2016 Linode hosting review: Everything you need to know

Overview: Linode specializes in unmanaged cloud hosting plans for developers.

Pricing:

1 GB: $10.00/mo for shared hosting.

2 GB: $20.00/mo for shared hosting.

4 GB: $40.00/mo for shared hosting.

Ideal Customer: If you are a devloper who wants to utilize state of the art equipment with as little or as much assistance as you’re comfortable with then Linode is great for you.

Trends:

Unique Features:

Great Backup Options: While everyone understands that backups are necessary, many hosting providers don’t take it as seriously as they should. There are options to improve the redundancy of saving your vital data, but they can be difficult to maintain. Linode has created a backup system that is effective and easy to use. The site promises to let you “set it and forget it”. The service is a managed service offered by Linode that only takes one click from the user to implement. Three slots are available to fill with the data including a 2 to 7 day, 8-14 day, and a third slot that is for on-demand backups. Users can configure and change the times of backups anytime. The backup system begins immediately and is saved separately from your server stack. Data that is complete will never be replaced by incomplete or corrupted data, so when you access files, they will be ready. The service is an added fee started at $2.50/mo all the way up to $20/mo depending on the size of your files.

NodeBalancer: Developers know that traffic can be unpredictable at times. If you receive a lot of unexpected visitors to your application that you aren’t prepared for your data can be slow or even crash. Load balancers help this process by transferring visitors evenly across servers. Linode has created a load balancing system they call “NodeBalancers.” This system balances incoming requests to keep the site running fast no matter the traffic level. In addition to this basic service, NodeBalancer also monitors backend health to route requests properly. This load balancing isn’t just useful for traffic spikes but helps simple blogs, large enterprise sites, and complex applications all function to their best ability. Instant monitoring of the balancing process can help you identify issues quickly and make adjustments to the program itself. Customization options help you create the best load balancing system to suit your site.

Longview: Being able to see all of the metrics your site offers can help you make your site run better, improve your user experience, and increase revenue for a business. Third party monitoring software is a booming business supported by webmasters who want to use this data. Linode has created a system level tracking software, called Longview, to help developers troubleshoot issues and prevent future problems. With this software, you will see up to the minute data straight from the system itself. This information will be shown by graphs and charts and allow you to see and correct issues like resource bottlenecks and other issues. You’ll also be able to view all of your servers at once and get all of the information in an easy to read and understand format. This will help you keep your data usage in check and running smoothly to keep your visitors happy.

Reviews:

All over the internet people are talking about Linode. One of the most popular features is their technical support. Here are a few of the positive things they had to say:

“Linode is one of the best vps hosting providers i have used. because, pretty much all hosting providers revolve around the same feature set as ssh access, 99.99% uptime guarantee, various server locations. but what makes a difference is their support.”

Another customer agrees saying: “i have been with linode for 6 months now. and their support team astonishes me. other than their support they have amazing features like internal network access where you can join multibe linodes together. and a system usage statistical app called longview which is amazing for runtime usage analysis.”

There were a few negative reviews however. One customer wasn’t impressed with tech support:

“It’s famous for its great ticket system,however,I think it doesn’t work well.Once I ask a question about IPv6,the Technical Support doesn’t tell me how to solve it, they just let me test again and again. It’s a big problem.”

Another customer seemed to love the company except for their pricing: “Linode is one of the best vps in the world,its uptime is the best one in my all vps,and it provides great hardware and control panel. I love it,although it’s a little expensive for me.”

We also went to Twitter to check reviews. Customers here were pretty enthusiastic:

We only found one negative review seemingly dealing with a regional issue:

Pros:

  • Uptime Guarantee: Linode offers a basic 99.9% uptime guarantee that will replace time lost.
  • Fast Setup: Developers can quickly setup new projects in virtual enviroments in just a few seconds.
  • High Tech Hardware: Liquid Web uses solid state drives, and Intel E5 processors to speed up the Cloud hosting even more.
  • Site Migration: Linode offers a professional site migration service for your current projects that are on other hosts.
  • Control Panel Installs: There are also professionals who can help you install any control panel, including cPanel.
  • Guides and Tutorials: Linode has a very organized informative library of resources.

