Comments Off on FatCow Hosting Reviews
Founded in 1998, FatCow is an oldie that, in 2008, made a leap into the future and now is powered 100 percent by wind. It‘s nice to contribute to a greener environment, especially if your mascot is an animal that grazes out in nature. You’ll have a laugh browsing through their pages because they are filled with puns about cows and dairy. But is their service udderly fantastic, or has this particular product gone a bit sour?
When it comes to hosting plans, there aren’t many options. And, you’ll have to read their usage policy carefully, because unlimited isn’t really unlimited.
- The original FatCow plan gives you unlimited disk space and bandwidth, and one free domain (although you can purchase as many domains as you want).
VPS hosting has three plans.
- The Basic plan gives you 1-Core CPU, 1GB RAM, 40GB disk space, 1TB bandwidth and one IP address.
- Business includes 2-Core CPU, 4GB RAM, 90GB disk space, 3TB bandwidth and two IP addresses.
- Optimum provides 4-Core CPU, 8GB RAM, 120GB disk space, 4TB bandwidth and two IP addresses.
Dedicated hosting also offers three plans.
- Startup gives you 2 Intel Xeon E3 – 1220LV2 3.5 GHZ cores, 4GB RAM, 500GB of disk space, 5TB bandwidth and three IP addresses.
- Professional provides 4 Intel Xeon E3-1265LV2 3.2 GHZ cores, 8GB RAM, 1000GB of disk space, 10TB bandwidth and four IP addresses.
- Enterprise plan will give you 4 Intel Xeon E3-1230V2 3.7 GHZ cores, 16GB RAM, 1000GB of disk space, 15TB bandwidth and five IP addresses.
WordPress hosting is available in two packages.
- WP Starter includes unlimited bandwidth and disk space, and one free domain.
- WP Essential provides unlimited bandwidth and disk space, and one free domain. It also will give you super speed, enhanced security and support from WP experts.
Sign up and login are standard: just provide your username, password and payment method. You can choose payment terms from one month up to three years. After you’ve completed this process, basic information about your hosting account and purchase will be sent to you via email.
With most services, you have some sort of customer portal and control panel. This not the case with FatCow. When you log in, you’ll find that everything is in one place. Since security isn’t an issue, it’s nice to have one less login. We get into the details of the control panel later, but the really practical thing is to have My Favorites prominent. They update as you use them, so you don’t have to be constantly scrolling.
If you didn’t catch it during registration, note that you’ll get 1GB of free cloud storage. It’s always nice to see integration with other services, but when it’s Google, it’s simply fantastic. Google Analytics is just a couple a clicks away, and if you want to use the rest of their apps, you can do so for only $5 a month. You‘ll also receive advertising credits and additional tools like .htaccess Editor and Comodo DNS, so there are different ways to up your game.
FatCow has a customized control panel that may look different, but you should find it relatively easy to use. Most everything you need can be accessed from tabs at the top of the screen or you can scroll down and find the icons. The sections are: Website, Email, Domain, Google, Marketing and Additional Tools. In the Google section, you’ll be linked to numerous Google tools, from free Analytics to paid Gmail, Drive, etc.
On your right, you’ll see shortcuts and access to Support, Marketplace and Account. Also on the right are the statistics for your system, but you’ll have to scroll down to see them. All in all, the control panel covers all your basics, but it would be useful to have few more options already integrated, instead of browsing for them on MOJO marketplace.
There is no limit to the number of email accounts you can have, but you’ll only be allotted 500 MB for each account. It took us a second to find the section for creating a new email. After that, we were told that we’d have to wait 20 minutes for the creation of our mailbox. Hmm. We didn’t listen and tried to log in immediately, which worked. We’re not sure why we received that message. Your webmail client choices are Open-Xchange, SquirrelMail or AtMail.
Creating and setting up your website or blog
Setting up your website is easy and you can do it in many ways.
- If you have an existing site elsewhere, there’s no charge to transfer it.
- If you’re starting from scratch, you can upload everything via FTP, but for future tinkering, keep in mind that there is no SSH, at least in the cheapest plan.
- If you are more of an online building type, you can drag and drop elements in Weebly.
- However, if you want to explore more, or add and/or pay, you can browse through the MOJO marketplace.
Omnipresent WordPress is found everywhere, and FatCow is no exception. However, that’s all there is for content management. You will also have WebSite Creator by CM4all and Weebly for building your website and goMobi Site Builder for your mobile needs. Sure, those are big names that are widely used and they will surely work everywhere. However, sometimes it’s nice to have more choice. Luckily, there is the MOJO Marketplace, so you can explore other options there. Joomla, Concrete5 or Drupal are at the tip of your fingers.
Reliability and uptime
When it comes to uptime, Fatcow delivers the goods. Our relatively short Uptimerobot test showed that the uptime was 99.98 percent. The only downtime was about two minutes long. Although that should not happen often, it is not a deal breaker at this rate. FatCow passed uptime testing with flying colors.
Our server was located on the East Coast, in Burlington, Massachusetts. Considering that, you would expect that the EastCoast response would be lighting fast. It wasn’t. The best response time at Ashburn, Virginia was 0.6 seconds, but it would often spike to 1.5 seconds. The response line looked more like an EKG flatline, which is not good. However, that characteristic was shared among all other tests. Portland and Palo Alto had an average load time of between 1 and 2 seconds, but it was difficult to average the response times because of inconsistencies and extreme values. Keep in mind that these are an average of the best results. Portland once had an average response time of 1 second, but the next time it spiked up to 6 seconds.
International waters brought with them international problems. The ups and downs were still present and making an average out of one test was a problem. Although Tokyo had an average response of about 3 seconds, it also had the worst response in all of our tests, at almost 12 seconds. Sao Paulo, on the other hand, was on par with U.S. West Coast, at 1.5 seconds, on average. (Which, frankly does not paint a nice picture for U.S. response times. Dublin had an average of 2 seconds with frequent periods of 6 seconds. You get the picture. Inconsistency, thy name is FatCow’s server loading response time.
Help and support
When it comes to help and support, there are ups and downs. FatCow makes all possible avenues of getting official help available, including: telephone, chat, tickets and a knowledge base. But there was no sign of formal community support. The good thing is that the official support will do their job and you will solve your problems.
The big downside is that the wait time is long. Expect a wait of 12 minutes, on average, if you use chat help, the most commonly used form of support. And the company doesn’t provide an estimate of how long are you going to wait. In fact, the worst case scenario we experienced was when the problem was resolved in 10 minutes, but the wait time was 20 minutes. Only one word for their Moo Crew: yikes. An additional email request to rate staff performance doesn’t leave us with the feeling they value our time. Given the long wait times, combined with the absence of community support, we feel FatCow’s support system could do with some beefing up.
FatCow offers a ton of limited-time discounts. They also offer discounts that are tiered by the number of years you pay on an annual, rather than monthly, basis. Discounts vary and you can’t see all the details unless you dig through their fine print. It’s worth your time to do this as discounts can range from 20 percent to 60 percent.
Please Note: The prices provided here are the regular, non-discounted monthly rates. Check the FatCow website for current offers.
|Basic plan||$10.99 per month|
|Basic||$24.99 per month|
|Business||$59.99 per month|
|Optimum||$99.99 per month|
|Startup||$149.99 per month|
|Professional||$189.99 per month|
|Enterprise||$239.99 per month|
|WP Starter||$10.49 per month|
|WP Essential||$12.49 per month|
Fat Cow—at a glance
- 100 percent eco-friendly hosting
- great uptime
- easily navigated, customised control panel
- daily backups
- long waiting for chat help
- missing community support
- erratic and slow loading response time
- zero flexibility in shared hosting
FatCow is a provider that you hate to love, love to hate or want to see do better. Having said that, there’s a lot more to say about this host that’s stayed alive and kicking for over 15 years. They jumped on dedicated and VPS hosting plans a bit late in the process (2014, to be exact) but they landed with an assortment of worthwhile plans. Daily backup, combined with really good uptime, and stirred with a hint of humour is a great mix for good hosting time. Being eco-friendly and operating on 100 percent wind power is a huge bonus, too.
However, not everything is sunshine and green pastures. Two major let downs are support and loading times. Although there’s a big knowledge base, there are no official community help pages. Waiting times on chat support are far longer than the industry average and they don’t warn you how long your wait might take.The loading times are nothing to brag about and the response was rarely consistent. In the end, this puts FatCow in a neutral zone. They aren’t what they used to be—both good and bad. So if it seems like it might be a good fit for you, test out FatCow. But remember, with a website that’s filled with milky puns, there will always be a few people who are lactose intolerant.
Comments Off on iPage Hosting Reviews
iPage was founded in 1998 as a full web-service provider. However, in the next ten years, the company evolved into a web hosting provider. In 2009, they were bought out by the Endurance International Group, which owns a few other well-known web hosts. Environmental responsibility is a hallmark of iPage. They are 100-percent wind powered and websites or blogs they host are eligible to display an iPage Green Certificate on their sites. Being eco-friendly is always a plus. So are they really good, or do their promises add up to a lot of hot air?
At first glance, it appears that iPage only has two kinds of hosting, but if you scroll down, you’ll see the standard types of hosting plans.
Shared hosting, called the iPage Essential Plan, is the only shared-hosting plan offered. However, with this plan, you get unlimited domains, disk space, and bandwidth. But beware of the unlimited bandwidth claim. The company states that 99.5 percent of their customers are fine with this plan and bandwidth. However, iPage also says, “some customers become so successful that their traffic and data transfer outgrow our shared architecture.” In this case, the customer will be offered other solutions, such as VPS hosting.
VPS hosting is available in three plans.
- Basic: 1 core CPU, 1GB RAM, 40GB of storage, 1TB of bandwidth and one IP address.
- Business: 2 core CPU, 4GB RAM, 90 GB of storage, 3TB of bandwidth and two IP addresses.
