgebase: Their knowledgebase is detailed and should answer any questions you might have regarding the products, setup, or billing.

Cons:

  • Free Domain is UK Only: Since 123-reg is a UK company, it’s not surprising they only offer a free domain that’s co.uk. If you want a .com domain or any other extensions, you’ll have to pay extra.
  • No Help with Migration: Because every hosting provider is different, 123-reg offers no migration help. But there is a user guide that explains how you can transfer your site. It’d still be nice to see a migration service, even for a fee.
  • Support Not User-Friendly: 123-reg provides a very extensive support center with answers and troubleshooting. But there is no live support and there doesn’t seem to be a way to contact them by phone either. You’re required to go through a series of dropdowns to select what relates most to your query. This kind of acts as a ticket system, but it’s cumbersome and not very user-friendly.

Summary:

123-reg is a web hosting company based in UK. They offer shared hosting plans with special emphasis on website builder and online shop. All plans come with 1 free domain for a year, although it’s only for co.uk. domain names. Their templates are attractive and the website builder is powerful. However with a lack of migration help and no live support this may not be the best option for users who need a lot of hand holding.

Takeaway: 123-reg is great for people who don’t know HTML or want to start an online shop. These specialized plans are what set 123-reg apart. Their regular shared cloud hosting plans don’t seem too different from other companies.

2016 Wix.com review: Everything you need to know

Overview: Wix.com is one of the most popular webhosts in the world and offers both free and premium hosting.

Pricing:

Connect: $4.08/mo for shared hosting.

Unlimited: $6.21/mo for shared hosting.

eCommerce: $8.08/mo for shared hosting.

Ideal Customer: Wix is perfect for someone who wants a personal blog or portfolio that can be online for free, or anyone who wants to build their site themselves.

Trends:

Unique Features:

Wix Website Builder: Wix.com is a great place to build a truly custom site without any coding knowledge whatsoever. With over 38 million customers worldwide they’ve become the world’s first choice in free web hosting and drag and drop website builder. Once you sign up for your free account you can choose from dozens of categories to find the best one that suits your new site. Some of the options include business, photography, restaurant, blog and many more. After you’ve made your choice, you’ll be taken to a template page to choose the best-looking option for your new project. Next, it’s time to start editing your new site, it’s that easy. Everything you can see on your site can be easily changed with a click. You’ll find that it is incredibly easy to use and will soon feel like you’ve always known how it works. Once you’re done editing and changing everything you just have to hit publish and off you go. The simplicity of their editor is a large part of the popularity that Wix enjoys.

App Marketplace: With Wix.com you have an entire marketplace full of applications that will help make your site function just the way you want. There are almost 100 free apps that you can add including social options like Pinterest buttons and Facebook comments, a couple of different galleries for images and videos, and payment options like Paypal. There are also some premium apps available to help you make the most of your new site. Some of the paid apps include a welcome bar that comes down onto your page, letting customers know your current promotions or news. You can also some that help you create interactive videos, have viewable PDF documents, and much more. Each app has the number of people who have downloaded it clearly displayed. This will give you an idea of which may work best for you. The website builder also has an option to visit the app marketplace right from the interface so you can add apps as you need them.

App Developers: With so many people creating websites with this free and versatile host, it has created an opportunity for developers. Wix.com allows third-party developers to create apps that can be applied to their popular site building tools. The developer page claims that your app can be viewed by 72 million small business owners who currently use the platform. It seems that it’s just as simple to create apps for Wix as it is to put up a new site. They don’t charge developers to put apps on the platform and you can start earning from your new software the first day that it’s available on the marketplace. There is also an option for you to test drive your new program to make sure that it works properly before letting others purchase it. With 47K new apps being installed daily the opportunity is very large.

Reviews:

We checked several online review sources looking for honest opinions about Wix. We found that most positive customer comments were about their features and ease of use.

One customer please with their multiple options stated: “Wix.com is the best hosting company I have dealt with so far, they have hundreds of free templates and they are fully editable which is something that I have struggled to find with other hosting companies.”

Another reviewer writes about their ease of use saying: “Wix.com is one of the website builders and website hosts that I like to promote to my friends and family to use. Wix.com has extensive features and it is simple and easy to understand and use.”

Not all reviews were positive however. We found users frustrated with internal errors and lack of support.

This frustrated reviewer is complaining about an apparently common problem: “And don’t try to do too much without saving your work every 10 minutes or you’ll lose everything you’ve spent so much time on. And I’m not the only one… just google “Wix can’t save error” and you’ll see what I’m talking about.”

