2016 WebHostingPad review: Everything you need to know

Overview: WebHostingPad specializes in providing affordable quality shared hosting.

Pricing:

Web: $3.95/mo for shared hosting.

Beginner VPS: $19.95/mo for VPS hosting.

Professional VPS: $34.95/mo for VPS hosting.

Ideal Customer: Perfect for those who are looking for unlimited shared hosting for a great value.

Trends:

Unique Features:

Free Website Transfer: There’s a high chance you already have a hosting company but you may not be satisfied with it. It can be daunting to think about moving your existing website to another web host. That’s why WebHostingPad’s free website transfer service is all the more enticing. It takes the frustration and stress out of the process. Plus it lessens the chance of something going wrong with your website while moving it, like missing files, broken links, prolonged downtime, and more. There are some restrictions and maximum transfer size (2 GB). If you have PHP and/or MySQL on your existing website, their versions need to match WebHostingPad’s versions to ensure a successful transfer. And only the website files and databases are transferred; any add-on domains, subdomains, FTP accounts, and email addresses have to be recreated. But even with these caveats, a free website transfer by an experienced technical support team is a good deal, especially if you’re not experienced in moving your entire website to another company.

Free Softaculous: Being able to install complicated scripts with a single click is an attractive feature many web hosting companies offer. One-click installation is now ubiquitous. Softaculous is both a premium and free commercial script library that enables automated installations of web applications. Many web hosting companies use Softaculous’ chief competitor, Fantastico. Lesser companies use another competitor, Installatron. There are several reasons Softaculous is preferable to those two script libraries. Softaculous (the pro version) currently offers 377 scripts, as opposed to Fantastico’s 50 and Installatron’s 83. Even the free Softaculous version offers 56 scripts. With Softaculous, virtually any script, app, or database can be installed with a single click. This feature is available for WebHostingPad’s shared plan as well as VPS plans.

Free RVSiteBuilder: WebHostingPad uses RVSiteBuilder as their WYSIWYG site builder. RVSiteBuilder is one of the most advanced website builders there are, and it’s vastly superior to most of the site builders that come equipped with typical hosting plans. RVSiteBuilder provides you more than 500 business-ready templates, adoption of responsive design, backup system, missing project recovery, and the ability to easily insert social media icons without confusion. You also get the standard add-ons like photo galleries, newsletters, database-driven FAQ system, and more. This is a great site builder to use if you’re not familiar with building websites. It retails for $12 a month, but with WebHostingPad, it’s included. Considering the low monthly price of WebHostingPad’s various plans, you’d actually be saving money.

Reviews:

Looking at several online review sites we found that WebHostingPad’s customers had positive things to say about their customer support.

One reviewer happy with quick response time writes: “As someone who doesn’t know much about computer languages, the fast turn around of Webhostingpad’s customer support is very important to me. They always get back to me within a few minutes.”

Another customer agrees saying: “I always experience quick response to my problems, the support is straight to the point and very help full. There is no feeling of just want jump onto the next job, they take their time to make sure all your problems are sorted.”

While checking review sites we also found negative reviews from customers about WebHostingPad’s downtime and policies.

One frustrated customer simply states: “To keep it as short as possible: they have way too much downtime, way too many times, and way too often.”

Another customer complains about repeated sign-in screens for security: “My frustration with them came since they enacted a policy to “protect the database” on wordpress sites. The policy is unprofessional and annoying. They should set up their servers better if they are having issues not punish their customers.”

We also looked at Twitter to see what customers had to say about WebHostingPad. Here we find a customer happy with pricing, security, and support:

This disappointed user regrets his long hosting contract do to poor service and inconsistency:

Pros:

  • Low Introductory Prices: For multi-month purchases, WebHostingPad has probably the lowest price among similar companies. You can get a basic shared hosting plan for $1.99/month if you prepay for 3 years. Even if you just buy one year, it’s very reasonably priced at $3.99 month.
  • Multiple VPS Plans: WebHostingPad’s VPS plans are powered by a separate company known as VPS Depot. They currently offer 6 tiers, with the lowest tier (beginner) starting with 20 GB disk space, 100 GB bandwidth, and 1 GB RAM.
  • Excellent Support: WebHostingPad offers support 24/7/365, through phone, live chat, a ticket system, and knowledgebase.
  • Free Website Transfer: If you need to move your existing website from another company, WebHostingPad provides a technical support team at no charge.
  • cPanel: WebHostingPad uses the industry-standard cPanel, which is known for its user-friendliness and intuitive features.

Cons:

  • Website: WebHostingPad’s website leaves something to be desired. Their knowledgebase portion of the website looks vastly different than the other parts.
  • No Marketing Tools: There is no free credit towards Google AdWords or Yahoo, and no marketing tools are offered to help market your website.
  • Uptime Guarantee: WebHostingPad’s uptime guarantee is 99%, which is lower than what other companies typically guarantee at 99.5% or 99.9%.

Summary:

WebHostingPad offers a multitude of plans to suit all types of users. Shared hosting plans start at very reasonable introductory prices, while still including all the standard features like unlimited storage and bandwidth. The tools that power the underlying accounts, like RVSiteBuilder and Softaculous, are solid and highly regarded by other users. They also offer free website transfer. With their multiple support options you know you will be able to get help when you need it. If you are looking for more of an uptime guarantee or free marketing tools to get you started you will find a better option somewhere else.

Takeaway: WebHostingPad’s VPS plans (actually powered by another company) don’t stand out from similar companies, but are decently priced. The real strength of WebHostingPad is some of their hosting features like the site builder and their low prices.

2016 RackSpace review: Everything you need to know

Overview: RackSpace specializes in managing dedicated and cloud hosting for business and corporate customers.

Pricing:

RackSpace doesn’t list their prices on the website. You have to contact their sales department for information.

Ideal Customer: This host is perfect for businesses who need a dedicated or cloud server to host their website that has excellent technical support.

Trends:

Unique Features:

RackSpace Blogs and Newsroom: While there are a lot of hosting companies that have blogs, few compare to the amount of information that is provided by RackSpace. There are three different online publications that are offered. The RackSpace Blog is the main hub for the company, but it has six different channels to choose from. You can read specific blogs dedicated to things like the cloud industry, products and technology, and “Racker” culture (which is a look at the employee culture). The information is highly technical and very relevant to the host’s customer base. In addition to the RackSpace Blog, there is an entirely different blog that is solely intended for developers. Topics covered in this publication include all sorts of server data, tips, and RackSpace specific products to help you make the most of your host. The third publication is the Newsroom. The posts here are specific newsworthy announcements from the RackSpace team. You’ll find information about staff changes, updates, and new product announcements. The communication you get from RackSpace is unequaled anywhere else.

