2016 WestHost review: Everything you need to know
Overview: WestHost caters specifically to small business owners who need a presence online.
Preferred: $11.00/mo for shared hosting.
Business: $15.00/mo for shared hosting.
Burst: $50.00/mo for cloud hosting.
Ideal Customer: Great for small business owners who want to understand exactly what you’re getting from your host.
Website SEO Guru: Traffic is the lifeblood of any website, and without enough of it you may not reach your goals. Ranking high enough in the search engines and knowing what content to put online is difficult without guidance. The need for this guidance can be found with WestHost’s Website SEO Guru service. The service is a simple 3 step process that starts with a detailed analysis of your current website. The report will include where you stand in the SERPs and how you’re performing in other metrics. Next, you will be given a detailed list of changes you can make to see better results and gain more traffic. Finally, you’ll have ongoing analysis to see how your rank is improving over time. Along with the 3 step setup you’ll receive periodic scans to see how things are going and constant tips and information to help you improve even more. The service is free for 30 days and you can download a free report to help you make the decision before purchasing.
Website Builder 7: While almost all hosting companies offer a site builder, WestHost has put together an incredibly easy and powerful software called Website Builder 7. Since this provider specializes in catering to business clients, the site builder is geared towards small to medium sized companies. Every site that is built using this powerful option looks great on full computer screens, tablets and smartphones to help you make the most of mobile traffic, even if you aren’t a programmer. There are over 100 beautifully designed, fully customizable templates that are all made with small businesses in mind. This intuitive site builder is drag and drop, so you’ll be able to put your content and images anywhere on the page. The annual website builder plan comes with a free domain and the assurance that your site will have blazing fast speed. With WestHost’s Website Builder 7, they promise that your site will look like it was built by a pro.
Clean Hosting: It’s no secret that the adult entertainment industry is a large part of the internet landscape. While many people enjoy it, many don’t want to associate with it themselves or with any other company that does. WestHost does not provide hosting or domain registration to the adult industry. You can rest assured that no sites with this mature material are anywhere on their servers. That being said a new TLD has recently been provided (almost) specifically to the adult industry. Instead of .com, adult sites can use .xxx. This has many brands upset that their name could end up a mature website, but WestHost allows you to register the domain as a NON-RESOLVING TLD, meaning that you can have your name with the .xxx so no one else will without having to provide content you view as unsavory. This is a great option for a business or non-profit that wants to protect their brand.
We have looked over different online sources for honest opinions about WestHost. We found users here happy with chat support and plan allowances.
One happy customer writes: “I use the chat feature for support and have never had an issue getting through quickly. The support staff are all knowledgeable and follow up when needed.
Another reviewer pleased with their service states: “The hosting plan I am using is so generous with storage, unlimited databases and huge bandwidth allocation, that I have yet to use even 5% of this allocation.”
We also found negative reviews for WestHost. Some users here are upset with customer service and downtime.
One frustrated reviewer writes: “My site has been down for more than 24 hours on more than 3 occasions in the last 6 months. Their customer service is the worst!! Very rude and condescending.”
Another disappointed customer explains: “My email service has been down 3 times in the last week and 10 times in the last month. Wait time to speak with anyone is usually 20 to 30 minutes.”
We also checked Twitter to see what customers are saying about WestHost. This user is very happy with their tech support experience:
@whhelp Thanks for the help, Weston Jenson. A+ tech support!
— Joan Orr (@joanorr) June 19, 2015
Another user is frustrated at support wait times:
— Albert Pak (@albertpak) November 13, 2015
- Wide Variety of Hosting Options: Personal, Preferred, and Business hosting options. WordPress hosting available in Primary or Pro. As well as reseller, managed, and cloud hosting.
- U.S. Based Support: Westhost promises quick and informative answers from their support staff 24/7
- Dedicated Benefits: Dedicated customers receive credits in the event of a network outage, also they promise that your server WILL be up 99.9% of the time.
- Free Domain: Customers on the Preferred and Business plans receive a free domain name for as long as you host with them.
- 30-day money-back guarantee: For personal, preferred, and business hosting, it will give you plenty of time to try them out.
- Poor Knowledgebase: Not as sleek and intuitive as other sites.
- Backups Cost Extra: Nightly backups are a chargeable extra on dedicated servers and are widely ranged from $20 to $150 a month and VPS and Cloud customers’ accounts are only backed up weekly and monthly.
- No Shared Hosting: While they have inexpensive WordPress hosting, there aren’t options for a basic shared plan for any other CMS or coding platform.
With WordPress, cloud, and dedicated hosting plans, WestHost provides a lot of options for businesses and individual site owners. Their vast amount of information that explains the hosting process makes them a favorite of non-technical customers who want to know what is happening with their website.
However, if you are looking for basic shared hosting you won’t find it here. There are also less expensive options for many comparable plans from other hosting providers.
Takeaway: Business owners and individual webmasters who want to understand the process and have their site taken care of by a reputable hosting company will enjoy WestHost.