Another customer is severely disappointed by the lack of customer support: “On the Wix “support” page, you will not find a contact email address, phone number, or anything useful. It is essentially a forum where users post their issues and the Wix team offers some generic and ineffective answer that leaves you twice as frustrated as you already were.”

We also looked at Twitter to see what users had to say about Wix. This customer is happy to tell the world about Wix features:

This user does not recommend Wix if you’re trying to rank higher on Google:

Pros:

  • Free Domain: Wix offers a free domain for those who want to start or upgrade to a premium membership.
  • Ad Vouchers: Premium customers get over $300 in ad vouchers for Google, Yahoo and other popular PPC platforms.
  • Free Website: Wix is known for providing excellent hosting and beautiful sites for free.
  • Uptime Guarantee: A 99.9% uptime guarantee is offered for all premium customers.
  • Tutorials: Wix has a very informative tutorial page and knowledge center, as well as a popular Youtube page.
  • Easily Upgrade: If you want to start with a free site and then upgrade to premium, Wix makes it easy.

Cons:

  • Ads Displayed: Wix will display ads on your site with free and the lowest paid plans.
  • Confusing Pricing: While they offer many premium optioins, it’s difficult to understand all features.
  • No Multiple Websites: You have to start a new premium account for each website you wish to have on Wix.

Summary:

Wix.com is a giant in the create your own website industry. They offer an easy to use, highly intuitive HTML5 site builder, and put your site on reliable servers with very little downtime. If you don’t mind ads on your small personal site, then they are your best option.

If you want any traditional hosting options and scripts, like WordPress, for your site, then you’ll have to go elsewhere.

Takeaway: This is one of, if not the best option for small and personal site owners who want to build their own website from scratch.

2016 IPower review: Everything you need to know

Overview: IPower has many different hosting options at affordable prices that appeal to a range of web masters.

Pricing:

Starter: $3.99/mo for shared hosting.

Professional: $4.95/mo for shared hosting.

Professional Plus: $12.99/mo for shared hosting.

Ideal Customer: While they offer many different hosting plans, small businesses and personal site owners will benefit the most.

Trends:

Unique Features:

My Website: Some hosting companies offer web design services, but they are often undescriptive and very vague about what they can do for your business. IPower lays out their web design services very clearly. There are three basic options including informational sites, eCommerce stores, and custom websites. The custom option is a whole new design from the ground up and includes a logo design and a dedicated project manager. The other options can be five or more pages and allow you to choose from over 150 template layouts. The eCommerce site comes with a payment processor and checkout system provided by IPower. They will even upload your first 20 products to make sure it goes smoothly. You can customize the colors and a few layout options on the information and eCommerce plans. Pricing is not available for this service on the website, but you can contact their sales department for more information. You can even have IPower continue to manage the site for you a few hours a month to take a hands-off approach to site ownership.

My Website Traffic: Building a website is an important step in allowing visitors and potential customers to find out about you online. Although, if you don’t take proper steps to make sure that you are easily found by the search engines, you may never fully realize your site’s potential. That’s why IPower has created a service called My Website Traffic to help you rank highly for certain terms on search platforms, like Google. This is a process that begins with specialized experts finding out more about the content, services and products you will provide to visitors. They’ll need to know things like the location of who you want to see you and what they’ll be looking for when they get there. Then, they’ll get to work picking out key words and phrases that someone may search for and helping your site get to the top of Google, Yahoo and Bing to bring those people right to your site.

SiteLock: The internet can be a very hostile place. Hackers break into large sites on a daily basis, releasing private information that isn’t theirs to unveil. The visitors to your new website are becoming timid about which companies they trust. There are several measures you can and should take to keep you and your customers data safe. IPower offers a popular option for this called SiteLock. For $1.49/mo this service will scan your site for malware and deal with it as soon as it’s detected. If one of the many routine scans picks up anything out of the ordinary you will be notified immediately, and the SiteLock software can even remove harmful files automatically. This not only keeps data safe, but also keeps your site from being penalized by search engines, like Google. If their crawlers detect malware, they won’t let your site be found easily. If you purchase the SiteLock subscription, you will have the ability to display a certificate on your site which will let your visitors see that you are protecting their secure data.

Reviews:

We’ve checked several online sources looking for honest reviews about IPower. We found several customers pleased with their uptime.

One happy reviewer states: “Down time has been almost a non-issue except for one time when IPower was, well, powerless to fix a network problem not of their making.”