Cons:

  • Linux Only: Linode only seems to offer Linux servers at the moment.
  • Limited Support: Since the company specializes in unmanaged options, support can seem limited.
  • No Control Panel Software: Linode doesn’t offer a control panel software with their hosting accounts.

Summary:

Linode is a host that is geared toward professional web developers and companies with large robust websites and applications that need dedicated servers. With few other options available they have made their preferred customer known, which is good if you fall into one of those categories.

However, if you are looking for reasonably priced shared hosting for one or multiple small websites you will find better providers.

Takeaway: Linode knows what they are good at and who they can help effectively. These facts make them an excellent choice for developers everywhere.

2016 1&1 review: Everything you need to know

Overview: 1&1 is a veteran hosting provider with a large amount of affordable plans and options.

Pricing:

Unlimited: $.99/mo for shared hosting.

Unlimited Plus: $4.99/mo for shared hosting.

Unlimited Pro: $9.99/mo for shared hosting.

Ideal Customer: This is a great company for someone who is looking for a great deal on a range of hosting options.

Trends:

Unique Features:

eCommerce Website Builder: Most hosting providers offer a website builder to help you get your content online. These are typically standard with all plans, but some charge. 1&1 provides not only a basic site builder but also a premium eCommerce store builder as well. This is a great feature for someone who wants to get an online shop set up quickly but doesn’t have a lot of technical ability. You can come up with a custom design or use one of the 100 premade templates that are made for a broad range of industries. The design will be fully responsive (able to fit on smartphones and tablets), integrated with a payment processor, and fully integrated with social shopping, like Facebook. To help you get started, there are several video tutorials about editing and adding products to your new store as well as plenty of answered questions. 1&1 also promises to help you after your initial set up with things like an eNewsletter program to send emails to your regular customers that contain discounts, new products and other offers. If you are new to eCommerce 1&1 gives you an easy way to get your products ready to sell.

Game/Minecraft Server: With the popularity of computer gaming and the level of data that they create increasing, some gamers even need dedicated hosting. Such as games like Minecraft, that can require massive amounts of storage to maintain. It can be difficult to find hosting specifically for gaming, let alone at an affordable rate. 1&1 has hosting plans, not only for gaming but specifically for Minecraft as well. To add to this particular level of service for game lovers, it is also very reasonably priced. There are dedicated server plans for gaming and Minecraft that you can try for free for a few months to see how you like it. This pricing is an excellent way to see if you can host a private online gaming community or build a sprawling Minecraft landscape without reaching data limits. You can also utilize the capabilities of the support team to maintain your gaming. This is a unique offering that can benefit the most hardcore gamers and Minecraft builders today.

Versatility/Affordability: 1&1 has been in this industry since 1988, making them one of the longest known providers in the world. They boast over 15 million active clients and more plans and capabilities than almost any other hosting company. Their longevity and massive customer base have given them the unique advantage of being able to offer just about anything to anyone for a better price than the competition. To showcase versatility, the company offers many different shared, VPS and dedicated plans. There are also specialty hosting options for those who are looking for something specific. All of their options are great for someone who wants to try out a hosting option and have the ability to change and grow as their website does. 1&1 also has some of the most affordable prices online. They are one of the only providers that offer free trials for many of their plans to go along with many other inexpensive products. In addition to the free trials, you can get $1 hosting anytime, and they even offer .99 domains in a lot of cases for the first year of ownership. If you are looking for a lot of options with the lowest price tag, you’ll be satisfied with what 1&1 can do.

Reviews:

We have checked several online sources and found positive reviews from customers most satisfied with pricing.

One customer states: “Setup was very easy with 1&1. The price was right, as well. Furthermore; 1&1 has every feature that you could possibly need in a simple web hosting provider.”

Another reviewer agrees by saying: ” The cost is reasonable. The customer service has been very good for me but I don’t use it more than once a month if that much.”

While the majority of users are satisfied with 1&1; we found most negative reviews center around tech support.

One customer expresses frustration by saying: “many of their help files or tutorials are incorrect or outdated. Some of the picture diagrams show you the account control panel from years ago while some will simply give you the wrong information.”