DevOps: DevOps is a truly unique feature to any other hosting company. It’s not a product or a service, but more of an open view into how RackSpace runs their company. Other hosts have promises and guarantees, but rarely do you get such a detailed look at the atmosphere created to take care of your web properties. RackSpace has united their team around a set of processes that ensure maximum communication and efficiency. Their DevOps strategy consists of four parts Culture, Automation, Measurement, and Sharing. The team works seamlessly together while testing their infrastructure constantly to ensure everything is working properly. Metrics and goals are laid out clearly to avoid confusion and maximize customer service. Due to this unique corporate structure RackSpace has experienced incredible customer satisfaction and constant improvement.

Jungle Disk Backups: Many hosting companies provide backups as part of hosting services, but these can be inconsistent. It’s always recommended that you personally backup all of your data to ensure that it is correctly being managed. RackSpace has created a separate service that takes incredible care of your backup data. Called Jungle Disk Backups, it can help put your mind at ease in the event of any sort of data loss. The company promises to keep your data secure (they can’t even access it directly). The service is great for businesses who understand the importance backing up your website but don’t understand exactly how it’s done. Jungle Disk offers two plans. The first is $4/mo and is a service that will backup your company’s computers saving all data, not just for your website. There is also a $5/mo service that allows you to have unlimited server backups on demand.

Reviews:

We looked at online reviews to find out how people really feel about RackSpace. We found that customers had positive things to say about their tech support availability and expertise.

One long-term customer states: “We’ve used Rackspace for over 5 years at our Web Development agency. We’re using a Dedicated Server. Rackspace has great support, always answers the phone and provides great hosting.”

Another customer agrees saying: “They always answer the phone, and if you don’t want a ticket they will find someone to walk through the solution with you. You couldn’t ask for more! The only downside is that you really have to pay to have that level of expertise on tap.”

We also found several negative reviews for RackSpace. There seems to be a few customers frustrated with customer service as well.

One disappointed customer states: “Unfortunately, since going public, the customer service has turned into something that rivals godaddy, you essentially train the techs, the majority all level ones that don’t really get it.”

Another reviewer warns: “To put it bluntly, these people don’t know what they’re doing, have NO concept of customer service, have NO communication skills that I can think of, and make changes to my customers servers and services WITH NO ADVANCE WARNING.”

We also looked at Twitter to see what customer were saying about RackSpace. One twitter user is recommending RackSpace to all their friends:

Another user seems extremely frustrated with the lack of customer service:

Pros:

  • Support Options: Every person working at RackSpace is dedicated to delivering the highest customer service.
  • Highly Trained Staff: RackSpace boasts well over 600 certified professionals including Microsoft, Cisco and many others.
  • Active Forums: There is an active community available via the RackSpace forums.
  • Knowledge Center: A well organized and informative knowledge center is available freely on the company’s site.
  • System Status Page: You’ll be able to check server status live 24/7.
  • Windows Servers: RackSpace offers both Linux and Windows servers to store your data on.

Cons:

  • No Shared Hosting: RackSpace doesn’t offer shared hosting plans at this time.
  • No Uptime Guarantee: While they do have a live server status page, there is no information on an uptime guarantee on the site.
  • No Money Back Guarantee: RackSpace doesn’t seem to offer a money back guarantee that is listed online.

Summary:

If you own a business or are part of a corporation that needs a large amount of server space to host your website and files, RackSpace is one of the best options you can find. You’ll find that they serve many other happy clients just like you.

Although, if you want to find inexpensive shared hosting or a place to house your multiple properties there are other options that will be better suited for you.

Takeaway: RackSpace has created an incredible culture of excellence that appeals to developers and business owners. Their commitment to great customer service along with a knowledgeable and helpful staff has made them an excellent hosting provider.

2016 StartLogic review: Everything you need to know

Overview: StartLogic focuses on shared hosting plans that offer fast page speeds.

Pricing:

Express: $4.50/mo for shared hosting.

Professional: $5.99/mo for shared hosting.

Supercharge: $8.99/mo for shared hosting.

Ideal Customer: The hosting offered is targeted towards inexperienced or first time webmasters, eCommerce sites, and business owners.

Trends:

Unique Features:

SubmitNet: You start a website for visitors to come and look at or buy what you offer, but it can be difficult to have your site noticed by search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. That’s why StartLogic offers a service called SubmitNet to give you the tools to rank for keywords in your industry. SubmitNet will make your web pages search friendly, giving them a better chance to be found by people looking for the things you offer. Several features are available depending on the plan you get, and StartLogic even offers the first month free for Gold subscribers. You’ll be able to submit your content to directories and popular search engines easily. There are also options to help you make the content on your site optimized with meta tags, and tools to help you figure out where you stand in the online market. There are three plans available basic, gold, and platinum for $19.95/year, $9.95/mo, and $14.95/mo respectively. SubmitNet is a great tool for those who are less knowledgeable about search engine optimization and online marketing.

My Advertising: Advertising is necessary for small business owners no matter what your business offers. Although, know how and where to show off your products and services is a problem for many entrepreneurs. StartLogic provides an excellent service to small business website owners, called My Advertising, to help you market your business online. The knowledgeable staff can help you pick out which keywords fit your business and will bring in targeted traffic to your website. They can help you set up a reasonable budget and track whether or not your campaigns are profitable. Local and worldwide businesses alike can benefit from the pay-per-click expertise of StartLogic’s marketers. If you sign up for the program, you’ll receive multiple benefits including a dedicated project manager who monitors and keeps track of all of your campaigns, SEO optimization help, and reports to ensure you are on track for your goals and budget. You can also request samples to see how your business can benefit from their help. Prices for this service aren’t listed on their website, but you can speak with a representative anytime.