Another long-term customer writes: “IPower has hosted my web sites for over 5 years and I could not be more pleased. They’re hardly ever down and when they do have problems, they send an email to let you know.”

Not all reviews were positive however. We also found several IPower customers unhappy with their tech support.

This frustrated reviewer writes: “This is the worst Hosting Provider ever. Lousy support. Very slow in responding to requests and dealing with issues.”

Another upset customer warns: “Their support is awful. I wish I could give it less than one star. And they don’t use PHP, they use PERL, so a bunch of stuff won’t work with WordPress and Woocommerce.”

We also looked at twitter to see what people were saying about IPower. Here one customer is very happy that tech support was there to save the day:

https://twitter.com/naomimaria/status/578955601939558400

This customer is concerned about the security of IPower’s servers:

Pros:

  • Daily Backups: IPower backs up all of the data on its servers nightly.
  • Free Website Builder: There is a customer website builder available for free with your hosting plan.
  • Free Ad Credits: There are $200 in free ad credits and a YP.com listing for all new IPower customers.
  • Free Domain: With some of the hosting plans offered, customers will get a free domain name with the account.
  • Referral Program: If you refer a friend to IPower you will receive a $35 referral fee.

Cons:

  • No Uptime Guarantee: While IPower does back up data, they don’t offer an guarantee against downtime.
  • No Money Back Guarantee: There isn’t any information about a money back offer, but they do charge a $35 cancellation fee.
  • No cPanel: There is a custom control panel on IPower, but cPanel is not available.
  • Busy Website: While a lot of information is available on IPower’s site, it is confusing and difficult to find.

Summary:

IPower has many different hosting options, but seem to help personal site webmasters and small business owners the most. You can find VPS and dedicated servers available, but they certainly aren’t a focus of the company.

If you are looking for a specific type of hosting besides shared, you will likely find better plans with another host.

Takeaway: IPower is a solid option for anyone looking to start a website fast with a company that can help you take care of several other aspects of website ownership.

2016 WebFaction review: Everything you need to know

Overview: WebFaction provides affordable hosting for developers.

Pricing:

Webfaction: $8.50/mo for shared hosting.

Shared 1: $9.50/mo for shared hosting.

Shared 2: $14.50/mo for shared hosting.

Ideal Customer: A great option for fledgling developers looking for affordable, but reliable hosting with a company that understands your needs.

Trends:

Unique Features:

Q & A Community Site: WebFaction is primarily geared towards developers. Customer support is limited to a ticket system and Q & A Community Site. Although there is no phone or live chat support, you won’t even miss it as knowledgeable developers run WebFaction’s community site. Users gain karma for answering questions and public participations. It’s an active forum where most questions are likely to be answered within a few hours. Because WebFaction’s hosting plans are mainly for developers, most of the questions are related to specific languages, databases, or scripts like PHP, Django, Node, PostgreSQL, etc. WebFaction staff members also answer any questions on the public forum, so if you’re too impatient to wait for your ticket to be processed, you might have better luck in the forum.

Proprietary Control Panel: cPanel and Plesk are two of the most mainstream control panels available. cPanel especially is praised for its efficiency and intuitive interface. But WebFaction doesn’t have the industry-standard cPanel. They have their own control panel that does everything cPanel does and then some. From this control panel, you can monitor your memory and bandwidth usage, access your DNS records, and use one-click installations to install common applications such as Git, WordPress, Django, and more. On cPanel, you can only have one static IP address for each account, but there is no such restriction on WebFaction’s proprietary control panel. It may seem strange and backwards at first to create an application, then a site, then a domain, but users have reported flexibility and ease of use once they get used to the control panel. It’s easy to customize with as many domains, subdomains, and applications, as long as you stay within the limitations given to your account (bandwidth, memory, disk, etc.).

Django-Friendly: WebFaction is rated very highly among Django developers on websites that list Django-friendly hosting plans. They were one of the very first hosts to support Django on Python 3, way back in 2013. There is a one-click installer for Django, which makes everything neat and easy for the developers. The amount of flexibility is almost unheard of when compared to other similar companies. WebFaction lets you run any instances of web servers you want, including Apache and NGINX. Along with the one-click installer, open shell environment, staff and forum members who are knowledgeable in Django, and support for various environments, WebFaction has put together a nice package that appeals to Django developers.

Reviews:

We check several online sources looking for honest reviews for Webfaction. We found that customers are very positive about their hosting platforms and features.