Another customer warns: “If you have a serious problem, like a failed disk, they will not take you seriously. However, their customer support system seems disjointed (you do not receive notices of any raised tickets), or even broken: requests for help are ignored (or lost?!) and you are made to feel like a trouble-maker, instead of a serious customer.”

A quick look at Twitter also yielded split results for tech support:

Pros:

  • Uptime Guarantee: 1&1 offers an uptime guarantee, but doesn’t actively list server performance on their website.
  • 99 Cent Domains: There is a page that allows you to check for availability and purchase certain domains for less than a buck.
  • Daily Backups: Your data will be saved at least once per day, but it is recommended that you perform your own backups for added redundancy.
  • Windows Hosting: Many hosts only offer Linux hosting, but 1&1 has Windows based servers as well.
  • Data Double Stored: The data for your website is on two different servers. If one goes down the other kicks on and your site keeps running.
  • Money Back Guarantee: This hosting company offers a standard money back guarantee.

Cons:

  • Confusing Support: With such a large company, 1&1’s support team is split up into multiple facilities and departments, which can be confusing.
  • Older Host: Being in business for so long means that there can be outdated equipment.
  • Downtime: According to reviews, there is a concern with the amount of downtime on shared hosting accounts.

Summary:

1&1 is a large and versatile host that uses their size to offer more services at a lower price than their competitors. Webmasters who are looking for a great deal with a provider that has a lot of options to grow into will find this a great option for their site(s).

If you are looking for a smaller company with specialized service and easy to understand support options, you will want to look to other companies.

Takeaway: 1&1 is a great starter host for someone who wants to get going quickly and inexpensively. You’ll find they have the best prices for just about any type of hosting account.

2016 Hostwinds review: Everything you need to know

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

Pricing:

Basic: $4.50/mo for shared hosting.

Advanced: $5.50/mo for shared hosting.

Budget VPS: $7.50/mo for shared hosting.

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

Trends:

Unique Features:

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

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

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

Reviews:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hostwinds customers have also been very vocal on Twitter:

One twitter user here complains about downtime:

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

Summary:

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

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

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

2016 Google Cloud review: Everything you need to know

Overview: Google Cloud allows advanced developers to use the same network as the largest search engine in the world.

Pricing:

All Google hosting plans are calculated based on your storage needs and the options you choose and are charged by the minute.

Ideal Customer: Google’s cloud hosting is an incredibly powerful platform that is best utilized by professional developers.

Trends:

Unique Features:

Advanced Pricing Options: Hosting providers almost exclusively offer monthly or annual pricing that tends to go up over time, especially after your initial contract period has expired. Google uses by the minute billing, which is preferred by developers who only want to pay for the storage they use. This host also actively tries to innovate and optimize to lower costs and pass those savings directly to their users. There are no long-term contracts, and you can quickly increase and decrease the amount of storage you are using to keep your projects running correctly, but not wastefully. To attract talented developers, Google also offers a “free-trial” through a $300 credit. This trial period will allow you to test out the impressive abilities this host offers as well as help you understand the truly unique pricing structure without spending your money. Google also offers discounts based upon your usage, not on how much you spend, rewarding quality innovation.

Google Infrastructure: A unique feature that Google offers developers is the ability to use the same systems and infrastructure as the world’s largest and most intuitive search engine. Not only is it a very low-cost solution for developers, but it has the highest availability of one of the most advanced computer networks. You will utilize the thousands of miles of fiber optic connected systems that provide incredible caching and scalable performance. Your data will also be mirrored on storage devices across the globe to create some of the best redundancy in protecting your data. Google is a driving force of innovation and constantly improving the development landscape. Developers who choose this platform to host their data are promised a faster introduction to the newest innovations in the software world. There are even managed options where Google will handle your load balancing and other technical aspects allowing you to fully focus on your code. Utilizing all of the same tools as Google is a very attractive prospect for advanced developers.

Versatile Solutions: A basic hosting company is geared toward webmasters who want to make their sites available. Cloud-based developer hosting gives the ability for more versatile options like web apps. Google’s hosting and infrastructure allows for some of the most versatile developer solutions of any host. This is an advantage for some who want a more tailored solution to share their data or application. Artists and other creatives can use Google Cloud hosting to not only share content but offer custom playing options and live streaming without using a third party application. You can also build mobile applications for Android and ios while hosting with Google, not just web-based apps. Larger retailers can create a custom eCommerce experience that is unique to their brand and products. Game developers have found that this host pairs perfectly with their complex and large file storage needs. Google’s platform allows you to develop, test and upload your applications without the need for a third party platform expert.