My Facebook Pages: If you have a blog, eCommerce store, or business website you probably have a Facebook page to go along with it. Managing your business along with a website and a Facebook account can be daunting, but the benefits of social media are too many to ignore. That’s why StartLogic offers My Facebook Pages, a complete service that designs four different pages for your business (including photos). The company will also continue to provide regular content on a monthly basis to keep your engagement up so people will continue to talk about your business. StartLogic will even make sure your FB pages stay compliant and up to date with the ever changing requirements. The service starts with a one-time fee of $149.95 and then has a $5.95 monthly fee to keep it up to date with fresh content. Facebook is a great place to get the word out about your new website and even sell products right from your fan page. My Facebook Pages is a great option for an eCommerce store or website that is looking to take advantage of social media.

Reviews:

We looked at several online reviews for StartLogic. We found that customers are most satisfied with their features and uptime.

One customer recommends them for any aspiring webmasters: “As a beginning website builder, I found their online authoring tools very helpful in getting me started. Up-time has been excellent, and their fees are quite reasonable. I recommend them, especially for beginning website authors.”

Another reviews agrees saying: “I have used many webhosting websites, Startlogic is my favourite website. It has great uptime, support and freatures better than anyone.”

Not all reviews we found were positive. We found several StartLogic customers unhappy with their customer support.

One frustrated customer states: “They’ve gotten progressively worse each year. ZERO Support – ZERO online chat support. On top of the crappy support, they keep raising my price per month each time I renew.”

Another reviewer with similar issues warns: “They have outsourced all of their tech “support” overseas, rendering support all but useless. If you even get a response, it is generally copy and pasted from the internet, and doesn’t ever actually solve the problem.”

We checked Twitter to see what StartLogic customers were saying there. Here is one user happy to have customer support help with getting a website back online:

This user unfortunately found no help getting rid of some malware:

Pros:

  • Great Support Options: StartLogic’s support staff is available 24/7 by phone or live chat.
  • Money Back Guarantee: There is a 30 day money back guarantee on all hosting fees offered.
  • Free Domain: StartLogic offers a free domain with all new hosting accounts.
  • Marketing Services: You can find multiple marketing services that are provided to help make your website successful.
  • Marketing Manual: All hosting plans come with a 500+ page marketing manual to get you started on the right foot.
  • Free Ad Credits: You’ll recieve a generous free ad credit from both Google and Yahoo.
  • Web Design Services: StartLogic offers several types of webdesign services inlcuding corporate and eCommerce designs.

Cons:

  • No Uptime Guarantee: StartLogic doesn’t offer a way to track uptime, or a guarantee offering reimbursement for downtime.
  • No cPanel: The popular cPanel is not available on any StartLogic hosting plans.
  • Uninformative Website: The website for the company is very basic with very little information.

Summary:

If you’re looking for a place to start your first site and need an easy to understand and efficient starting process, you’ll enjoy your experience with StartLogic. eCommerce store owners will also enjoy benefits, like an inexpensive SSL and the page speed available.

However, if you’re looking for something other than shared hosting or a better knowledge base for troubleshooting you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Takeaway: StartLogic offers shared hosting that is great for beginners. Anyone looking to start an eCommerce store, begin writing a blog, or that needs a simple business site will enjoy the straightforward options and affordable pricing.

2016 Yahoo! Web Hosting (Aabaco) review: Everything you need to know

Overview: Yahoo (now Aabaco) is a provider that specializes in personal and small business hositng

Pricing:

Basic: $2.99/mo for shared hosting.

Advanced: $5.25/mo for shared hosting.

Premier: $7.49/mo for shared hosting.

Ideal Customer: This is a solid option for someone who wants an affordable hosting plan for the small to medium traffic website.

Trends:

Unique Features:

Live Insights iPhone App: Any serious ecommerce website needs to have a good tracking tool. Google Analytics is one of the most often used tracking tools, but it’s not without disadvantages. It takes too long for non-analysts to process the data from Google Analytics, making it hard to react in real-time. To combat this problem, Aabaco provides Live Insights app for iPhones. It’s a much more user-friendly and intuitive website traffic analysis tool so you can keep your finger on the pulse of your business. With this tool, you get a snapshot of your top keywords and top referral sites. You can monitor your customer activity as it happens, chat with customers to increase your chance of closing sales, and get better insights on what actions you should take for your business. This can be a valuable asset to see real-time data that is affecting your bottom line.

Developer Network: If you have the business acumen but not development talent, it’d be best to outsource that part of the job. Aabaco has a professional developer network that can connect you to many partners. By hiring developers, you can customize your online store and add features that can help you find more customers. You can also use developers to make your website more visually appealing. Aabaco’s Developer Network doesn’t just connect you to programmers or web designers. You can also find professionals offering marketing services like SEO, SEM, email marketing, social media marketing, etc. Because these developers have already been vetted by Aabaco in order to be part of their network, you can rest assured you’ll have a better experience working with them than hiring someone from a crowdsourcing site.

Localworks: Aabaco is geared towards small business and ecommerce storeowners, so there’s a heavy emphasis on local marketing. Through an add-on service called Localworks, they help you list your website on over 50 local directories, including the major ones such as Yahoo, Yelp, MapQuest, Superpages, WhitePages, and more. The listing part is just the beginning, as tracking how each listing does is more important. Localworks tracks the performance of each listing. Without this service, you’d have to list your business on the local directories manually or hire someone else to do it. Localworks provides a detailed step-by-step guide to help you create a profile for your business that makes it stand out. This includes using photos, videos, or any other edge. If there is inconsistent or incorrect info, you can make corrections and push them to all your directories, so they’re always up-to-date. Ensuring your image is consistent across all local channels will help you develop your local branding.

Reviews:

We checked Internet review sites to see how people feel about Yahoo! Web Hosting. We found that customers were most impressed by their features and pricing.

One customer pleased by the host’s amenities states: “Yahoo! Web Hosting rocks because of 30-days satisfaction guarantee, $100 credit for search marketing, high disk space, multiple account accesses, World famous WordPress blogging, virtual unlimited databases, inbuilt site search capabilities.”

Another reviews agrees saying: “The Yahoo Webhosting is marvelous! For a low price you can have a perfect Webhost, it has allot of features and is smooth to use.”

Not all reviews were positive. We found several customers upset by the move to Aabaco for Yahoo!’s technical support.

One frustrated reviewer warns: “they changed support to Aabaco and since then wait times of at least 40 min for tech support, email app stopped working, can’t log on consistently, etc.”