- Optimum: 4 core CPU, 8GB RAM, 1200GB of storage, 4TB of bandwidth and two IP addresses.
WordPress hosting is becoming more widely available. iPage offers two WP plans.
- WP Starter: unlimited disk space, bandwidth and email accounts, standard support.
- WP Essential: unlimited disk space, bandwidth and email accounts. Also gives you WP Experts support, greater speed, enhanced security, and more plugins to choose from.
Dedicated hosting offers three plans.
- Startup: 2 cores CPU, 4GB RAM, 500GB of disk space and 5TB of bandwidth.
- Professional: 4 cores CPU, 8GB RAM, 1000GB of disk space and 10TB of bandwidth.
- Enterprise: 4 cores CPU, 16GB RAM, 1000GB of disk space and 15TB of bandwidth.
Creating your account is a matter of providing your basic information plus your preferred way of payment—and you’re set to go. You will receive your username and choose a password, which will enable you to log in into your account.
The customer portal and control panel are one and the same. On one hand, this is great because you need one less username/password combination. On the other hand, sometimes it’s handy to have your account and website separate. In this case, we don’t have much to complain about.
You can access and edit your account information from the drop-down menu titled Account in the upper right corner of the screen. It contains details about account management activities, such as billing, subscriptions and site profile. On the left, you can access Support and Marketplace, a.k.a. MOJO Marketplace. Above that, you will have short black bar where you will access Settings, Help (which takes you to the same place as Support, so a bit redundant) and Logout. However, you will not find security features, such as safety or SSH. They’re not included in the packages and you will have to pay an additional sum for them.
The control panel and customer portal are fully integrated. However, control panel options take up most of your screen. You‘ll have the standard set of tools, minus some like chron jobs and auto responders. Sure, you have MOJO marketplace for that, but some tools should be the part of the standard set of tools.
Tabs are in a standard format, one below the other, but you’ll also have a drop-down menu for each of them up on the green menu bar. They are as follows: Home (in a form of a house icon), Website, Email, Domain, Google, Marketing and Additional Tools. It’s handy to have them in this layout, instead of having to scroll up and down all the time. Look for Favorites at the top of the screen. On the right, you’ll find a few windows with shortcuts and some ads. Below that are your website statistics.
Creating and setting up your website or blog
If you are a DIY type, you will have FTM and file manager to work with. If you want to start from scratch online, you can choose from Website Creator and Weebly website builders, and goMobi mobile site builder. If you just want to log in and choose a template, you can always rely on WordPress. However, there are many more options and scripts if you use MOJO marketplace. It’s not an unfamiliar or complicated place, but it would be nice if we had more options with fewer steps as a default setup.
When creating your email, you‘ll be asked for a username and password. Oddly enough, you won’t be asked to select the size of your mailbox. That’s because you’ll be limited to 500 MB of mailbox space. Although this can be enough for many small businesses, we think that each customer should be able to decide how they will use their storage space.
One nifty thing during creation of the inbox is that you can choose to have standard email, or you can set it up to forward to the email you use most frequently. If a lot of people are opting to forward their email, this could explain the mailbox space limitations. If you choose webmail, you’ll be stuck with default option, Open-Xchange software. Not that it doesn’t do the job well, but it surely isn’t the prettiest belle of the ball. There are also SquirrelMail and AtMail, but you will have to dig for them in the control panel settings.
Reliability and uptime
During our uptime test, we only had one downtime that lasted for 14 minutes. Ok, that may not be the best thing to happen, but that only reduced the uptime to 99.89 percent. Arguably, that is still pretty darn good uptime, it just isn’t perfect. We know that servers and operating systems sometimes need downtime and repairs, but we also like when things go smoothly. Although iPage is owned by Endurance International Group, their servers aren’t located at the same place as some other well-known hosts. Because of that, iPage didn’t experience the problems with downtime that other Endurance International hosts have had in the past.
Our servers were stationed in Burlington, Massachusetts, so we primarily focused on response times in the western part of the U.S. Portland had a wibbly-wobbly response time that fluctuated mostly between 2 and 4 seconds. Palo Alto had a better response, though it, too, ping ponged between 1 and 2 seconds. Ashburn, Virginia tested similarly, with load times fluctuating between a half-second and one second, but it primarily stayed around 600 ms.
The worst-case scenario was with Sydney, Australia. Once, it took around 35 seconds for a response. Not great, but we found that to be more the exception than the rule, with an average response between 3 and 4 seconds. As you can see, it’s typical that response time isn’t really a straight line, but more of a squiggly line. As long as it fluctuates under a second or two, we don’t mind (much). The most static response times, around 2.5 seconds, came from Tokyo. Sao Paulo fluctuated between 2 and 3 seconds.
Help and support
All iPage support options are located under the Support tab in your cPanel. There you’ll be able to access their knowledge base, chat support and ticketing system.The only thing missing are community support/forums. There’s always a reassuring feeling of camaraderie when you can communicate with people in the forums. However, considering that iPage covers the other support methods well, we didn’t feel we were missing something crucial. Ticketing response was standard and chat support is available 24/7.
Chat support was quite helpful. Although the response time wasn’t the fastest, it wasn’t that bad—usually under 10 minutes. However, while other hosts may try to upsell you different products and services via email, iPage occasionally pitches services during chat support. Ok, we know hosts must sell to get paid, but we don’t think that trying to sell you something when you’re getting help with a problem is good form. Is it a serious offense? No, not really, but we think they could tone it down a notch and keep upselling out of chat support.
iPage often has discounts and introductory rates that are cheaper than the renewal prices, so check their website for current offers.
|Shared hosting||$1.99 per month|
Renewal prices increase from $6.99 to $8.99.
These are first-term prices, showing a 20-percent discount. “Term” represents a contract. Contract lengths vary.
Renewal rates can go up from $8.49 to $12.49 depending on the length of your contract period.
These are first-term prices, showing a 20-percent discount.
iPage—at a glance
- extremely affordable introductory pricing
- eco-friendly hosting
- helpful support
- integration of control panel and customer portal
- missing some basic tools like cron jobs and autoresponder
- upselling in wrong places
- limited email storage
- missing some basic features
If you’re on a tight budget, iPage offers some of the lowest introductory rates around or you can use ipage coupon for saving up to 81% when you buy hosting at iPage. It’s great for small businesses and personal websites. However, low rates do not mean that you’ll get poor service. You’ll have plenty of basic features to cover the bases. If you want more, you will have to pay it. And iPage is eco-friendly, to boot.
We do take issue with the paid security package. In some basic form, it should be included with all plans. Upselling, too, is a constant—even with chat support. Although we didn’t have many complaints when we tested iPage, there were enough missing pieces that we felt like we were assembling IKEA furniture with a screw missing. In the end, we saw iPage like that nice guy or girl you take on a date. There’s nothing particularly wrong with them, but the spark is missing. They may not be our first choice, but they may be perfect for someone else!
**Source : https://firstsiteguide.com/hosting/ipage/
Comments Off on GreenGeeks Hosting Reviews
Founded in 2008 in California, GreenGeeks is a relatively new entry in the hosting lineup. One of the most transparent companies we encountered, GreenGeeks provides straightforward information about its services. Nothing’s hidden in small print.
If you share our concern about the environment, you’ll be happy to know that the GreenGeek servers are 300-percent wind powered. (The 300 percent means the company produces three times more energy than its servers use.) This puts them at the top of the most environmentally friendly hosting companies. However, are their hosting services also giving 300 percent? Let’s find out.
When it comes to the specifics of their hosting plans, GreenGeeks provides detailed lists of what you’ll get with specific packages. You’ll also get daily backups with their plans.
Shared hosting is the only type of hosting where you will be offered only one plan. It will give you unlimited domains, disk space and bandwidth. Buy it through this link
Reseller hosting has five options.
- Seed: 50GB of disk space and 500GB of bandwidth.
- Sprout: has 80GB of disk space and 800GB of bandwidth.
- Plant: 120GB of disk space and 1200GB of bandwidth.
- Tree: 160GB of disk space and 1600GB of bandwidth.
- Forest: 200GB of disk space and 2000GB of bandwidth.
VPS hosting also has five plans. Unusually, they don’t have picturesque names, but they are named after the amount of RAM that you get with each and they all give you 4 cores.
- 1GB RAM: 25GB of disk space and 1000GB of bandwidth.
- 2GB RAM: 50GB of disk space and 1500GB of bandwidth.
- 3GB RAM: 75GB of disk space and 2000GB of bandwidth.
- 4GB RAM: 100GB of disk space and 2500GB of bandwidth.
- 8GB RAM: 125GB of disk space and 3000GB of bandwidth.
Dedicated hosting has four plans. They all give you five IP Addresses and
10 000 GB transfer.
- Entry server: Intel Atom 330 Dual Core, 2GB DDR 3 memory and 1x 500GB SATA Drive.
- Standard server: Xeon E3-1220 3.1Ghz, 4GB DDR 3 memory, and 2x 500GB SATA Drive.
- Elite server: Xeon E3-1230 3.2Ghz w/HT, 8GB DDR 3 memory, and 2x 500GB SATA Drive.
- Pro server: Xeon E5-2620 2.0Ghz w/HT, 16GB DDR 3 memory, and 2x 500GB SATA Drive.
There isn’t anything unusual in the GreenGeeks setup and login process. After thetypical billing and information exchange, your new account will be up and running quickly. Among informational and billing emails, you will receive a “Getting started” email, which is a welcoming touch. After your first login in the Account Manager, you’ll be welcomed with your information in the prominent place (redacted information in the picture). We’re not sure that this is the best place for it; it was more of an annoyance than anything else.
The dashboard is simple and minimalistic. On the main page, you’ll see all essential information plus access to other parts of the portal. There are six main tabs: Dashboard, My Services, My Domains, Billing, Support and Open Tickets. The first tab takes you to the homepage, the second one lists your services and the next two tabs are self-explanatory. While we’re not sure why Open Ticket isn’t under Support, it’s nice to have one fewer click.