One happy customer raves: “Webfaction is the closest you can get to a private server while still being reasonably priced and comparable to shared hosting platforms.”

Another reviewer agrees saying: “It’s rare to have all this quality in one place, but WebFaction manages it. Unlike many hosting services which only offer PHP and/or .NET, WebFaction offers a diversity of languages and platforms: Python, Ruby and Perl. It’s the best hosting for Django I’ve heard of.”

Not all reviews were positive however. We found negative comments from customers about Webfaction’s uptime.

Here one reviewer who’s business is being impacted says: “Their mail server uptime is terrible. I have two clients with email hosted at WebFaction, and both of them experience regular (i.e. every one or two weeks) mail server outages. WebFaction always posts about the issues on their status blog, which is nice, but that’s still way too often to be having mailserver issues.”

Another frustrated client writes: “Intermittent downtime for the past 48 hours due to hardware failure. Really shouldn’t have taken that long to sort out. Usually sing Webfactions praises, but that’s unacceptable.”

We also looked at Twitter to see what customers were saying about Webfaction. Here one customer is very happy to have made the move to the host:

This user is frustrated at the constant downtime:

Pros:

  • Generous Refund Policy: WebFaction has two separate refund policies for shared hosting plans and cloud server plans. For shared hosting, you have up to 60 days to get a refund. There is no deadline on cloud accounts. You’ll receive a refund for the unused portion of service.
  • Multiple Plans: WebFaction currently offers 1 shared plan and 4 cloud server plans to suit different development needs.
  • Fast Setup Time: With one-click installers for almost all software imaginable, you’ll be up and running in no time.
  • Excellent Documentation: Their documentation repository has detailed online user guides that can also be downloaded.
  • Multiple Data Centers: WebFaction has multiple data centers spanning across several continents, so load-balancing is easily achieved.

Cons:

  • Limited Support: There is no phone support or live chat. Support is done strictly through a ticketing system and community forum.
  • Pricing: Pricing for the shared plan is reasonable, but can come across a bit high for cloud accounts especially when there is a cap on disk space, memory, and bandwidth.
  • No cPanel: If you prefer the ease and familiarity of cPanel, you might not like WebFaction’s proprietary control panel.

Summary:

WebFaction offers a lot of flexibility for developers. While there is no promise of “unlimited” bandwidth or storage, their plans should be suitable for hobbyists to serious developers. WebFaction is highly regarded among Django developers and there is an active community forum to compensate for the lack of phone or live support. There is a lot of flexibility with what scripting languages or databases you can use. One-click installers exist for a wide range of applications. If you are looking for a hosting option that provides multiple tech support options or the familiar cPanel then you may want to look someplace else.

Takeaway: If you’re looking for a hassle-free hosting plan for developers, WebFaction will certainly make your life easy. It’s especially suitable for Django developers who want flexibility at a reasonable cost.

2016 Site5 review: Everything you need to know

Overview: site5 provides quality hosting for web designers and their clients.

Pricing:

hostBasic: $5.95/mo for shared hosting.

hostPro: $9.95/mo for shared hosting.

Plus Cloud: $20.00/mo for cloud hosting.

Ideal Customer: Perfect for a web developer or agency who wants great service and a place to host your clients’ websites.

Trends:

Unique Features:

Different Locations: When you’re ready to choose a hosting plan from Site5, you’ll be asked to choose one of the server locations from a dropdown menu. Site5 has servers located all over the world, including the United States (Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix, Miami, Atlanta, New York City, Washington), Canada (Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver), United Kingdom (London), Europe (Amsterdam, Bucharest, Paris), Asia (Singapore, Hong Kong), and South America (Sao Paolo, Joao Pessoa). What is the advantage of having servers in different locations? When your visitors are located physically closer to the servers, it will lessen the website load times. For example, if your primary audience is in UK, you’d do well to choose a server in London instead of Dallas. Location also has a small benefit for SEO since your website should rank for local marketing.

30-Day Trial: Many hosting companies offer a free trial, so it’s not entirely unheard of. But it’s very rare to come across a 30-day trial. Most companies that do offer a free trial do it for 7 days only. Offering a 30-day trial shows Site5 has a lot of confidence in their business. This offer is not valid for VPS accounts, but valid for shared plan web hosting, cloud hosting, reseller hosting, and reseller cloud hosting. There are a few reasons you’d want to evaluate a hosting company before fully committing to it. You want to test the uptime guarantee and see how often your website goes down. Ideally, that number would be very small. You also want to test drive any features like their control panel, one-click installations, ecommerce features, email accounts, mailing lists, databases, FTP accounts, and more. During a free trial, you can also gauge how fast their support responds to your tickets. The standard 7-day trial might be too short to test all these features, but with Site5’s 30-day free trial, you should be able to work out all the kinks before deciding to purchase a multi-month or multi-year plan.