Another customer lists his problem with the host: “Web and domain hosting control panel is not accessible half the time and when it works it’s painfully slow. No SSH access, FTP is slow, web file manager hardly usable.”

We checked Twitter for customer opinions about Yahoo! Web Hosting. We found one customer thankful for support reaching out to him:

Another user is frustrated at being on hold for so long waiting for support:

Pros:

  • Emphasis on Small Businesses: Aabaco has a big emphasis on small business, as shown in their logo. Existing Yahoo Small Business customers can set up their accounts with Aabaco.
  • Uptime Guarantee: Aabaco has a stated uptime guarantee of 99.9%.
  • Comprehensive Tracking and Reporting: Tracking is vital to the success of any ecommerce website. Aabaco provides free Live Insights tracking app for iPhones or desktop. You receive detailed recommendations on how to improve your search rankings. In addition, you can set up your own Google Analytics or Yahoo Web Analytics.
  • Interactive Features: Aabaco offers many interactive features to enhance your website; some are free, others are paid. These features include photo and video galleries, customizable forms, widget boxes, and more.
  • Tiered Plans: While Aabaco’s emphasis is more on small business and ecommerce, there are three plans to meet the needs of a wide range of customers.

Cons:

  • Limited Basic Plan: Aabaco’s most basic plan is very limited; you can only build 10 pages and no site backup is provided.
  • Only One Domain: With all three plans, you can only host one domain.
  • Shared Hosting Only: There is no VPS or dedicated server option.

Summary:

As former Yahoo! Small Business, Aabaco offers many tools you can expect as a small business and ecommerce storeowner. For serious ecommerce stores, their premier plan with unlimited disk space and bandwidth is ideal. Their basic plan feels a bit too limited, although priced competitively. With Aabaco, you’ll have access to a tracking app that’s more user-friendly than Google Analytics, so you can keep track of your website and react in real-time.

Takeaway: Aabaco’s basic plan is not suitable if you want a site that will potentially have many pages, like a blog, or a website with more than 10 pages.

2016 Aplus review: Everything you need to know

Overview: Aplus provides shared hosting options and easy tools to create websites quickly.

Pricing:

Basic: $7.99/mo for shared hosting.

Business: $15.99/mo for shared hosting.

Professional: $23.99/mo for shared hosting.

Ideal Customer: This is a great option for anyone who wants to create a website(s) quickly, without technical knowledge.

Trends:

Unique Features:

Website Creator Pro: Aplus seems to want to attract do it yourself business owners and webmasters with their easy to use Website Creator Pro. You don’t have to know HTML or any other programming language. The software is entirely drag and drop and lets you place images, content, logos and even videos where ever you want them. You’ll start with one of the hundreds of available templates that will give your site shape quickly. Even though it is a site builder, you can accomplish more complicated options like web forms, maps, and can even add a member’s only area. The new site you design will be mobile friendly so those looking at it from a smart device will still see everything you have to offer. The builder also allows for you to create an eCommerce store just as quickly as a regular web page, and Creator Pro promises to be search engine friendly to get your site found by potential customers. If you want to create a site on your own, this site builder is one of the easiest to manage.

Domain Guard: Aplus is also a prime domain registrar and has provided several services to ensure your new domain(s) are protected from a hostile internet. Domain Guard is a feature that helps you protect valuable information pertaining to your brand. Each time a domain name is registered that is similar to yours, you will be notified. This helps you protect trademark and copyright data from anyone who is attempting to trade off of your brand. Domain Guard is a great service for businesses and is only $4.95/year. You can also purchase domain privacy to keep personal or private information from getting into the wrong hands. So much information is readily available, but you can limit what is seen with this service for $9.95/year. Finally, Aplus offers Domain Monitor. This service can help you keep tabs on that valuable domain name you want to purchase, but is already taken. The monitoring is $4.95/year and will let you know when the domain you want becomes available.

Design Services: Some hosts only provide hosting and maybe a few related services, like web design. Aplus has attempted to add a complete line of design services to attract start-ups and new businesses to their company. You’ll not only find the typical web design services, but also an offer to design a new logo, business cards and a unique feature called “instant logo”. Depending on the logo design package you purchase it could include letterhead, envelopes, business cards and you can even get 1000 business cards printed and shipped to your door. The prices for a logo start at $245 and go up from there, and you can see dozens of recent designs. The instant logo feature allows you to choose between many different options that are either exclusive (meaning you’ll be the only one), non-exclusive (which have been sold to others), and retire non-exclusive (which may have been sold to others, but you’re the last one).

Reviews:

We have looked at reviews from across the internet to find what customers are saying about Aplus. We found that customers are positive about their uptime and hosting resources.

This long-term customer has never had a bad experience with the host: “I have been using Aplus for well over 6 years and I have never had any major problems or complaints about their service or support. I have multiple websites hosted with them and have not experienced any down time with any of them.”

Another reviewer recommends Aplus based on their price and features: “They do offer very generous resources for the money and I’m basically using their hosting service for the disk space. They also give you multiple website/domain option, which is nice. If you need LOTS of disk space and bandwidth for low price, APlus might be a good choice.”

We also found several negative reviews for Aplus. Customers seem most dissatisfied with their technical support.

One frustrated reviewer writes: “Their support is beyond appalling. Their dashboards are hideously broken. Nothing works right. 72 hours to fix basic problems. Support tickets don’t show up in the support ticket portal.”

Another irritated customer warns: “As for tech support – they are fine as long they can answer a question easily. If not, they just blame you. And if you try to explain in words of one syllable why this is an aplus issue, they become deaf, unhelpful and rude.”

We also looked at Twitter to see how customers rated Aplus. Here one customer is recommending them to another user:

This customer is dealing with a down site and can’t get any help:

Pros:

  • Support Options: Aplus offers phone, live chat and email support 24/7, but they do prefer you to submit tickets on the website.
  • Large FAQ: There is a large FAQ section that is available that has answers to questions posed by customers.
  • Free Domains: Aplus offers two or three free domains depending on the hosting plan you purchase.
  • Email Marketing: You can get help with your email marketing and sending emails to up to 1000 contacts is free of charge.
  • Local Marketing: There are marketing services to help you list your business in several local publications.