If you were wondering why there isn’t chat support under, well, the Support tab, that’s because it has its own button on the far right, just under Hello, (Name) tab where you can sign out or edit profile information. In general, the whole Account Manager portal is clean and straightforward, and it’s virtually impossible to get lost or misunderstand anything. However, if you want to fiddle directly with your website, you will have to go to the control panel.
You can log in to your control panel from the Account Manager, with one click, literally. You won’t need any other login details. On the other hand, we didn’t find a way to get a direct login username and password for the control panel. The login detail we received for the Account Manager didn’t work and we couldn’t change it because we needed to know our old one in order to change it. A bit of annoyance, because in order to get to your control panel, you will always have to go through Account Manager. This means you’ll have an extra click every time.
The cPanel is pretty standard with the expected features: domain management, security and databases, email settings, SEO, marketing tools and some advanced options. The CloudFlare section is a nice bonus. Essentially, it’s a tool for speeding up your website. If you don’t like the standard x3 theme, you can switch to paper_lantern.
Creating and setting up your website or blog
While searching in the cPanel for direct installation of any kind of CMS, you’ll find an icon for Softaculos one-click installation. There you will be welcomed with the top scripts, CMSs like WordPress, Joomla, Magento, Drupal, AbanteCart, PrestaShop and others. There are a bunch of other scripts there, too, and they range anything from standard forums, social networks, polls and surveys to ecommerce, gaming, ad management and more.
You will, of course, be able to upload your own files. You’ll get information about FTP login via one of your welcoming emails. If, on the other hand, you want to build everything yourself on Website Builder, you’ll be able to do that, too. This is a customized builder that you’ll need to install. Although you’ll be charged for the installation, everything else on Website Builder is free, with no hidden fees. Just like sPanel, you will be able to access the builder from your Account Manager. It’s drag-and-drop builder that has 10 beautiful templates for you to get started with. Bear in mind that it’s also very Google Map and Youtube friendly.
There isn’t much fuss when it comes to your email. It’s easy to set up and establish limits for the inbox, with the usual password strength check up. If you are web client user, you’ll have Horde, RoundCube and SquirrelMail. There are standard spam filters, forwarding and auto responding tools, and integration with Google apps. All in all, the basics are covered.
When it came to testing up the uptime of our website, it performed with impressive 99.99 percent uptime. As for downtime, UptimeRobot couldn’t even register one second of it. Yes, it was that short. However, it left us wondering if perhaps, that wasn’t an UptimeRobot glitch. In any case, GreenGeeks has a near-perfect record with us.
Our server was in Chicago and we tried to get average values from all over the world. However, putting a finger on the average value of a certain place was tricky and we can’t say that we got it. The problem is that the results looked a lot like an ECG from a patient with arrhythmia. The best example of this could be the average response from Ashburn, Virginia (which you can see below) was around 40 seconds with extreme ups and downs. However, putting a finger on the worst-case scenario was a bit easier. It happened in Sydney and the response time was around 2 minutes, twice for the same test.
If we talk about other parts of the world and the U.S., there was no consistency in response times. Palo Alto, Portland, Singapore and Tokyo all had response times of around 20 seconds with spikes that went up to 1 minute. Dublin even peaked at a minute and a half. While the response time at the beginning is relatively good, at around 15 virtual users, things would go haywire. That is a relatively low number, so getting this kind of slow and inconsistent response dips deep in the danger zone. As far as loading stress test goes, GreenGeeks should go back to school.
Help and support
Support will provide you with all essentials: tickets, chat, knowledge base, video tutorials and phone support. The only thing that’s missing is community help. Although community help can be a mixed bag of goods, at least it gives some sense of the size of the user base. And there’s always the psychological effect of “I’m not going through this trouble alone/first.”
Additionally, tutorials and the knowledge base weren’t under the Support tab in the Account Manager. If you want to access them, you’ll have to search for them on the GreenGeeks homepage. That aside, the knowledge base and video tutorials are very helpful and their response time for tickets is relatively fast.
Their chat support was also fast and helpful and seemed really geeky. However, sometimes they were also a bit frazzled, not to mention too hasty while reading our requests. To be more specific, while asking a question on how to un-install WordPress, the answer told us how to install WordPress. Nothing that one “Excuse me” couldn’t resolve, but it showed some cracks in the usually polished surface. We know that it’s important to help everyone, but mistakes should not be made at the expense of trying to solve everything as fast as you can.
The shared hosting package was on sale during our testing period. We bought it for $3.96 per month, instead of the regular $9.95 a month.
|Seed:||$19.95 per month|
|Sprout:||$24.95 per month|
|Plant:||$39.95 per month|
|Tree:||$59.95 per month|
|Forest:||$99.95 per month|
|1 GB RAM||$39.95 per month|
|2 GB RAM||$59.95 per month|
|3 GB RAM||$79.95 per month|
|4 GB RAM||$99.95 per month|
|8 GB RAM||$159.95 per month|
Dedicated hosting is the most expensive option.
|Entry server:||$169 per month|
|Standard server:||$269 per month|
|Elite server:||$319 per month|
|Pro server:||$439 per month|
GreenGeeks—at a glance
- one of the most ecologically conscious hosts
- 99.99 percent uptime
- sleek dashboard
- one login for everything
- missing community support
- very inconsistent loading times
- one shared hosting plan
- inability to get separate cPanel login
GreenGeeks is the health freak of the hosting world. It’s in your face with its healthy lifestyle, or in this case, environmentally friendly business. And in this case, we love it that they are upfront about it, because we all feel better when we can contribute to preserving our planet. If you add a daily free backup, you feel like you’re saving both virtual and natural data.
It’s a bit outdated to promise 99.99 percent uptime and it’s not something you’ll see on many hosts’ homepages. GreenGeeks promises you 99.99 percent uptime and they stick to their promise. Although there have been a few complaints about customer service, we had no major problems. But, of course, we could be the exception. The lack of community support isn’t encouraging, and the very erratic loading times are an embarrassment. There aren’t many downsides to the basic shared hosting, but it may not have the cheapest renewal rate out there and it may not be enough for those that are looking for something with the stable response time and more than a dozen users at the same time online. All in all, GreenGeeks is a good service, but don’t be afraid to check out other options first.
**Source : https://firstsiteguide.com/hosting/greengeeks/
Comments Off on GoDaddy Hosting Reviews
Founded in 1997, GoDaddy began as a domain registrar and eventually branched out to web hosting. Today, it is the single largest ICANN-accredited registrar, serving more than 12 million customers. GoDaddy is also famous for its Super Bowl and NASCAR commercials (sometimes called out “raunchy and sexist” by feminists) featuring celebrity spokespeople. There is no denying that it’s the giant in the hosting industry, but is it more Antaeus or Hercules?
When it comes to hosting services and plans, GoDaddy is one of the most versatile hosts out there.
Shared hosting has three plans.
- Economy: one website, 100GB disk space, unlimited bandwidth and 100 email addresses.
- Deluxe: unlimited websites, storage and bandwidth, and 500 email addresses.
- Ultimate: unlimited websites, storage and bandwidth, and 1,000 email addresses.
WordPress hosting comes in four plans.
- Basic: one website, 10GB SSD storage, 25 000 monthly visitors and SFTP access.
- Deluxe: one website, 15GB SSD storage, 100 000 monthly visitors, SSH/SFTP access, one-click staging site and SEO plugin.
- Ultimate: two websites, 30GB SSD storage, 400 000 monthly visitors, one-click staging site, SEO for two websites, malware scan and removal for two websites and 1 SSL certificate that is free for the first year.
- Developer: five websites, 50GB SSD storage, 800 000 monthly visitors, SSH/SFTP access, one click staging site and 1 SSL certificate that is free for the first year (although logically, SEO optimisation and malware protection should be included here, they are not listed).
Additionally, there are two upgrades you can add to those hosting plans. Dedicated IP is just that. With it, you can buy your own unique IP address and that way you don’t need to share IP address with others. The other is premium DNS. It gives you unlimited domains for one price and other upgrades and uptime promises, that GoDaddy can give because they are the largest ICANN-accredited domain name registrar.
Cloud hosting has five plans that are titled by GBs.
- 20GB: 512MB memory, 1 core processor, 20GB SSD disk and 1TB transfer.
- 30GB: 1GB memory, 1 core processor, 30 GB SSD disk and 2TB transfer.
- 40GB: 2GB memory, 2 core processor, 40GB SSD disk and 3TB transfer.
- 60GB: 4GB memory, 2 core processor, 60GB SSD disk and 4TB transfer.
- 80GB: 8GB memory, 4 core processor, 80GB SSD disk and 8TB transfer.
VPS hosting also has five plans that are identified by their RAM.
- 1 GB RAM with 40GB of storage and 1TB bandwidth.
- 2 GB RAM with 60GB of storage and 2TB bandwidth.
- 3GB RAM with 90GB of storage and 3 TB bandwidth.
- 4GB RAM with 120GB of storage and 4TB bandwidth.
- 8GB RAM with 240GB of storage and 8TB bandwidth.
Dedicated hosting also has five plans, also identified by their RAM.
- 2GB RAM with 512GB of storage and 5TB bandwidth.
- 4GB RAM with 1TB of storage and 10TB bandwidth.
- 8GB RAM with 1.5TB of storage and 10TB bandwidth.
- 6GB RAM with 2TB of storage and 15TB bandwidth.
- 32GB RAM with 2 TB of storage and 20TB bandwidth.
After the usual pay-to-play signup process, you will receive an email confirmation. After that, your domain and account will be ready for you to use. Login is simple; you can choose your username (not all hosts give you this option) and you will be advised on the strength of your password. There is no fancy name for your homepage, just a simple My Account. There you will see general information about your account, what you purchased and what you can manage.