Reviews:

We looked all over the Internet to find reviews from Google Cloud customers. Customers had a very good overall view for the services and speed offered by the search giant.

One positive reviewer says: “First demo of an application I built on Google App Engine and zero capacity related hiccups. I think I’ve found my new favorite platform!”

Another customer states: “So I have been running some cluster tests on @googlecloud today, I must say, I am super impressed! I think I like it better than AWS!”

There were also several negative reviews as well. These views tend to point out Google’s payment model and hosting options.

One reviewer simply wasn’t impressed with the entire platform: “Google App Engine was a significant waste of time and extremely underwhelming. Fancied trying something new and wish I hadn’t.”

This customer is disappointed specifically with the payment options: “The billing setup for @googlecloud is convoluted and confusing. Really disappointing given the hard work that has gone into the platform.”

We also checked Twitter to see customer thoughts on Google Cloud.

Here one user applauds their green efforts:

Another Twitter user is disappointed at the lack of specific options:

Pros:

  • Multiple Products: Google offers over 2 dozen hosting products allowing you to only pay for those you need and not unwanted extras.
  • Tutorials: Not surprisingly, there are thorough video tutorials to help you with a range of technical aspects.
  • Speed Options: You only pay for the storage you use and can choose between three different speeds at which data is accessed.
  • Launch Checklist: Google offers a comprehensive launch checklist that developers can use to make sure all loose ends are tied up.
  • Security: The security Google uses is an end to end process that has evolved over the last 15 years (and still is evolving).
  • Partner Integrations: Some of the largest tech and software innovators have partnered with Google to offer several integrations you can use on your project.

Cons:

  • Seemingly Complex Pricing: While it is versatile it can take some time to understand the pricing model Google employs.
  • Limited Support: Support is availabe by phone and ticket, but expert support does cost extra.
  • Info Overload: With all of the options, Google Cloud hosting is almost exclusively for experts in development.

Summary:

Google doesn’t have to sell developers on their ability to provide a quality and versatile environment to create applications. This host is an excellent choice for a highly skilled developer or firm who knows exactly what they need.

If you need a basic hosting you probably won’t want to use Google, and if you are a new or inexperienced developer there are other options that are easier to implement.

Takeaway: Having the ability of the Google infrastructure is a very attractive prospect for anyone who needs to develop a world class application. The data options and reliability of one of the world’s largest companies are what makes Google Cloud the choice of top program builders.

2016 Liquid Web review: Everything you need to know

Overview: Liquid Web specializes in dedicated hosting options for business and enterprise clients.

Pricing:

Standard: $14.95/mo for shared hosting.

Pro: $24.54/mo for shared hosting.

Semi-Dedicated: $40.00/mo Partially dedicated hosting.

Ideal Customer: This is a great provider for businesses that have a large amount of data and need a versatile hosting option.

Trends:

Unique Features:

Dedicated Server Specialists: Many hosting companies offer dedicated server options, but most of those have few options and even fewer specialize in this particular type of hosting. Liquid Web started focusing on providing dedicated server hosting in 1996 and continues that focus today. They offer multiple types of single and dual processing hardware with Linux, CentOS, Ubuntu or Windows. Their dedicated hosting comes fully managed along with several features and their Heroic Support. Their specialization makes them more than qualified to handle your servers through the managed plans. If you are an expert, Liquid Web does offer unmanaged plans that allow you to calibrate and setup your hardware. Your dedicated servers are kept in one of three facilities that are wholly owned by the company. Everything is kept under high care and supervision to ensure your files are safe and can be accessed as soon as possible.

Server Secure: To protect your data from the ever increasing threat of malware and data hacks, Liquid Web has developed an exclusive custom security package for their users. This service has two forms for Linux hardware, free and paid, with the paid option being called Server Secure Plus. The free service comes with firewall protection, malware detection and prevention, and filters to avoid email viruses. The premium version is an additional $50 a month and includes multiple server hardening options as well as a detailed monthly scan to alert you of any problems. Windows servers also come with Server Secure but doesn’t have a premium version. The options for Windows include anti-virus scans, server hardening options, malware detection, and security updates.