Cons:

  • Complicated Guarantees: While Aplus has an uptime and money back guarantee they are complicated.
  • No Wiki/Forum: There doesn’t seem to be a forum, knowledge base or wiki informational system anywhere on the site.
  • No cPanel: Aplus offers a custom control panel and not the traditional cPanel or Plesk.

Summary:

Aplus has created an environment that is tailored to business owners and webmasters who want a site that they have built themselves. It’s a great place to find a new domain, build a nice looking site that is mobile friendly and get a new logo for the venture all in one place.

This isn’t the host for someone who wants more versatile hosting options, like dedicated or cloud servers.

Takeaway: Aplus is the do it yourselfer’s hosting company. They have the tools for you to get started with little or no experience, the services to help you when you want help, and the support for when you can’t figure it out.

2016 Web.com review: Everything you need to know

Overview: Web.com specializes in providing businesses with hosting and additional services, like web design.

Pricing:

Essential: $5.95/mo for shared hosting.

Professional: $7.95/mo for shared hosting.

Premium: $9.95/mo for shared hosting.

Ideal Customer: Web.com is great for a business who wants their hosting company to handle the design and marketing of their new corporate website.

Trends:

Unique Features:

No Upfront Cost Web Design: Starting a website can be a stressful endeavor. You have to worry about finding a quality host and putting up a site that is functional and good looking. Hiring a web designer can be a large cost that stops many businesses before they get started. Web.com has tried to help small business owners spread the cost of their web design services over the course of several months. This pricing allows you to have a professional looking site that you pay for over time. You’ll get a site that comes with photos and copy that will serve your audience or customers. This service is something that you can continue to use and it will include monthly updates, which is a great option for someone who wants a website that is low maintenance. Web.com will take care of everything for you on a monthly basis with no upfront cost. You can even get a report tracking all of the progress your new site is having, making it easy to concentrate on your business.

Ignite Online Marketing: Putting your site online is the first step in getting your site found by online traffic, but if that’s all you do you’ll never have the results you want. Web.com has created a service for websites that takes the guesswork out of being found by the search engines. Their Ignite Online Marketing program will submit your site to hundreds of online directories to help it be found fast. The service will also promote your site where your potential customers are, like other mobile sites, GPS devices, and Google Maps. You can also take advantage of their Facebook boost program that will create a fan page and get you ‘likes’ to grow the social proof of your business.

ReputationAlert: What people say about you online can have an incredible impact on your business. Negative reviews can keep new customers from trying out your products and services. Depending on the nature of your company, keeping an eye on what people are saying about you can be a full-time job that pulls you away from the important matters of your daily routine. That’s why Web.com offers ReputationAlert. This service takes everything that is said about your company on the internet and puts it in one easy to see location. The best part is that you won’t just see the comments about your business, but those being written about your competition as well. Being able to see what others are doing better and worse can be a valuable tool to help you create a better overall experience for customers in your market. Your name is tracked across thousands of platforms and you are alerted anytime someone says something about your brand. This is a feature that is crucial for any business looking to break into a market and needs an edge on other businesses.

Reviews:

There are several reviews for web.com on the internet. We found that people are positive about their customer support and wait times.

One reviewer states: “The customer support is amazing… their support team is very patient and friendly with me and answers all of my questions right away which is wonderful.”

Another customer agrees saying: “I really appreciated the best ever customer support I received ,really appreciated it..There was a short wait time and the representative was very efficient and knowledgeable about why I callled in.”

Not all reviews were positive. We found several negative reviews dealing with Web.com’s pricing and charging practices.

One customer warns: “Please watch out for their hidden costs, from what the website said, the price was going to be 9.95 a month but I was getting $44 taken from my credit card every month by them.”

Another reviewer experienced a similar issue saying: “This company plays the monthly fee game. You know the one where they bait you with a “low” rate, but you end up paying more than you should.”

Users on Twitter also had several things to say about Web.com. This customer was happy they helped resolve a hacked credit card issue:

Here we have a different user very unhappy with customer service:

Pros:

  • 24/7 Support: Web.com offers 24/7 support by phone or email, and are very active on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Affordable SSL: The prices for an SSL certificate vary by web host, but you can get one through Web.com for $24.00 a year.
  • Local Leads: You can choose to get agency support in helping you gather local leads for your small business.
  • Payment Processor: With the Take a Payment app from Web.com you can process payments for a low monthly fee.
  • Business Focused: This company is very focused on providing great service to small and medium business owners.
  • Large Blog and Forum: There is a very active and informative forum as well as an entertaining blog that is updated regularly.

Cons:

  • No Uptime Guarantee: Web.com doesn’t seem to provide any details or promises regarding uptime.
  • No Money Back Guarantee: There is nothing on the website about a guarantee on the hosting plans.
  • Not Hosting Focused: While Web.com offers hosting, they prefer to work with businesses who need web development and online marketing help.

Summary:

Businesses who are looking to take advantage of the opportunities of an internet presence will love Web.com. They are an all inclusive company that can handle the design, hosting and marketing of your brand from one place leaving you time to focus on what you do best.

If you are interested in a hosting company that offers specialized service or focused attention you may find other options are better capable of taking care of your needs.

Takeaway: Web.com wants to service small and medium business and corporate clients. That’s why they put so much attention into the services they offer and with the sponsorships they choose.

2016 Media Temple review: Everything you need to know

Overview: Media Temple is a hosting company that specializes in providing quality service and interacting with customers.

Pricing:

Grid: $16.67/mo for shared hosting.

WordPress: $16.67/mo for WP hosting.

Developer VPS: $25.00/mo for VPS hosting.

Ideal Customer: This company is an excellent choice for someone who wants quality hosting with a company that provides great communication.

Trends:

Unique Features:

CloudTech Priority Care: Having a managed hosting account typically means that your server is shared. Other users host their files on the same hardware as yours which can mean slower load times and problems with downtime. Although, if you choose a dedicated or VPS server, many hosting providers don’t provide the level of care for those servers, expecting you to do the upkeep. That’s why Media Temple created Cloudtech, which is a managed option that allows the experts at the host to take care of all issues related to keeping your site online. This service lets you concentrate on your business knowing that certified pros are watching the equipment that stores your files. The Media Temple architects will build a solution specifically for your application, and monitor it continuously for response time and other metrics. The hardware will also be regularly checked for malware and other safety issues, keeping your data and visitors safe from a hostile internet.