At the top of the screen, you’ll see a bar where you can change your region and currency, view telephone support numbers, access Help, have quick access to few links and your shopping cart. Below that are tabs: All Products, Domains, Websites, Hosting, Web security, Online Marketing and Email Office. Each tab is a drop-down menu.
The first tab, All Products, contains all the tabs listed above. You will see what’s new, what’s on sale and what you can test out for free. Coupons and GoDaddy Pro are on the same menu bar. While coupons are, well, coupons, GoDaddy Pro is a product that addresses the needs of web developers and designers, providing tools to help them manage clients and their products.
Under all that, you’ll see your account info and the link for allowing access your account, or requesting access to other accounts. Beneath that are several tabs connected to your account information. Products gives you a look at your purchased products. Payments, Renewals and Account Summary are self-explanatory and Settings is where you edit all your information and the basics of your account.
We didn’t mention that you can access the cPanel from My Account because there isn’t an obvious way to do it. Your access to the cPanel is hiding under the Products tab. There’s a Web Hosting Bar from which you activate a drop-down menu by clicking on the Plus button on the left. There you’ll see all of your hosting accounts and on the right, you’ll see a green Manage button. Click on that you’ll be taken to the cPanel. Although it may sound complicated and we must admit that it is not usual in-your-face place for cPanel access, after the first few log-ins, it becomes intuitive.
The cPanel has a customized skin that’s clean and pleasing to the eye. It works great and blends everything you need with GoDaddy aesthetics. On the left, you will see all your (collapsable) statistics. The main section will be crowded with your usual cPanel stuff, from Files Management, Databases, Domains, Email, Metrics and Advanced, which contains things like Cron Jobs, Indexes and Error Pages. At the bottom of the screen is a Resource Usage icon that tells you your CPU usage.
Creating and setting up your website or blog
Of course, you’ll have File Manager and your FTP if you need to upload your existing website. If not, there are many options that you can install with one click. There also are many applications already in your cPanel that you can install via Installatron, including some of the most popular CMSs like WordPress and Drupal. In the the e-commerce category, you’ll find favorites like Magento and PrestaShop. However, if you want the best of online and offline worlds, GoDaddy offers Website Builder, but it’s not free. You can choose from three different plans and pay via monthly subscription. Website Builder is very beginner friendly and WYSIWYG, but that’s about it. It’s a bag of mixed goods that doesn’t have integrated e-commerce solutions, except PayPal Store. That’s enough for some, but all in all, this particular website builder lacks a certain edge.
Although most aspects of GoDaddy are customized to reflect the brand, email is an exception. Setting it up is easy and you will have your usual roster of Horde, RoundCube and SquirrelMail for your webmail application. There is no limit to your mailbox; all the necessities are there for you. Forwarders, Autoresponders, User Filters, Address Importer and even Apache SpamAssasin are at your disposal.
Reliability and uptime
GoDaddy keeps going, all right, with an impressive 100-percent uptime. Not even one second downtime a bit surprising, but in a good way. You have to look back historically to find issues with GoDaddy’s uptime. One particularly dark cloud shrouded the service for about 4.5 hours on September 10, 2012. Although it was initially reported as a DDoS attack, this was later disputed. It’s now believed the incident was the result of internal mistakes that led to corrupt databases. It was a serious service outage that’s an exception to GoDaddy’s otherwise-stellar record of performance.
Our server was located in Scottsdale, Arizona. Since it’s much closer to the West Coast of the U.S., we mainly concentrated on load times on the East Coast. The average response from the Ashburn, Virginia, was about 200 ms, which is pretty respectable. There were occasional spikes, but 90 percent of the time, the response stayed under 800 ms. Ironically, tests we ran in locations nearer West Coast had slower response times. Both Palo Alto and Portland had an average response of just under a second, but the worst case scenario came from the latter. In the strange case of “what the hell happened?” Portland once had an initial response time that climbed up to almost 50 seconds and then, when there were around 7 or 8 virtual users, it returned to normal.
Overseas response was reasonably stable, too. Dublin usually had a response of 1.2 seconds, Tokyo and Sydney were at 2.1 and 2.2 seconds, respectively, and Sao Paolo was around 1.8 seconds. However, all of these tests shared one odd factor: They were often sluggish in the first seconds, meaning that the loading time would steadily climb above the average response time. Then when around five users were on the site, loading times would drop to their normal values. I guess that GoDaddy has an occasional case of Linda Evangelista’s “I don’t get out of bed for less than $10,000,” where you just substitute dollars for users.
Help and support
If you want to be unpleasantly hit in the head, all you need is to look at the different ways of getting support. There is a knowledge base, telephone support and chat—but it’s not available 24/7. Yes, there are feedback forums, but we had trouble finding them.
To make matters worse, GoDaddy very quietly discontinued email and ticketing support in 2014. We know a lot of people who just don’t like using telephone support, but the real problem is the telephone bill. Sure, they are available globally in many countries and in English and Spanish in the U.S., but that leaves out a lot of countries. International calls? No, thank you!
We also gave a thumbs down to the chat support. The first issue we encountered was finding their actual working hours. Sure, it’s logical to call within “working hours,” but if you’re not residing in the U.S., the time difference can be quite an obstacle. Adding insult to injury, sometimes you get message saying the operators are too busy so you should try later. We waited over two hours for the available expert on our first attempt to connect with chat support. The average waiting time was quite shorter, around 10 to 15 minutes, but that’s still a bit longer than the competition. Additionally, the waiting time clock was often very unreliable. And we had a feeling that the operators were juggling too many clients at once, so their reaction time was sluggish. All in all, support is GoDaddy’s weakest link. For some users, it may be the breaking point.
GoDaddy often offers discounts; during our review, they varied from 16 percent to 46 percent. All prices provided here are for the monthly rate.
Renewal prices increase from $6.99 to $14.99, respectively.
Renewal prices go up from $6.99 to $24.99.
Additionally, dedicated IP is $5.99 and premium DNS is $2.39.
Additionally, you can rent them per hour, which is a unique feature. This enables you to pay for only what you use—up to the limit of your plan.
Renewal prices go up from $29.00 up to $139.99.
|32 GB RAM||$209.99|
Renewal prices up the ante from $129.99 to $349.99.
GoDaddy—at a glance
- many hosting plans
- hourly VPS hosting
- excellent uptime
- Windows and Linux servers for all plans
- subpar support experience
- paid website builder that doesn’t offer anything different from free competition
- limited email addresses
- relentless up-selling
GoDaddy is excellent on paper. There are a variety of hosting plans that are often paired with introductory discounts. This kind of choice, combined with flexibility, will most certainly satisfy
99.99 percent of people seeking a host. Uptime is flawless and loading times are fairly stable.
Despite all the glory, there are two dents in this machine. The first, less serious issue is the website builder. You have to pay for it but it doesn’t offer anything significantly new compared to its free counterparts. The more serious issue is our support experience. Although our problems were solved, the wait times and the variety of the ways you can get help are below average. It’s great when everything works. But you need help when there are issues—and you don’t want to make matters worse by guessing your way out of a problem. All in all, GoDaddy is a famous name with a reason. It’s a good starting place and more experienced users will also have plenty of choices. But bear in mind that when help is needed, it will be there…eventually.
** Source : https://firstsiteguide.com/hosting/godaddy/
Comments Off on HostGator Reviews
Founded in 2002, HostGator is a Houston-based company founded by Brent Oxley, who was a student at the time. Today, it’s in the top-ten hosting companies in the world, with more than 8 million websites on board. The company’s no longer in Brent’s hands, because in 2012 it was sold to the Endurance International Group. It was one of the first hosting companies to advertise “unlimited” hosting and was a pioneer in this area. And if you are ecologically conscious, you will be glad to hear that it is 130 percent powered by wind energy. HostGator has had a long life, thus far. But does it stand the test of time?
Shared hosting is available in three packages. All include unlimited disk space, bandwidth and shared SSL Certificate and You can use HostGator Coupon codes for saving all your new orders at HostGator.
- Hatchling: one domain.
- Baby: unlimited domains
- Business: unlimited domains and a free toll-free number.
VPS hosting gives you two IP addresses with all plans.
- Snappy 500: .5 core CPU, 512MB RAM, 25GB of disk space and 500GB of bandwidth.
- Snappy 1000: 1 core CPU, 1GB RAM, 60GB of disk space and 1TB bandwidth.
- Snappy 2000: 2 core CPU, 2GB RAM, 120 GB of disk space and 1.5TB bandwidth.
- Snappy 4000: 2 core CPU, 4GB RAM, 165 GB of disk space and 2 TB bandwidth.
- Snappy 8000: 4 core CPU, 8GB RAM, 240 GB of disk space and 3 TB bandwidth.
Dedicated hosting has four packages.
- Basic: Intel Xeon Dual Core 2,3GHz (4 threads), 100Mbps uplink, 4GB RAM, 500GB RAID-1 Drives, 10TB bandwidth and two dedicated IP addresses.
- Standard: Intel Xeon Dual Core 2,5GHz (8 threads), 250 Mbps uplink, 4GB RAM, 1000GB RAID-1 Drives, 15TB bandwidth and three dedicated IP addresses.
- Elite: Intel Xeon Dual Core 2.5GHz (8 threads), 500 Mbps uplink, 8GB RAM, 1000GB RAID-1 Drives, 20TB bandwidth and four dedicated IP addresses.
- Pro plan: Intel Xeon Dual Core 3,3GHz (8 threads), 1 Gbps uplink, 16GB RAM, 1000GB RAID-1 Drives, 25TB bandwidth and five dedicated IP addresses.
Reseller hosting plans go from Aluminium, Copper, Silver, Gold to Diamond. They all have unlimited domains, but the disk space bandwidth vary.
- Aluminum: 50GB of disk space and 500GB of bandwidth.