Green Web Hosting: Every company should take as much responsibility as possible to reduce their environmental footprint. Site5 proudly boasts their Green Hosting philosophy. Since the company’s inception in 1999, they’ve made conscious efforts to become environmentally responsible. They plant a tree for each new hosting account. Their workforce is remote, which reduces the use of paper and computer equipment that requires cooling. Remote workforce also means their employees don’t have to drive to and from work, which further reduces pollution. Because they have their own equipment, there is no need to maintain extra equipment at a separate facility, which would cost more in heating, cooling, and lighting. Site5 also claims to be committed to researching new technology to lower power consumption and be energy-friendly.

Reviews:

We looked over several internet review sites and found that customers were very positive about Site5’s features and hosting options.

Here one happy customer lists several attractive Site5 attributes: “I highly recommend site5 for drupal hosting on their VPS. I like the features like being able to choose the server location, cloudflare integration, which gives you CDN, you have enom domain registration integrated and they will transfer cpanel accounts for you for free.”

Another reviewer simply states: “For webhosting site5 is the best as they offer unlimited disk space and they make sure that our website is always accessible.”

Not all reviews were positive however. We found that several customers had a negative experience with Site5’s customer support and downtime.

One frustrated customer said: “Each time you submit a ticket for help or to ask a question or need an issue resolved, a new person takes the ticket and responds in a different way apparently having spent no time reviewing your account.”

Another reviewer tired of repeated downtime problems stated: “If you are OK with emails and the server being down 1 or 2 days every month then you can go with them. They have a forum with hundreds of posts everyday where the services are down for hours and sometime even days.”

We also looked at Twitter to see what customers were saying about Site5. This user is happy to recommend them based on his experience:

Unfortunately this customer had more than one site outage:

Pros:

  • Excellent Support: Site5 offers multiple avenues of support, including phone, live chat, and a vast knowledgebase.
  • Uptime Guarantee: Site5 has 99.9% uptime guarantee.
  • Different Server Locations: Being able to choose from multiple server locations based on where you (or your audience) are helps speed up website loading times.
  • Free Trial: 30-day trial is far more generous than what the competitors typically offer.
  • Money Back Guarantee: For shared hosting plans, money back guarantee is generous at 45 days.

Cons:

  • Modified cPanel: Site5 does use cPanel but it’s slightly modified, so that can seem a little bizarre.
  • Money Back Guarantee (VPS): Money back guarantee for all VPS accounts is within 15 days, which can be a tight window.
  • Pricing for VPS: There are more than 10 VPS plans available but the lowest pricing starts at $55 per month, with 1 GB RAM, 50 GB disk space, and 800 GB bandwidth. Other companies that offer similar plans have lower pricing.

Summary:

Site5 has many interesting features that would appeal to someone looking for a solid shared hosting plan. Their 30-day trial is very useful in gauging whether you want to engage their services. They have an uptime guarantee which some hosting providers don’t offer. Their VPS plans are a bit on the steep side, but for shared hosting, the prices are much more reasonable. Their green hosting philosophy could speak to the treehugger in you.

Takeaway: Site5 offers both managed and unmanaged VPS plans. Since the latter has much more flexibility, it could be a good option for you if you’re a developer. Otherwise, their shared hosting plans are solid and more reasonably priced than the VPS plans.

2016 Globat review: Everything you need to know

Overview: Globat is a hosting company that exclusively offers shared plans for it’s customers.

Pricing:

GX01: $4.44/mo for shared hosting.

GX19: $19.99/mo for shared hosting.

Ideal Customer: Globat is a great place for someone who wants to host a website, but doesn’t want confusing plans and pricing.

Trends:

Unique Features:

Web Concierge Program: No matter how many bells and whistles a web hosting company has, without good support, it won’t retain customers. Globat is no exception. They do offer the usual technical support through knowledge base and user guides, but they also have two levels of special paid support called Web Concierge Program. Through this program, you have a dedicated person assigned to you to manage your account, expedite your support requests, and help with any installations or troubleshooting. If you’re a beginner with an exhaustive to-do list and goals to accomplish, their Web Concierge can be of tremendous help. You’ll receive advice, personal training, and guidance on establishing your web presence, through phone, email, or tickets. The two plans are Basic and Premium. The Basic Plan offers support through unlimited emails, while the Premium Plan guarantees up to 3 hours of phone time each month, so you always have direct access to a knowledgeable concierge.