Virb SiteBuilder: Site builders, offered by most hosting companies are known for delivering a manageable, but subpar product. Many hosts include a web design service that will use the site builder to create the best possible site for you but want to create the content for you. Virb is Media Temple’s site builder that allows you to create a beautiful site and control the content that is written all while being easy to use. You can write and post the copy and photos that will bring your website to life, then choose a stylish and mobile friendly template and Virb does the rest. Your brand will have a great online presence. Virb is more intuitive and just as easy to use as any other site builder on the internet. The templates use the newest and fastest HTML5, and being paired with the already speedy cloud hosting, your site will be fast as lightning. You can also use Virb to help with specialty sites like music or music, and business sites, like restaurants. This builder is a great option for someone who wants to create their own look but doesn’t have web design experience.

WordPress Specialists: While Media Temple offers a variety of hosting options, like the cloud, dedicated and enterprise, they specialize in WordPress hosting for businesses and agencies. The WP platform that Media Temple has was created by WP developers to create a unique and lightning fast solution for other developers. Their WP services are competitively priced and allow for some of the highest traffic limits of all WP specific hosting options. The personal plan allows for up to two sites and 400,000 monthly visitors. The next level up (Studio) allows for 10 sites, 100GB of SSD storage and 1 million visitors. Many of the plans include malware detection and all of them include things like automatic updates of software. You also have the option to add extra resources at any time for a monthly fee that can be canceled any time.

Reviews:

We have looked at the online reviews for MediaTemple. We found most customers have positive things to say about their hosting options and features.

One customer states: “You don’t need to be a tech-geek to use their service. They have a slick-end admin panel everything is easily accessible.”

Another reviewer agrees saying: “We host with Mediatemple on their DV VPS. It is a great service and easily scalable so if our business keeps growing as it has been we’ll be able to cope.”

We also found several negative reviews however. These seem to focus on downtime and site loading speed.

One customer warns: “Since being taken over by GoDaddy their reliability has deteriorated to such an extent that my WordPress websites are taking over 30 seconds to start loading and I am seeing constant downtime, usually 500 internal server errors.”

Another reviewer had a similar complaint saying, “Media Temple has a public “Status” page, where they collect up time statistics. However, this page never reflects the actual status of the service. All Media Temple sites – including their own MediaTemple.net – were down a couple months ago, and the status page read for 30 minutes that All Services Operational.”

We looked at Twitter to see what users were saying there. One user had a very positive customer service experience:

Another user is worried for his business due to problems with the host:

Pros:

  • Uptime Guarantee: Media Temple offers a 99.999% guarantee on uptime with a 20% discount for every 20 minutes your site is down.
  • Great Support: There are multiple support options depending on what you need including a wiki.
  • Socially Active: Media Temple has both a Facebook and a Twitter account that seem to interact with customers very well.
  • Money Back Guarantee: There is a 30 day guarantee for each of the hosting plans offered.
  • Move to Migration: Media Temple will move your current site onto their platform with expert skill and care.
  • Resource Center: Several educational posts are available right on the website that will help you get the most out of your hosting plan.

Cons:

  • No cPanel: While some plans offer Plesk, Media Temple doesn’t offer cPanel.
  • No Extras: There don’t seem to be many of the common freebies like ad credits or a free domain name with sign up.
  • Expensive SSL: Media Temple’s SSL certificate is a pricey $75, which is more than most hosting companies charge.

Summary:

Media Temple has created several applications that are geared towards experienced developers and web agencies. If you are looking for a host that takes uptime and customer service seriously, you may want to give them a try.

However, if you’re looking for inexpensive shared hosting you may not like their pricing. Likewise, if you want a place to put your eCommerce site that offers competitive prices for an SSL, there are lower cost options.

Takeaway: This is a host for professional web developers of all levels. If you, or your agency, create websites and other online applications Media Temple is a very solid option.

2016 Dotster review: Everything you need to know

Overview: Dotster specializes in domain registration and shared hosting plans.

Pricing:

Linux: $3.75/mo for shared hosting.

Windows: $4.75/mo for shared hosting.

Deluxe Linux: $6.75/mo for shared hosting.

Ideal Customer: A great option for someone who wants a great deal on their new domain name and inexpensive shared hosting to get it online fast.

Trends:

Unique Features:

Business Solutions: When you start a business, you need a website regardless of whether it’s how you earn revenue or not. More and more people search for a business online before they make a purchasing decision. It’s now crucial for brick and mortar companies to have an online presence, which is why Dotster has created special Business Solutions. This host offers specialized hosting options for small businesses like a virtual private server that promises to give you the performance of dedicated hosting for a fraction of the price. This is a fast and secure option for your business site that is less than $30/mo. You’ll also be given an opportunity to use Dotster’s email marketing platform that will allow you to grow your revenue and keep in touch with people who want to hear from you. Having a list of emails that belong to loyal customers can help you send offers, sales, and coupons which will help your bottom line. These are just a couple of the options that Dotster has available for small businesses.

Local Promotion: If you are a local company, then you probably know how powerful online promotion can be for your business. While any hosting company will keep your website online, Dotster wants you to be successful and has created a local site promotion service specifically for small businesses targeting a certain area. They promise to have your site at the top of search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing so that what you offer will be seen by thousands of people who need your products and services. You’ll be able to target specific geographical areas so you’ll know that it’s being seen by the right people. It’s also perfect for startups and companies with limited budgets. With Dotster’s program, you only pay for clicks not impressions, meaning you’ll only pay for the people who are looking at your offer, not who see your link. The team will help you create online specific offers that will help you lure people in and hopefully become long standing new clients and customers.

SEO Marketing: Getting to the top of search engines, like Google, is a goal that many businesses and website owners strive to accomplish. If you can rank for relevant high traffic terms, you’ll generate naturally targeted leads without the expense of traditional marketing. Typically, when you host a website, you’re left to your own search engine optimization, but not with Dotster. They have a specific service to help you improve your rankings. If you choose to enroll, you’ll be contacted by a marketing consultant who will give your site a detailed look to see how ready you are for traffic. You’ll also receive in-depth keyword research to help you tailor content for your new site. The service even includes submission to the major search engines and help with content to make sure you get the best results. If you don’t understand much about SEO don’t worry. Dotster handles all of the writing that will be put on your site, all of the linking that will help your site rank, and all of the reporting to the SERPS so you don’t have to learn anything.