- Copper: 80GB of disk space and 700GB of bandwidth.
- Silver: 120GB of disk space and 1000GB of bandwidth.
- Gold: 160GB of disk space and 1200GB of bandwidth.
- Diamond: 200GB of disk space and 1400GB of bandwidth.
After the standard signup and login, you will be sent an email with the information you need to log in to the main HostGator Customer Portal. It’s a central location from where you will be able to access or log in to all sections that are necessary for hosting. Main tabs are My Account, Billing, Hosting, Domains and Support; all are self-explanatory.
My Account, Billing and Domains are administrative areas where you’ll manage settings and payments. Hosting and Support, however, are where you’ll spend the most of your time.
In Support, you will not only get support, but you will also see your submitted tickets history. The Hosting section is where you’ll access all the meaty parts of your hosting account.
Wondering if HostGator provides everything you need? There are FTP, Google Analytics integration, PHP configuration, IP deny manager, creating of other different accounts, cloud backup, database management, Weebly website builder and many other advanced features. The layout may not be the easiest to navigate, but it has a plenty of features that will satisfy all of your needs.
If you want to access the control panel, you can either navigate via the hosting tab on the Customer Portal or go directly to the login page. There are a lot of options available through the portal, but more advanced options and features are, of course, in the control panel—some of them will even be redirected from the portal to the panel.
When you access the control panel, you’ll see everything you need, as well as more advanced options like custom error pages or cron jobs. On the upper part of the left side, you’ll see a combination of helpful links and ads for paid features. The lower part of the screen has a short list of basic statistics.
When you log in, you’ll be greeted with the setup wizard. If you’re looking for more information about using the tools provided in HostGator, there’s a section with video tutorials. The overall (default) look and navigation of the control panel is quite straightforward, but if you don’t like it, you can change the style.
Setting up emails is easy. You’ll be able to get it done while getting started with your control panel. When you set up your email, make sure your password is strong and don’t limit your mailbox too much. There is no limit on the number or the size of the inbox, so the only limitation is the hosting plan you’ve chosen. There are also options that enable you to access to the email from your computer or via webmail. With advanced options like account level filtering and email diagnostics, when it comes to email versatility, all your bases are covered.
Creating and setting up your website or blog
There are two ways you can get your website online. You can either upload third-party scripts or you can build your own with Weebly, one of the most-used website builders. If you feel like staying in-house, you can experiment with drag-and-drop editor Weebly offers. We tested HostGator’s capabilities with WordPress script that was easily installed with Quickinstall. If you are a new customer, you will get a free transfer of an existing website, but there is no guarantee that it will be 100-percent successful.
There’s also an option to use the goMobi builder, but it didn’t work for us. If you are a fan of WordPress (which a lot of people are), you also don’t have to be concerned, because it is compatible with HostGator, and with other CMSs like Drupal or Joomla. Another plus is that HostGator is on the MOJO Marketplace and there are a ton of premium options to choose from, such as e-commerce solutions. However, there is no verified script library, so you’ll either have to pay for them or look for them online.
Reliability and uptime
HostGator guarantees 99.99 percent uptime, which they lived up to until the company was sold to Endurance International Group in 2012. Since then, it has had several major outages, blackouts and even one social engineering attack in 2012, which compromised sensitive data like credit card numbers and website files. However, during our one-week independent uptime test with Uptime Robot, there was no downtime. Although that’s a fairly short period of time, it restores at least a modicum of faith in the company following its series of problems. Still, reliability and uptime are sensitive issues and since 2012, HostGator has lost some of its luster.
Uptime only takes you so far. Yes, it’s important to have your website online, but it is also critical to have a website that won’t crash or lag when you have more than three visitors on it. With Load Impact, we put HostGator to the test.
Because the server’s stationed in Houston, we ran several tests on response time to San Francisco. The time was pretty consistent at around 400 ms, with the best result at 323 ms. The worst response came from one London test with 19s, which was odd because it happened only once with about 25 simultaneous users. Although that’s an exceptionally poor response time, it happened only twice, with two different locations. You can see the average response between Houston and San Francisco on the screen. (e.g. picture will be sent separately)
The average response from London, Dublin and Tokyo was about 1.5s, while the worst average response was from Sydney at 2s, which was understandable, considering the distance. All in all, it had a relatively fast response with a relatively stable response no matter how many users were on the website.
Help and support
When it comes to help and support, the results are contradictory. While submitting an email ticket on Friday, we got our answer on Monday, which makes it three whole days without any sort of answer. During that time, we were unable to access our hosting panel. On Monday, everything was resolved with one email, but the response time was long, especially in case of potential website downtime.
Furthermore, the fix for the initial problem problem created yet another issue with the domain. We went to chat support to fix the second problem, waiting about three minutes to get an answer and the problem was solved in the next 20 to 30 minutes.
While we had no problems with technical setups, administration and billing has proved that it’s in devil’s hands. Generally, they worked fine, but on more than one occasion, we had bad experiences with them. Overall, help and support are just average in response time, which in online terms, isn’t great.
HostGator has frequent discounts. Various plans come with varied pricing, so keep in mind that pricing and discounts stated here may have changed when you visit their website. Most of these discounts are for new users. Unfortunately, there are no deals for long-term clients, which is a strange way to build customer loyalty.
Shared hosting the longer the subscription period you choose, the cheaper the cost.
|Hatchling||$3.96 per month (3-year contract)
$7.16 per month (month-to-month)
|Baby||$6.36 per month (3-year contract)
$7.96 per month (month-to-month)
|Business||$10.36 per month (3-year contract)
$11.69 per month (month-to-month)
Bear in mind that these prices reflect 20-percent off the first invoice, thus your renewal rate will be higher. view the details
Reseller hosting gives no price breaks for yearly contracts.
|Aluminium||$19.96 per month|
|Copper||$27.96 per month|
|Silver||$37.96 per month|
|Gold||$57.96 per month|
|Diamond||$79.96 per month|
Again, these prices are only for the first term of service, after which they will increase by 20 percent.
VPS hosting also gives no breaks for signing an annual contract.
|Snappy 500||$11.97 per month|
|Snappy 1000||$33.97 per month|
|Snappy 2000||$57.97 per month|
|Snappy 4000||$81.97 per month|
|Snappy 8000||$99.97 per month|
However, these discounts are 40-percent off so prepare for much bigger prices in a long run.
|Basic||$105 per month|
|Standard||$132 per month|
|Elite||$168 per month|
|Pro||$225 per month|
Again, these rates reflect a 40-percent discount—and it won’t last forever.
With HostGator’s 45-day, money-back guarantee, there’s a longer than average deadline if you’re not happy with the service and want your investment returned.
HostGator—at a glance
- lots of discounts
- flexible plans
- unlimited bandwidth, disk space, and email storage
- neat video tutorials
- help response time varies considerably
- several blackouts and outages in a few years
- only one domain with the most basic plan
- WordPress import isn’t one-click
HostGator is a big brand name in the hosting industry for a reason. With reasonably priced plans and tons of options for building your website, it’s hard to deny its influence. One-click installation for third-party scripts make it easy to have a functional and attractive website. Perhaps it is too robust for total beginners and there are options that may be more than some people want to deal with, but it’s definitively worth a shot. The Control Panel may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but you can easily get used to it.
However, its erratic help and support response time, combined with several serious downtime excesses, put a decent-sized wedge into its usually well-oiled operation. Some blame the Endurance International Group overtake. Certainly the timing of the incidents isn’t coincidental. All in all, the scale still leans towards positive side, but over time, it can seriously wobble. In the end if you have any hosting problems regarding the HostGator, feel free to launch “Houston, we have a problem” joke.
**Source : https://firstsiteguide.com/hosting/hostgator/
Comments Off on Arvixe Hosting Reviews
Arvixe was founded in 2003 by Arvand Sebastian, after his junior year in high school. It was privately owned until 2014, when it was sold to Endurance International. Sound familiar? Well, they own more than one hosting company. In 2011 and 2012, Arvixe was proclaimed one of the 500 fastest-growing privately owned companies. Did this growth, combined with the change of ownership, benefit or hurt Arvixe? So far, things seem good; but will it last?
Shared hosting is available in two tiers: Personal and Business.
- Personal plans give you two options, Class and Class Pro. While both provide unlimited bandwidth and disk space, Class gives you only six domains while Class Pro gives you an unlimited number.
- Business plans are virtually identical to Personal. They offer the two same options, Class and Class Pro, but they also give you free, lifetime SSL certification.
Reseller hosting is also two tiered.
- Reseller Class: 50GB of disk space and 500GB of bandwidth.
- Reseller Class Pro: 200GB of disk space and 2000GB of bandwidth.
VPS hosting has three options.
- VPS Class Lite: 20GB of disk space, unlimited bandwidth, 1GB RAM, 2 CPU cores and one IP address. However, unlike other plans, it doesn’t give you full management, so you won’t get a fully configured control panel. This means you will have to have advanced server management knowledge.
- VPS Class: full control panel, 50GB of disk space, unlimited bandwidth, 1.5GB RAM, 4 CPU cores and two IP addresses.
- VPS Class Pro: full control panel, 100GB of disk space, unlimited bandwidth, 3GB RAM, 8 CPU cores and two IP addresses.
Dedicated hosting takes things to another level. There are three pre-configured Dedicated Class server plans.
- Barebones Dual Processor has Dual Intel Xeon Processor E5620 (12M Cache, 2.40 GHz), 12GB RAM and 1TB HDD.
- Professional Web Server has Dual Intel Xeon Processor E5645 Hex Core (12M Cache, 2.40 GHz), 12GB RAM, RAID 10, 4×1 TB HDD.
- Enterprise Server has Dual Intel Xeon Processor E5-2620 Hex Core (15M Cache, 2.0 GHz), 32GB RAM, RAID 10, 4x240GB SSD. However, the real bonus comes with server customization, where you can select your own settings and pricing. You will be able to choose processor, drive type, drive redundancy, up to four hard drives, memory, OS, control panel, bandwidth, uplink, number of IPs and software. There’s even option for special requests.