Sonar Monitoring: Liquid Web has taken an extreme step in ensuring the fast resolution and prevention of server problems for their customers. The Sonar Monitoring Team doesn’t just use software but is a dedicated division of the company whose sole purpose is to resolve incidents immediately. The team does this with unique health and services monitoring tools to see (and resolve) these issues before you do. This team helps reduce downtime to a point that allows them to offer an uptime guarantee that will credit you ten times the amount of time your site is down. The team proactively handles any and all issues for managed and core managed servers, but also sends an email to unmanaged users as soon as the issue is noticed. This is a very high level of proactive and personalized service that has helped earn the name Heroic support for their tech team.

Reviews:

Looking over internet reviews we found that customers are split in their experiences with customer service. The positive reviews for tech support focused on their helpfulness and determination.

One customer stated: “We recently moved from a plesk based dedicated server to a cpanel based and while we have gotten different quotes over the years for this they wound up doing the full migration and not charging us any thing for the work that they did.”

Another reviewer says: “The support is their best product. When our site was having intermittent outages they investigated and finally found an issue with the server I was on. They moved my site to a new server within a few days we were up with 100% uptime at the time of this writing.”

Not every review was good, and the negative reviews for Liquid Wed tech support stemmed mostly from downtime and not getting the level of help they needed from tech support.

Here one customer is disappointed with response time: “when I need the support was incredible slow and they actually act like the don’t care…”

Another reviewer expresses frustration with a repeat issue: “Last month, requested an upgrade of a hard disk from 250GB to 1TB, to do that they took down my site for 12 hours” After several hours to get the request done the company: “couldn’t complete it so I had to cancel the process. After another downage and a significant amount of time: “did it get done!”

We have also looked at Twitter to find the latest reviews. Not surprisingly we found most comments here were about Liquid Web’s tech support as well:

This customer, however, seems disappointed with his level of service:

Pros:

  • Great Support: Liquid Web averages a 20 second wait time for their phone support and seems to genuinely take a proactive role on all tickets.
  • Small Provider: With just over 20,000 accounts, this provider is small which helps them deliver quality service.
  • Large Knowledgebase: The knowledgebase on Liquid Web has a large amount of data that is easily accessed through the blog format.
  • Free Migration: There is a free one site migration service for new hosting accounts.
  • Multiple Data Centers: Even though Liquid Web has fewer clients, they still maintain three separate server locations.
  • Multiple Backups: There are multiple backups taken of all customer data.

Cons:

  • Shared Pricing: Liquid Web only offers one shared plan, and it starts at $14.99.
  • No Extras: This provider doesn’t seem to offer extras like ad credits for its new customers.
  • Limited Guarantee: Liquid Web offers a 60 day guarantee, but it is only for their shared hosting account.

Summary:

Liquid Web is a very personal company that offers top of the line support with a specialization in dedicated hosting. If you are looking for managed or unmanaged servers to host your corporate or large website, they will be a great option.

If you are looking for reasonably priced hosting plans other than dedicated, you’ll want to check into another host.

Takeaway: If you are one of the few people who need dedicated hosting for their web projects, you will want to use Liquid Web. Your servers will be well maintained and proactively managed to keep your files online.

2016 HostMonster review: Everything you need to know

Overview: HostMonster is a solid and affordable shared hosting provider for beginners.

Pricing:

Standard: $4.95/mo for shared hosting.

Professional: $6.95/mo for shared hosting.

Standard VPS: $28.74/mo for VPS hosting.

Ideal Customer: This is a great platform for anyone who is new to hosting and wants options that will allow them to grow as fast as their site does.

