Hostway is a well established hosting company offering packages that appeal to both individuals and businesses.
While they might not be the best hosting solution for novice web developers and beginners, they offer lots of customization options and the ability to upgrade to higher performance hosting plans with ease.
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Hostway isn’t nearly as popular now as they were ten years ago.
Here is how they’ve trended over the years:
Hostway offers various features that make them stand out from the rest (see the top rankings here).
1) 6 Months Free Managed Servers: HostWay has a very generous offer of 6 months free managed servers. If you want to try out managed servers but don’t know what the process entails, now you have a risk-free way of doing so with HostWay.
Managed servers negates the need for in-house IT, so you can focus on your business rather than worrying about day-to-day tasks like backups, patching, updates, and more. HostWay guarantees 100% uptime for their managed servers and offers 24/7/365 support by their in-house data center. You can also customize your solutions to match your goals and optimal hosting environment. You can add on managed security services, ideal for PCI-compliance initiatives or HIPAA compliance.
2) Geographically Dispersed Datacenters: HostWay has 4 geographically dispersed datacenters in North America: Austin, Chicago, Tampa, and Vancouver. Having multiple locations presents several advantages. Customers have the ability to choose one or more locations, although the location of cloud resources shouldn’t really matter. People tend to like knowing where their infrastructure resources are located, so giving them that option is nice.
Redundancy is another advantage of having geographically dispersed datacenters. If a natural disaster or some other catastrophe cripples one location, there are other locations for backup or recovery purposes. Reduced latency is also a big advantage. Companies in the West Coast, Australia, or East Asia can connect to the Canadian cloud to bring their servers closer to their own time zone. Likewise, people in the Central Time zone can connect to the datacenter in Austin and people in the Eastern Time zone can connect to Tampa.
3) Brand Ambassadors: HostWay has their own word-of-mouth program that is slightly different than a regular referral program. It’s called Brand Ambassadors – it’s an elite group of their customers who share their success stories on social media, review sites, blogs, and HostWay’s Ambassador page. Common review sites are Webhostdir.com, Hostsearch.com, Whoishostingthis.com, Besthostratings.com, among others.
Brand Ambassadors get entered into a drawing every quarter for a prize and are the first ones to receive updates about beta releases and special products. The drawing prizes are worth your time, the last one being an iPad for the winner. To get started with HostWay’s Brand Ambassador program write a user review and then fill out a simple form on their website telling them your information and the URL of the review.
Hostway has a pretty good customer service reputation in the hosting space.
The support team can be reached 24/7, year-round by calling (866) 467-8929 or by opening a chat discussion.
We have looked at several online sources for Hostway reviews. We found that users are split in their opinion about tech support.
Here one customer is happy with their service: “We have never had an unscheduled outage in all of that time and the customer service has always been very responsive and knowledgeable when we’ve needed help with changes.”
Another reviewer writes: “Whenever I have a question tech support can resolve it in the shortest possible time. I would recommend Hostway for it’s excellent service both in it’s reliability and tech support.”
We also found several negative reviews for Hostway’s customer support and billing.
One frustrated customer states: “Their support is by far the biggest joke I’ve ever ran into. They can’t solve even basic issues. I ended up walking them through what they had to do to fix things.”
Another upset reviewer writes: “Totally shady company! Offers absolutely no refunds. Automatically bills you in advance even if you have requested them to stop.”
1) Cloud and Managed Hosting: HostWay’s primary emphasis is on cloud hosting solutions (public, private, dedicated private, hybrid) and managed hosting. If cloud and managed hosting are what you’re looking for, you’ll find a lot of options with HostWay.
2) Virtual Data Center Tours: Hostway’s website shows an interactive tour of virtual data center, which is a good way to learn about how their geographically dispersed datacenters operate.
3) Support: Hostway offers the standard 24/7/365 support via phone, ticket system, email, and support chat. There are different ways to get in touch with support staff for each type of hosting – cloud, VPS, managed servers, etc.
4) cPanel and Plesk Included: For managed hosting services, you can choose between cPanel and Parallels Plesk Panel, two of the most popular control panels. They’re easy to use, intuitive, and practical.
5) VIP Support Upgrade Option: Whatever plans you purchase come with 24/7/365 support, but you also have the choice of upgrading to VIP support. This includes a special phone number and email that guarantee priority response and also free file restoration, valued at $99.
1) Confusing Product Offerings: It’s good to have many options, but HostWay’s website presents them in a way that’s confusing to look at. There is a separate page for each plan type and you have to click on a different page to see a comparison of all plans.
2) Limited One-Click Installations: HostWay offers a slew of one-click installers but the options are limited. Their website currently shows 11 applications under content management, ecommerce, forums, online learning, photo gallery, projects, surveys, and wiki.
3) No Money-Back Guarantee: HostWay offers no money-back guarantee, although with 6 months free managed servers, that wouldn’t be necessary.
HostWay’s products aren’t really appropriate for someone looking for a simple shared hosting plan.
They’re more appropriate for people looking for scalable cloud solutions and managed servers, or a hybrid of both. They have geographically dispersed data centers to increase speed and reduce latency.
HostWay isn’t a bad hosting company at all, but there are better options out there for beginners and smaller businesses.