Cloud hosting is the last option.
- Basic plan: 150GB of dedicated disk space, 4GB RAM, unlimited bandwidth and eight CPU cores.
- Pro: 200GB of dedicated disk space, 6GB RAM, unlimited bandwidth and 12 CPU cores.
- Premium: 300GB of dedicated disk space, 8GB RAM, unlimited bandwidth and 16 CPU cores.
The signup and login processes are fairly standard.The basic information you’ll need for your hosting account will be available through the Arvixe customer portal. On the right side, you will find everything regarding personal information, accounts, payments, invoices and some extras. Also, there are links for support, their blog and discussion boards.
While on the customer portal, the Support and Billing panels are where you’ll probably spend most of your time. They may seem different in structure, but they’re relatively easy to navigate. You will be able to see your billing and hosting history. However, that’s it. If you want more advanced features that are entangled with your account, you’ll have to log in to your control panel.
The extras we mentioned are primarily related to marketing. There are links to free Google Adwords and Bing Ads credits, free website transfer, merchant account services and, oddly (but welcome), a free nakedwines.com coupon. However, we don’t recommend combining passwords with wine.
You can access the control panel via several clicks in the customer portal, or you can go directly to it. Since there isn’t much that you can do about your website in the customer portal, the control panel is where the action is. From managing FTP, email or other accounts, to SEO, security and domain management—all of the basic needs are covered there.
On the left side, you’ll see your notices, search the panel, access your most frequently used areas and view some stats. If you don’t like the look of the control panel, you can choose between the default theme (x3) and an alternate theme (paper_lantern). The default skin is a standard look that lays out everything clearly.
Just keep scrolling down the control panel and you’ll navigate Arvixe fairly easily. There’s a welcome setup wizard that will help you during setup and several more advanced features. Among them are cron jobs, a virus scanner and network tools.
The process for setting up your email is pretty standard. Also, you’ll be invited to create your first site during the setup. You’ll see if your desired email is available and how strong your password is. You can also establish a limit on the number of emails or you can leave it unlimited. However, bear in mind that “unlimited” means emails will be limited by the account tier you’ve chosen. There are advanced options like account-level filtering, mailing lists, and calendars and contacts client configurations, so you’ll be able to set up all the parameters to your liking.
Tools, creating and setting up your website or blog
If you want to set up a new website, there are quite a few options for you. You can either upload your own scripts or you can install some of the most popular ones—from WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and others, or e-commerce solutions such as PrestaShop and AbanteCart. Installation is easy and accomplished with few clicks. If you are a new customer but want to transfer a domain, you’ll get a free transfer. All in all, there are a ton of options. Our test was run on WordPress, installed with Softaculous.
There also are a lot of additional scripts that will help you with features like music, images, RSS, file management, e-commerce, wikis, polls and surveys. Customizing your website is easy with their big scripts database and easy (almost) one-click installation. However, some things that probably should be automatic aren’t, like spam filters, so you will have to devote a few minutes to installing those scripts. But if you are a dedicated DIYer, don’t worry. RVSite Builder is available, which will enable you to build everything from the scratch.
Reliability and uptime
Our test, lasting a little more than a week, showed that the company’s claim of 99 percent uptime is overstated. One week is fairly short amount of time, but even in that period, there were multiple down times that lasted from one minute to almost half an hour. Not a good sign.
On average, uptime was more like 97 percent. It may not sound like a major decrease in uptime, but imagine having your site down for half an hour at the time of day when you have the greatest volume of traffic. Ultimately, downtime drives customers away. Sure, we tested the cheapest option, but that’s not an excuse for below-average uptime. This is the only feature we found to be oversold.
Websites on Arvixe have shown that they can withstand decent number of visitors. Using Load Impact, we tested the response times from several locations. The website server is located in San Francisco, so we mainly focused on the West Coast to East Coast response times. Most tests were conducted between San Francisco and Ashburn, Virginia.
The average response time was about 1 to 1.5 seconds, rising consistently as user volume increased. This isn’t the fastest time, however, the real problem was that there were several occasions when it took 30 seconds or more for a response, which isn’t a sign of a really healthy website. The same happened with other U.S. cities like Palo Alto and Portland, although some were slightly quicker or slower.
When it came to international response time, Arvixe was on par with other hosting companies. Response times from Sidney were about 1 to 1.5 seconds, Tokyo was about 2 seconds, while Singapore took, on average, 3 seconds. This was surprising, considering the inconsistent response times in the U.S.
Help and support
Help and support were decent, but could be improved. The knowledge base provided relatively clear instructions on how to solve most common problems. There were no issues with chat support, either. Response time and problem resolution were relatively fast. We were connected with staff members within couple of minutes and problems were resolved within 15 to 20 minutes. The downside? Chat support isn’t available during the weekend.
E-mail response was also relatively fast, but frustrating. Our first ticket got “lost.” In the email we were sent, there was a link with a form that we filled out and submitted. However, there was no answer, and, obviously, the problem was not resolved. After 48 hours we received an email that said the ticket’s status was closed because they did not hear back from us. That nearly happened the second time around with a bit longer response time. It left us puzzled, but each succeeding email correspondence was better and faster.
The different plan tiers also have tiered pricing. You’ll want to consider your needs and select the one that best meets them. Unfortunately, Arvixe isn’t famous for discounts, so don’t count on catching a break.
|Personal Class||$4 per month|
|Personal Class Pro||$7 per month|
|Business Class||$22 per month, includes lifetime SSL certificate|
|Business Class Pro||$35 per month, includes lifetime SSL certificate|
|VPS Class Lite||$20 per month|
|VPS Class||$40 per month|
|VPS Class Pro||$70 per month|
Dedicated Class hosting
We won’t go into the details of personalized Dedicated Class hosting, because there are quite a few variables that impact cost; you can see the details here. However, already mentioned pre-configured servers cost as it follows:
|Bare-bones Dual Processor||$429 per month|
|Personal Web||$579 per month|
|Enterprise||$719 per month|
Cloud Class hosting
|Basic||$29 per month|
|Pro||$149 per month|
|Premium||$180 per month|
Arvixe—at a glance
- a lot of website customization options
- easy scripts installation
- consistent intercontinental response time
- availability of customizable dedicated hosting servers
- inconsistent response time within the same continent
- confusing email ticket system
- uptime is slightly below what was advertised
- loading time can be erratic
Arvixe is a service that left us somewhat puzzled. Everything starts out great. There are a decent number of plans to choose from. We had no trouble setting up the website. And customization options are easy and numerous. There isn’t any fuss about the control panel and options for a lifetime free domain (and SSL certificate in more expensive plans) sound very appealing.
However, when it came to actually working on the website, things got a little flaky. Response time was somewhat erratic and the promised 99.99 percent uptime was not met, with multiple down times in just one week. On the other hand, a security option comes with all packages, but SSL certificate costs $25 a year. Also worth mentioning is the 60-day, money-back guarantee, which is twice the usual time. Arvixe delivers a give-and-take service. It can behave smoothly like a Maserati or clunky like a Yugo. But the more you pay, the better it behaves. To be fair, it’s a great place to start or continue hosting your website, but expect an occasional bump in the road.
** Source : http://www.webhostingsecretrevealed.net/hosting-review/arvixe-hosting-review/
Comments Off on SiteGround Reviews
In 2004, privately-owned SiteGround was founded in a dorm room by a group of university tech wizards. Truly a global player, SiteGround is headquartered in Bulgaria (which has been called the Silicon Valley of the Eastern Bloc countries) and has servers in Chicago, Amsterdam and Singapore. It’s hard to find complaints about this host; customers are usually very satisfied with the service. Does SiteGround live up to its stellar reputation?
Shared hosting is available in three plans.
- StartUp: one website, 10GB disk space and unlimited bandwidth.
- Grow Big: unlimited websites, 20GB disk space, unlimited bandwidth and premium features, including priority tech support, greater speed and a free SSL certificate for one year.
- GoGeek: unlimited websites, 30GB disk space, unlimited bandwidth and geeky advanced features, which include fewer accounts on the server, advanced hardware, free PCI compliance, and pre-installed Git and Staging.
Please Note: WordPress and Joomla hosting is available, but they are essentially the same plans, with some specialized features, as the shared hosting plans listed above. The names and prices are also the same as shared hosting plans.
Cloud hosting plans come in four variants.
- Entry: 1×3.0 GHz CPU, 2GB DDR3 RAM, 20GB disk space and 5TB bandwidth.
- Business: 2×3.0 GHz CPU, 2GB DDR3 RAM, 40GB disk space and 5TB bandwidth.
- Business Plus: 2×3.0 GHz CPU, 3GB DDR3 RAM, 60GB disk space and 5TB bandwidth.
- Enterprise: 4×3.0 GHz CPU, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 800GB disk space and 5TB bandwidth.
Dedicated hosting plans are available in three variations.
- Entry Server: Intel Xeon E3-1230 CPU, 3.20 GHz CPU clock speed, 4 CPU cores, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 500GB SATA II HDD and 5 TB bandwidth.
- Power Server: Intel Xeon E3-1270 CPU, 3.50 GHz CPU clock speed, 4 CPU cores, 12GB DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SATA II HDD and 5 TB bandwidth.
- Enterprise Server: 2 x Intel Xeon E5-2620 CPU, 2.00GHz CPU clock speed, 2 x 6 CPU cores, 16GB DDR3 RAM, 4 x 500GB SATA II HDD and 5TB bandwidth.
Reseller hosting: 10GB of disk space, unlimited data transfer, 3 server locations and around 10,000 visits per month.