Web-to-Mobile Converter: These days, many websites are built with mobile experience in mind from ground up, but you might have old websites that have yet to make the conversion. If your existing webpages need to be optimized for mobile devices, you can use Globat’s Web-to-Mobile Converter. You don’t need to rewrite any code on the existing pages or wrestle with complicated CSS. This converter ensures your pages translate correctly for various mobile devices. It’ll take out all the headache associated with making your website mobile-ready. This includes removing unnecessary code and improving navigation for a better mobile experience. This is an add-on feature you can purchase, but you’ll save time and money by not having to pay for a developer to rework your website for mobile devices. While it’s preferable to plan your website to work on mobile devices from the beginning, when you don’t have the time or resources to do so, Web-to-Mobile Converter can come in handy.

goMobi Site Builder: With mobile usage surpassing desktop usage, it’s pretty much required your website should accommodate mobile devices such as iPhones or Androids. But building a website optimized for mobile devices takes some thought and planning. It can be especially daunting if you’re not a developer. If you’re in the planning stages of building a website, you have the chance to do it right from the start by optimizing it for mobile devices. You can easily do so with Globat’s goMobi Site Builder. On the surface, this feature sounds similar to their Web-to-Mobile Converter. The main difference is that Web-to-Mobile Converter helps your existing website to be mobile-ready, while goMobi Site Builder will let you build your mobile website from the ground up.

Reviews:

Looking over several online reviews we found that Globat users were most satisfied with their customer support team.

One customer was trying to move to Globat and was pleasantly surprised saying: “Had some trouble migrating a site to them last summer and was quite amazed at the way in which Support went the extra mile to resolve things.”

Here another happy customer lists their support above everything else: “There is all sorts of pluses and the price (almost) can’t be beat, but by FAR the best part of working with them over the years is that they have EXCELLENT online 24/7 support.”

We also found negative reviews from customers. It seems most users are unhappy with Globat’s billing procedures and other technical problems.

Here one former customer complains about their hassle after closing their account: “I did not realize that they were still billing us. They would not refund any of the charges. Make sure if you close your account do NOT only do it in the admin panel you MUST talk to a person and double check that they do not continue to bill you!”

Another frustrated reviewer writes that he lost business do to a long-term issue: “We had problems with one of our e-mail addresses that quit working for over TWO weeks. Our business relies on current data on our website and receiving e-mails from our clients and we were crippled for weeks because of their lack of help.”

Customers have been vocal about Globat on Twitter as well. One user can’t contain their love for the host:

This unhappy user had a bad experience with customer support:

Pros:

  • Advanced Technology: Globat has two data centers that are equipped with 24/7 security, with multiple servers to load balance.
  • Robust Basic Plan: Globat offers two plans to cover different needs, the basic starter plan and ecommerce plan. The basic plan has a low introductory price at $4.44 a month, but includes most features that higher-priced competitors charge.
  • Support: Besides the 24/7 support and quality assurance team, their Web Concierge Program add-on allows you to have direct access to help you with your account, marketing, and web presence.
  • Mobile Optimization: Globat has tools to make sure your website is mobile-ready to improve loading time and visitor experience.
  • Discount on Constant Contact: If you’re planning on starting an email list, Constant Contact is one of the most reputable solutions out there. Globat provides an introductory 50% discount for 6 months on Constant Contact.

Cons:

  • Add-Ons: You have to pay separate fees for mobile optimization tools, so you’ll have to balance that against the time you’d save.
  • Weak E-Commerce Plan: The other plan Globat offers is the ecommerce plan at $19.99 per month, but most features overlap with their basic plan and you only get 50 free products for your shopping cart.
  • Control Panel: There is no mention of the type of web-based control panel offered, and no way to test-drive one.

Summary:

Globat offers a solid basic plan at a low introductory price, with different add-ons that can help your website. However, their e-commerce plan leaves something to be desired. With multiple data center locations and load balancing you can rest easy at night knowing your website will stay up and running. If you are looking for a host that provides a wide variety of hosting and pricing options you may have to look elsewhere.

Takeaway: Globat is known for its 24/7 customer support. This host is great if you only want the basic hosting with great options. Consider going with Globat’s Web Concierge Program if you need a lot of handholding with building a website and marketing it.