Reviews:

We have looked over several online reviews to find out what people are saying about Dotster. Most positive reviews from customers are for its features and ease of use.

One customer writes: “For beginners, it’s a very efficient, fast, and easy to use host. With its integrated domain registration and lots of disk space, it’s great for small to large scale businesses.”

Another reviewer states: “Good features and tools which makes it easy to use. I didn’t face any server down problem even with 500+ on real time. Dotster deluxe hosting is worth the money.”

Not all reviews were positive however. We found several negative reviews dealing with their billing department.

One frustrated customer states: “They have overbilled me 3 times in the last 4 years. I left them last year, and a few months back they decided to charge me for another year of billing.”

Another reviewer with a similar problem writes: “One of the all time worst companies I have ever dealt with. They continue to bill my credit card for services cancelled years ago and it take several emails to resolve.”

Twitter users have also been very vocal about Dotster. One customer was thankful for a support resolution:

Another user was very frustrated with chat support:

Pros:

  • Domain Focused: Dotster specializes in being a domain registar and focuses on the new TLD’s.
  • Money Back Guarantee: There is a 30 day guarantee policy on all hosting fees (domains and other addons are non-refundable).
  • Eco Friendly: Dotster purchases enough renewable energy credits to counter 150% of their energy use.
  • Secure Servers: All of the servers are in a cooled, secure location with redundant power systems in case of a power outage.
  • Website in Minutes: With the Dotster website builder you can have a new site up in just a couple of minutes.
  • Windows hosting: Dotster offers both Linux and Windows servers for customers to host their files on.

Cons:

  • No Uptime Guarantee: Dotster doesn’t offer guaranteed uptime or server tracking on their website.
  • Paid Premium Support: Getting access to more knowledgeable tech staff costs an extra fee in addition to your hosting.
  • 100 Emails Only: The basic shared hosting plan only allows for 100 email accounts which is fewer than most providers.

Summary:

Dotster is a great domain registrar that offers several hosting options. It’s a really good choice for beginners who are looking for the perfect name for their new website along with a reliable and affordable hosting plan.

If you want a host that offers top-notch support that is included with your account, you’ll find that other hosts do offer free phone assistance with experts.

Takeaway: Dotster has created a fun environment to find a new TLD for your site along with an easy way for you to turn it into a website in just a couple of minutes.

2016 IX Web Hosting review: Everything you need to know

Overview: IX Web Hosting focuses on providing shared hosting to help you rank higher in the search engines.

Pricing:

Expert: $3.95/mo for shared hosting.

Business Plus: $7.95/mo for shared hosting.

WordPress: $8.95/mo for WP hosting.

Ideal Customer: A great option for someone looking to head to the top of Google for a few key terms.

Trends:

Unique Features:

Free 7-Day Trial: The benefits of using IX Web Hosting is laid out clearly on their website, but if you need more convincing, you can try out their Linux-based plan for free, for 7 days. You do have to enter your payment information, but you’re free to cancel after 7 days if you don’t like what they offer. This is fairly unusual, as most hosting companies would rather offer you a refund. However, IX Web hosting also offers 2 different money back guarantees as well. One is a 30 day guarantees where you can get a refund of domain and set up fees. The other is what they term an “Anytime” guarantees. This states that you can request a refund of future month’s fees although not any from the current billing cycle.

Dedicated Security: Although all web hosting companies should do this, IX Web Hosting is one of the few that actually spells out the lengths they go to protect your website. Security is a top concern for them so they have a few things in place to protect their customers such as spam filtering, dedicated malware team, and on-staff developers to name a few. They also offer SiteLock for a small fee. This only covers one domain but you get piece of mind knowing you are protected from identity theft, fraud, spyware, and viruses.

Own Data Center: IX Web Hosting owns their data center, rather than outsourcing it. There are several advantages for a hosting company to own their data center rather than outsourcing it. The company itself can monitor their servers 24/7 so they stay up and stay fast. If there are any problems, they can be tended to right away. Or if there is a power outage they got you covered with not one but two backup generators. They can also design their network and everything else to fit their needs. This is also why they are very confident offering their 99.9% uptime guarantee.

Reviews:

There are several reviews for IX Web Hosting available. What we found was that customers wrote positively about their Linux systems and features.

One customer is pleased at their specific technical services saying: “I am very impressed with their knowledge and expertise on Linux based systems (Apache, PHP, and MySQL) and currently use them for those services… If you are a developer on Linux systems then I HIGHLY recommend IX Web Hosting.”

Another reviewer that has had an overall good experience states: “My website is fairly basic and only uses 1% of the resources made available to me, so my uptime and bandwidth, etc. has been awesome.”

We found several negative reviews for IX Web Hosting as well. Most of the customer complaints seem to stem from downtime and misinformation about disk space limits.

One frustrated reviewer lists his problems with the host being: “Lots of downtime, very slow server, we got hacked, always running out of memory because the system doesn’t’ delete the old backup files.”

Another customer warns that: “They advertise all over the place they have unlimited disk space, I spend years building up my site, then they say its a max of 30GB, give me a week to clear down my site, then suspend my account when I don’t manage to clear it down in time.”

We also checked Twitter to see what users were saying about IX Web Hosting. We found one customer that enjoys the host enough to recommend them to a fellow twitter user:

Unfortunately we also found customers here frustrated with the disk space limits:

Pros:

  • Around-the-Clock Support: Whether through phone, email, or chat, they’re available 24/7 to answer any questions or resolve issues. They also have an extensive knowledge base and tutorials to get you started before you request support.
  • No Colocation: Having their own data center means eyes and hands to monitor servers at all times and address problems as they arise.
  • Good Introductory Prices: IX Web Hosting offers fair introductory prices for their shared hosting plans, ranging from $3.95 to $7.95 per month. Their regular prices are double their promotional prices, which are still competitive.
  • Cloud Hosting: IX Web Hosting, in addition to VPS, offers cloud hosting so you can take any IT headaches out of your workflow.
  • Uptime Guarantee: IX Web Hosting offers 99.9% uptime guarantee. This isn’t a vague claim, as it’s spelled out in various places on their website.
  • Webstat Tools: IX gives you free access to different statistics like traffic to see how many visitors come to your site.