The only unusual step you’ll take during signup is choosing which datacenter you want to locate your website on. Your three option are the U.S., Europe (Netherlands) and Asia (Singapore). Then you’ll go through the standard exchange of personal information and billing methods. After these steps are completed, you’ll get your username. Just type in your password and you’re ready to go.
At first impression, the cluttered site can be confusing. The homepage of the User’s Area is one big up-selling page. Sure, it’s convenient if you’re thinking about buying something extra, but after you get settled in, you’ll want to get out the area as fast as you can. Never fear, though, you will find everything and you will get used to the layout.
Seven big tabs at the top of the page are: Home, My Accounts, Support, Billing, Referral Deals, Add Services and Resources. As we mentioned, Home contains mostly promotional items and upselling; Add Services is about the same. Referral Deals almost falls into the same promotional category, because you can trade perks for referrals there. And Resources is an odd combination of coupons and tutorials. All in all, this group is always hustling to sell you more. However, Billing, Support, and My Accounts are self-explanatory and they are promotion-free.
The easiest way to access the control panel is to go through User’s Area. There, under the My Account tab, you’ll spot the little red button at the top. Visually, it will seem like you didn’t leave User’s Area, which is aesthetically pleasing. It is a slightly modified version of the cPanel, so if you had any previous experience, you won’t feel out of place and if you are completely new to it, you’ll learn it pretty quickly.
On the left side, are basic account information and some stats. But the main part of the monitor will be occupied by different tools. Although you can switch it up, it is curious to see Domains at the top. You will have everything you need, from Visitor Stats, Security, Backups Manager and Autoinstallers, to custom software solutions under the name 1H Software.
Creating and setting up your website or blog
For some reason, SiteGround likes to separate WordPress and Joomla. Usually, they’re both presented in the control panel, but here they get their own tabs and semi-specialized tools. If you want to dig deeper or work with other CMSs and scripts, there’s a whole Softaculos library. There you can find Magento, PrestaShop, Joomla and other useful tools. If you’re more independent, you can always use FTP and file manager. However, when it comes to website builder, there’s a brick wall. Currently, SiteGround doesn’t offer any website builder, although they did in the past. This isn’t that big a deal, considering their script library and the palette of CMSs there.
Although there are no limits on how many email addresses you can have, they are limited to 500 MB per account. Arguably, that can be enough if you keep track of everything and regularly delete old emails. But we prefer to use our disk space in any ratio we choose.
Email signup is pretty standard and you’ll be able to select from the typical webmail trifecta of Horde, RoundCube and SquirrelMail. You’ll be equipped with spam filters, auto responders and other basics—and a few more options, such as setting up a default address.
Reliability and uptime
We experienced 0-percent downtime during our test of approximately one week. That’s right, SiteGround’s uptime was 100 percent. That’s a claim that can seem a bit too optimistic and we don’t blame you if you are sceptical. However, bear in mind that some hosts can’t deliver 100 percent uptime, even in the duration of one week. We know; we tested quite a few of them. However, even if the downtime happens, we’re sure that in a more broad time period, downtime would not stray far from 99.99 percent.
We’re not impressed easily, but when it comes to the SiteGround loading times and stress tests, we were…mega-impressed. The worst response came from Sydney and it was almost 1.6 seconds. Some hosts have an average response with that value, and the usual Sydney average time was 500 ms. However, our server was located in Chicago, so you need to calculate international distance. The U.S. response times were equally fast. On the West Coast, Palo Alto was consistent at around 250 ms and Portland a bit more inconsistent but moving between 100 ms and 400 ms. On the East Coast, Ashburn, Virginia was also slightly inconsistent, with response times between 100 ms and 600 ms, which was odd because it’s much closer to Chicago than Palo Alto or Portland.
International response times were on par with everything we displayed. Fully 90 percent of the time, values were measured in milliseconds with the remaining 10 percent occasionally spiking around 1.5 second. Singapore was primarily around 600 ms with fluctuations between 500 ms and 1 s. Sao Paulo response was mostly 400 ms with a fluctuation range similar to Singapore and Tokyo. All in all, if your website can load under one second on average internationally, we think the job is pretty well done.
Help and support
Just as your User’s Area homepage is bombed with upselling messages, the Support tab is bombed with helpful tips and links. It’s a mix of help for both beginners and advanced users. From there, you’ll be able to access the most commonly used means of communication with support: a ticketing system and chat. There’s also telephone support and you can search their knowledge base from the Support tab. The only thing missing is community support, but we can’t complain much about it. Why? One word: chat.
When it comes to chat, we must say right out of the bat, we had one of the most positive experiences with SiteGround. Their waiting times are below average; once we were connected within mere seconds. The staff is helpful and pleasant, and for some things, like uninstalling WordPress, all you have to do is state your wish and they’ll do it for you. And they will do it with a smile on their face, expressed with the emoticon :). Ticketing was on par with chat support standards. All in all, Support was the cherry on top of a banana split of solid services.
Shared hosting (also for WordPress and Joomla hosting)
|StartUp:||$3.95 per month (reflects 60% off the first term)|
|GrowBig||$7.95 per month (reflects 50% off the first term)|
|GoGeek||$14.95 per month (reflects 50% off the first term)|
|Entry plan||$60 per month|
|Business||$80 per month|
|Business Plus||$100 per month|
|Enterprise is||$140 per month|
You also have the option of creating your own cloud hosting plan with custom pricing. Just select your desired CPU, RAM and storage.
|Entry Server||$229 per month|
|Power Server||$329 per month|
|Enterprise Server||$429 per month|
Reseller hosting is the only one that comes in yearly rate and it can go as low as $42 per year.
SiteGround—at a glance
- excellent support service
- great uptime
- fast and relatively constant loading times
- you can choose a server location
- aggressive up-selling in the User’s Area
- missing Windows servers option
- limited disk space for least-expensive, shared-hosting plan
- missing website builder
SiteGround will welcome you with a smile and take a good care of you along the way. It has great uptime and its loading times make roadrunner “meep-meep” sounds as they swiftly overtake Wiley Coyote. When something doesn’t go right, you’ll engage with support. Now, having a good support isn’t always an easy task. But having charming support took us totally by surprise.
We couldn’t find many negatives or downsides to SiteGround. The only real bummer is the limited disk space in their lowest cost shared-hosting plan and the upselling at the User’s Area login. The absence of website builder and Windows servers may be bothersome to some people. Plus its ratio of price versus technical features, may make SiteGround slightly on the expensive side, but these aren’t major issues. All in all, we really liked SiteGround hosting. If you’re really annoyed by upselling or you’re a die-hard fan of Windows servers, you may want to look elsewhere. But, for everyone else, this service warrants serious consideration.
** Source : https://firstsiteguide.com/hosting/siteground/
Comments Off on BlueHost Reviews
Bluehost has grown up side-by-side with the Internet. The company that was to become Bluehost was founded in 1996. Now owned by Endurance International Group, the company hosts more than one million websites.
That said, Bluehost has had more than its share of controversy. The company was accused of censorship prior to being acquired by Endurance International Group. It also was one of the victims of the 2015 Syrian Electronic Army hacking attack. Nonetheless, Bluehost is still one of the biggest hosting companies in the world. Let’s explore why Bluehost is so enduring.
Shared hosting is offered in three packages. They all give you unlimited bandwidth.
- The Starter plan gives you one website,100GB of disk space and 100 email accounts that are limited to 500MB per account.
- With the Plus plan, you’ll have unlimited websites, disk space, email accounts and storage.
- Business Pro, like the Plus plan, provides unlimited websites, disk space, email accounts and storage. It also gives you extras like SSL and a dedicated IP.
VPS hosting is available in four packages.
- Standard gives you 30GB of disk space, 1TB bandwidth, 2GB RAM, 2 CPU cores and one IP address.
- Enhanced ups the ante with 60GB of disk space, 2TB bandwidth, 4GB RAM, 2 CPU cores and two IP addresses.
- Premium gives you 120GB of disk space, 3TB bandwidth, 6GB RAM, 3 CPU cores and two IP addresses.
- Ultimate provides 240GB of disk space, 4TB bandwidth, 8GB RAM, 4 CPU cores and two IP addresses.
Dedicated hosting comes in three packages. They all include 1TB of mirrored disk space.
- Standard gives you 4×2.5GHz CPU, 4GB RAM, 5TB bandwidth and three IP addresses.
- Enhanced offers 4×2.5GHz CPU, 8GB RAM, 10TB bandwidth and four IP addresses.
- Premium goes all out, delivering 4×3.3 GHz CPU, 16GB RAM, 15TB bandwidth and five IP addresses.
WordPress hosting is, basically, VPS hosting specialized for WP. Bluehost doesn’t offer reseller hosting.
- The Blogger package gives you 100 million visits per month, 30GB disk space, 30GB for backup, 2GB RAM, and five WP sites. But it doesn’t include automated backup or an SSL certificate.
- Professional allocates 300 million visits per month, 60GB disk space, 60GB for backup, 4GB RAM and 10 WP sites. This package includes automated backup, but no SSL certificate.
- Business allows 600 million visits per month, 120GB disk space and the same amount for backup, 6GB RAM, 20 WP sites. The Business package includes automated backup and an SSL certificate.
- With Enterprise, you’ll have unlimited visits per month, 240GB disk space. 240GB for backup, 8GB RAM and 30 WP sites. Automated backup and an SSL certificate are included.
- The Starter package gives you 100GB disk space, unlimited bandwidth, 2GB RAM, 2 CPU, 500MB email storage and one website.
- Performance has unmetered disk space and bandwidth, 4GB RAM, 4 CPU, unlimited email storage and unlimited websites.
- Business Pro provides unmetered disk space and bandwidth, 6GB RAM, 6 CPU, unlimited email storage and unlimited websites.