Trends:

Unique Features:

Demos Available: When you are looking to host your first website it can be a stressful experience. You may not know what you’ll need to do or where you have to go after signing up. HostMonster has made this easy by offering several demos for you to check out before you give your credit card information. You can access the control panel to their demo site, and it’s all clickable. Once there you can see exactly what you will see for your website. The demo includes full access to their help center, email options, site manager, and backups. You are also able to see their one-click install options like WordPress and Weebly. What you will be viewing is the cPanel interface which is a widely accepted and popular option that HostMonster offers across it’s hosting plans. The opportunity to “test drive” an account is a great option for anyone who is worried about what they will experience once they get behind the wheel.

Basic Features: This is yet another feature that beginners will love and that differentiates HostMonster from many other hosting providers. All of the features that are available on their most expensive shared plan (Business Pro) are available for the cheapest plan as well. The only difference between them, as far as features are concerned, is the starter plan only allows one website. The Plus and Business both allow unlimited sites. Other than that difference you will receive things that other hosts may charge a premium to get. Things like unlimited disk space and bandwidth, unlimited parked domains and about 100 other features including one-click installs, courtesy backups, and many eCommerce features. If you are new to hosting you can appreciate that all of the available options come standard with the primary account to allow you to figure out what you need as you grow.

Protected Servers: Many hosting companies have outdated equipment that isn’t maintained very well, and some others don’t even own the servers where your site is stored. Many people looking for affordable shared hosting end up with server issues and downtime that they have no control over. HostMonster has taken several measures to keep your data safe and running. Their data center is maintained 24/7 by technicians and has a balanced/synchronized power system to maintain the servers during a power outage. For further security, there is a backup power supply and a live monitoring system to point out problems quickly. HostMonster’s parent company owns all of their own equipment and manages a support staff in the U.S. so if any problems do occur they can help you get back up and running quickly.

Reviews:

We did a thorough search of the internet looking for the most informative hostmonster reviews. Customers seem to be happy with the experience that Hostmonster provides.

Here we have a customer that is very happy with the value that Hostmonster provides: “Their prices are unbeatable for that type of quality. They have many plugins such as WordPress. They even have a MARKET!”

Another customer pleased with uptime states: “I host about 10 different domains currently with Hostmonster and the only downtime I have ever had was planned and they would send emails in advance notifying me of the planned outage including rates, times, and expected length.”

Although, there were some users that experienced problems and left negative reviews. We found that most people had issues with their tech support and wait times.

One customer states: “About 3 years ago things began to change and tech support began to wane. In the past year, support is basically non existent…Whenever we call for any type of help, hold time is at minimum 45min to 2 hours and then the tech person doesn’t have an answer.”

Along with support issues some customers are also unable to use their email: “Tech support wait times have become much longer, with the techs visibly multitasking between tickets. The techs have also gotten worse in their knowledge of the system…E-mail deliverability has become abysmal. They have signed on so many spammers, that their mail servers are blacklisted around the globe.”

Checking Twitter we found several frustrations with the site being down:

One Hostmonster customer was actually pleasantly surprised by the reason for his disruption:

Pros:

  • Money Back Guaranee: HostMonster offers an industry standard 30 day money back guarantee for hosting fees.
  • Socially Active: The company has a very lively Twitter account that attempts to reach out and resolve issues quickly.
  • Uptime Guarantee: Hostmonster offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee, but doesn’t seem to show details on their website.
  • Beginner Guides: In addition to the other beginner benefits, HostMonster has several how-to guides for anyone just starting out on the platform.
  • Shared Hosting Explanation: This provider shows exactly what they mean by unlimited shared plans through a detailed page on the subject.
  • Affordable: HostMonster has many affordable options in their shared, VPS and dedicated server pricing.

Cons:

  • No Cloud Hosting: At this time, HostMonster doesn’t seem to offer cloud hosting options.
  • Average Reviews: The reviews of this host seem to fall toward an average rating.
  • Email Deliverability: With email filters becoming more advanced, HostMonster emails seem to end up in places other than the inbox.

Summary:

HostMonster specializes in inexpensive shared hosting that has several features. If you have never hosted a website before this company offers several features to make it easy and understandable. You can also grow your account as you and your site develops to include faster response times and more websites.

If you are looking for cloud hosting with a company that has the highest reviews you will find other providers that suit your needs better.

Takeaway: HostMonster is a great option for beginners who want to know what they are getting into before signing up. You will find their prices affordable as well as a large number of features and is a company that will help you get your first site up quickly.

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