Cons:

  • Messy Website: IX Web Hosting’s website takes a bit of time to navigate. When you go to their web hosting page, you’re presented with 3 options, it’s hard to determine which one is their most expensive plan. Unlimited Pro and Business Plus plans are also priced the same, with very little difference.
  • Site Builder: IX Web Hosting supposedly includes a free site builder, but it’s also included as an “add-on” for $5/month extra. This causes more confusion.
  • H-Sphere Control Panel: Shared hosting plans only offer H-Sphere control panel, rather than the more popular and beloved cPanel. VPS and Cloud hosting customers get to choose between cPanel and Plesk.

Summary:

IX Web Hosting offers all the standard features you would expect in a decent web hosting company: great support, low introductory prices, and guaranteed uptime due to owning their data center. Their shared hosting plans should take care of most of your website needs, but if you outgrow them, you have the option to upgrade to VPS plans. They also offer cloud hosting, which is quickly becoming a favorite solution among many companies. Their main drawbacks are their difficult to navigate website, confusing pricing structure, data limit soft cap, and also H-Sphere control panel for shared plans that is less user-friendly than cPanel.

Takeaway: You can use IX Web Hosting for VPS and cloud hosting, but if you want user-friendly interface for shared hosting, you might want to look elsewhere.

6

2017 000Webhost web hosting review

Overview: 000Webhost provides entirely free decent quality web hosting.

Pricing:

Free: $0.00/mo for shared hosting.

Premium: $3.99/mo for shared hosting.

Ideal Customer: This host is an excellent option if you are new to websites and want a free option to test your ideas.

Trends:

Unique Features:

Free Web Hosting: This feature is what really sets apart 000webhost from the others. “Free” web hosting usually conjures up images of websites plastered with ads and slow loading times. That is certainly not the case with 000webhost. Their free web hosting comes with no strings attached. There are no ads, popups or otherwise. How can they afford this? Their free accounts are subsidized by paid accounts. 000webhost’s free hosting plan is quite generous, offering 1500 MB of disk space and 100 GB of data transfers per month. That is enough to power personal websites that don’t require a ton of bandwidth. Even more generously, 000webhost has free cPanel and also allows 2 MySQL databases and PHP. Of course, if you want more robust features like Ruby on Rails or support by phone or live chat, you’d have to spring for a paid plan. But for most users who are simply looking to host their blog, portfolio, or small business websites, 000webhost’s free web hosting should fit the bill. If you are looking to try your hand at site building this give you a stress free experimentation platform.

SiteReptile Builder: : Most web hosting companies offer some sort of WYSIWYG. So what’s special about 000webhost’s website builder? While most website builders are limited in what you can drag-and-drop, 000webhost’s SiteReptile has several “add-ons” that can bring more life to your website. These add-ons include photo galleries, vote polls, news publishing systems, and more. Just small things like these can make your basic website much more interesting, even if you don’t know how to code or design.They also have hundreds of design templates to choose from so you can be sure to find something to match the feel of your website. Even more impressive is SiteReptile is available to you on either the free or paid plan.

Support Forum: 000webhost’s support forum is unique. While the company does offer other avenues of support through phone or live chat, other users of 000webhost also participate in this forum. If you run into unusual problems with your hosting account, you’ll likely find fast help in the forum. But the forum is not limited to just questions about 000webhost. If you have any problems with HTML or coding in general, other users are known to quickly come to your rescue. There are even Spanish and German forums! It’s a community of like-minded users who know the ins and outs of 000webhost. This forum is open to everyone, you don’t even have to be signed up with 000webhost to take a look. The link to their forum is in the side menu on their website and it will take you to thousands of question and answer strands.

Reviews:

We have checked internet review sites looking for honest opinions about 000webhost. We found several positive reviews from customers that love their free web hosting and features.

One customer who seems to be pleased with the overall hosting options states: “Their free plan is very generous with no forced ads, PHP, MySQL, Domain and Subdomain support, FTP, e-mail, and more.”

Another reviewer using their free hosting exclaims: “They are offering FREE webhost!! FREE!!! Which in my book is a great thing if you want to experiment and try out your newly built websites.”

Not all reviews were positive however. We found customers were most disappointed by lack of technical support offered by 000webhost.

One disappointed reviewer warns: “Their technical support is completely non-existent and their lack of focus on the customer is extremely frustrating.”

Another user agreed by saying: “I had attempted to contact their customer support but unfortunately you wait a long time for replies, or just dont get a reply at all.”

We also looked at what customers were saying on Twitter. One customer seems very happy with the host:

Unfortunately there were also several negative tweets about a recent hack:

Pros:

  • Free Hosting Plan: 000webhost’s free plan is truly free with no ads and even allows more advanced features like PHP and MySQL.
  • Good Support: The support forum is available 24/7 and can be used by free users. Phone or live chat support only is available for premium users.
  • Uptime Guarantee: While it’s only for premium users, 99.9% uptime is guaranteed.
  • Inexpensive Premium: Even though the free plan has most of what you’ll need as a casual user, their premium plan is still fairly reasonable, with costs ranging from $3.99 to $10.98 a month depending on the plan.
  • User Friendly: There are auto-installers with more than 50 scripts you can install without FTP.

Cons:

  • Colocated Servers: Because their servers are not at in-house data centers, there are no hands and eyes support if something goes wrong. This is not a major disadvantage, however, because many web hosting companies operate this way.
  • Shared Hosting Only: 000webhost offers no other hosting plans except for shared hosting. If your traffic needs increase over time, you might want to look into paying for a dedicated server. This means migration to another company when you outgrow what 000webhost can offer you.
  • Weekly Backups: While many hosting companies offer nightly backups, 000webhost has automated weekly backups. This is definitely something to keep in mind, as it’s not uncommon to lose website updates due to unforeseen circumstances.

Summary:

000webhost is a good starter option for someone who’s not familiar with building or running a website. Their chief strength is the free plan that offers pretty much everything a paid plan would, with few limitations. This plan is good for someone running a small website or blog. Because of the nature of shared hosting, a really popular website can quickly outgrow the traffic limit. Their support forum is fairly active although it can take some time to get answers. Overall, it’s a good place to start for someone who wants a user-friendly interface and decent support.

Takeaway: Use 000webhost’s free plan to get a feel for what running a website entails, then either pay for their premium plan or move onto something more robust.