When creating your profile, you’ll be able to do extensive customization of your package. Bluehost gives you general services at the main price—and a ton of add-ons that you must pay for. Features such as a dedicated IP address, mobile website builder and positive SSL certificate are available, but you’ll have to fork over an additional annual fee for them. In the same manner, you’ll pay for your package on an annual basis. Another thing to consider is that a 30-day trial period often isn’t long enough to decide if you want to stay with the hosting provider. As a result, it’s easy to miss the money-back guarantee deadline.
When you log in into the account portal, you’ll be greeted with an attractive, easy-to-navigate design. It’s logically structured and user friendly, so you won’t be lost. However, don’t be confused if you get just one login username and password. That’s all you need because everything is located under one roof. Practical? Yes. Safe? The typical safeguards for securing your information are in place.
The five main tabs are “Hosting,” “WordPress tools,” “Domains,” “Addons” and “Account.” It’s unusual to see that WordPress has its own dedicated tab, but let’s be honest, a ton of websites function on it, and you will probably work with it at least once, so why not make it convenient to access? We view it as a small feature that’s big on convenience.This only enables you to access basic features. You’ll can still use the standard WP login, which is also located here, if you want to use more advanced features.
With most hosting sites, you must access your control panel via the account portal. Bluehost saves you a step by integrating the two. Everything is in one place and you will be deprived of one more login. Devastating, we know. However, if you are used to the standard look, you may be taken aback. Their cPanel looks like part of the account portal and the visuals reflect the BlueHost image, rather than the usual retro default cPanel look. But don’t be fooled; all the control panel components are there. Although you may experience a slight learning curve, you will get used to it, especially after you discover that you can hide or view certain elements.
Under the “hosting” tab in the account portal is a second tab titled “cpanel.” There you’ll find everything you need—from email settings, file and domain management, statistics and database tools to more advanced features like 404 settings and process managers.
After the login, you can snoop around on your own or you can get help from the Bluehost team. If you choose the latter, you’ll get a lesson and assistance from the educators, but be aware that it will cost $99.99. Also, you‘ll pay $99.99 if you want to transfer your old website. If you want a new, custom design, the cost will be $799.99.
If you want to log in in the webmail client, you can do that from the same place where you log in to the account portal. Just click on the “webmail” tab and import your previously created profile info. However, while creating the email, you’ll need to pass muster with their password strength bar, which is set at 50 on their 0-to-100 scale. That means you’ll need to use at least one uppercase character, one lowercase character, one number and one special character in your password.
During this process, you will also be able to choose which email client you want to work with—or you can do this after the first login. You have three options: Horde, Roundcube and SquirrelMail. You also can select forwarding, auto response, email and spam filtering, and configuring the client(s), so all the basics are covered. However, the lowest price package limits the number of emails to 100, which may be enough for some small- to medium-size businesses.
Creating and setting up your website or blog
When logging in to the user portal/cPanel, you can use your website domain and password, instead of a user name. Although this allows you to directly access one of your multiple domains, it doesn’t mean you’ll have to log out and log in again to access other domains.
For setting up your website, you’ll have at your disposal widely used Weebly and WordPress (which you can import from an already existing WP site). Additionally, AppMachine is available for building a mobile version of your website (no coding required).
However, there is no classic setup wizard, although you can be transferred to help pages if desired. There’s an option for getting help from the staff, but it will cost $99, which is a bit pricey.
Except for Weebly, WordPress and AppMachine, there are no other “all-in-one” tools to help you create your website. Although those are some of the most commonly known and used scripts, some diversity would be welcome. Similarly, there aren’t many options to choose from when it comes to other parts of the website. But that doesn’t mean all of your bases won’t be covered. There are more free and paid add-ons and they have integrated Mojo marketplace, which is loaded with apps and add-ons.
Reliability and uptime
Uptimerobot tests showed that Bluehost isn’t far from its 99.99 percent uptime claim, with 99.69 percent uptime. Although testing indicated one incidence of downtime lasted 26 minutes, which is fairly long time, the majority of downtime occurrences lasted a minute or two.
Although this is not uncommon (normally when restarting or upgrading the server), and the incidents occurred over a period of two to three days, it would be nice to get advance notice. All in all, although this was not a deal breaker, it felt like getting your favorite dish with a little more salt than you’re used to: not bad, but not the best.
We conducted our testing with Load Impact. The website server was located in Provo, Utah. We ran a number of tests on response time to Ashburn, Virginia on the East Coast, so we used that as an average for the loading test. The response was relatively constant, around 0.8 seconds, which is fairly good response time. The best average time, 0.7 seconds, was from Palo Alto, on the West Coast. This might be expected, because the distance to the server is shorter.
There were some irregularities on several tests and locations. At about 15 to 20 users, load time would spike up and come back down, with the worst response from Portland, when it took almost 5 seconds to load. You can see the similar irregularity in Dublin, which, surprisingly, took almost the same time to load as Portland and Sydney, with an average 1.4 seconds response time. Disregarding these occasional irregularities, Bluehost had relatively stabile loading time globally.
Help and support
Help and support ran relatively smoothly and when something was wonky, we had plenty of options to choose from. Standard chat and phone assistance are available 24/7 and there are separate numbers for the U.S. and outside the U.S. It was a bit of a cold shower, though, when the email ticket notified us to allow a minimum of 24 hours for a reply. In reality, it didn’t take that long.
The staff tend to “teach” you how to resolve problems, rather than solving them for you. This may not be to everyone’s taste, but it felt more interactive than just waiting on the other side of the line. If you are DIYer, there is interactive guidance that you can browse on your own, or you can type your question in a box and speed up the process.
Shared hosting has an introductory discount offer, although it’s not clear how long this discount lasts. Current prices for shared hosting with the discount are:
|Starter||$3.95 per month|
|Plus||$4.45 per month|
|Business Pro||$6.95 per month|
Please note: VPS, Dedicated and WordPress hosting packages have a reduced rate that lasts one month only.
|Standard||$29.99 ($14.99 first month)|
|Enhanced||$59.99 ($29.99 first month)|
|Premium||$89.99 ($44.99 first month)|
|Ultimate||$119.99 ($59.99 first month)|
Dedicated hosting packages have a reduced rate for the first month only.
|Standard||$149.99 ($74.99 first month)|
|Enhance||$199.99 ($99.99 first month)|
|Premium||$249.99 ($124.99 first month)|
|Blogger||$24.99 ($12.49 first month)|
|Professional||$74.99 ($37.50 first month)|
|Business||$119.99 ($60.00 first month)|
|Enterprise||$169.99 ($85.00 first month)|
Cloud hosting, like shared hosting, has undefined introductory discount. Current prices for shared hosting with the discount are:
Bluehost—at a glance
- customizable cPanel
- good uptime
- consistently great response time
- specialized WordPress hosting
- costly additional features
- missing the classic “setup helping wizard”
- lack of website builders options
- unclear discount duration for shared and cloud hosting
Bluehost has a service that at first glance seems too good to be true. While it shows some cracks in the perfect exterior and a few limitations, there were no real deal breakers. Loading times were relatively fast and stable, the integration of cPanel and account portal worked beautifully and the help staff was very accommodating. However, not everyone likes the educational approach to fixing the problem, some people like to stay out of it.
Downsides? It took an entire day to get an email help-ticket response. Uptime isn’t really 99.99 percent, as advertised. The visuals take some time to adjust to. And Bluehost lacks a classic setup wizard. Although there are a lot of discounts, most last for just one month—and you have to pay up front for the whole year. Also, most people have a love-hate relationship with Mojo marketplace, so if you are short on money and aren’t too demanding, Bluehost might be place for you. Otherwise, you‘ll either have to open the wallet wider or seek hosting somewhere else.
** Source : https://firstsiteguide.com/hosting/bluehost/
Comments Off on WebHostingHub Reviews
A relative newcomer in the hosting business, Web Hosting Hub was founded in 2010. The company had one big goal: to provide easy-to-setup and affordable web hosting plans, supported with domain names, free web applications, custom hosting solutions and web design services for your business. This means that, for now, they offer only shared hosting in two data centers. So far, they are doing excellent job. But do they really deliver on their promises? You be the judge.
One very surprising thing about Web Hosting Hub is that you will be able to buy only shared hosting. At first we thought we overlooked other types of hosting like dedicated or VPS on their website. But after some thorough search, we can assure you that shared hosting is the only hosting available.
Shared hosting is offered in three different plans. If you want backup service, it will cost an extra $1 per month.
- Spark: unlimited disk space and bandwidth, storage for unlimited emails, three free web transfers, two free website domains, 10 MySQL databases, five parked domains, 25 subdomains and $75 in free advertising credits.
- Nitro: unlimited disk space and bandwidth, storage for unlimited emails, three free web transfers, unlimited website domains, unlimited MySQL databases, unlimited parked domains, unlimited subdomains and $175 in free advertising credits. 20-percent discount for web design services.
- Dynamo: unlimited disk space and bandwidth, storage for unlimited emails, three free web transfers, unlimited website domains, unlimited MySQL databases, unlimited parked domains, unlimited subdomains and $250 in free advertising credits. 30-percent discount for web design services.
The process of setting up your account and website left us with mixed feelings. Although you have to pay up front for the whole year, you do have a 90-day, money-back guarantee. That’s one of the longest money-back guarantee periods available and very few of providers in the industry offer it. While setting up the account, you can choose to immediately install WordPress or PrestaShop, which is a nice touch. It’s like coming to already furnished apartment that’s set up the way you like it.
However, you’ll then need to be verified, which you will do via telephone. Not a big deal, unless you aren’t from U.S. and your only telephone number is mobile. Apparently, they never heard of roaming. We still got a verification via email, which left us puzzled about why the telephone verification was necessary in the first place.
Your Account Management Panel has four main parts: My Account, Billing, Domains, Add Services and Specials. While the first three are self explanatory, Add Services allows you to add more hosting plans or get site design from their staff. Specials are mostly advertisement and marketing credits. In the upper right corner is the Help link, so all your basic needs are in one place.
Oddly, you will be assigned a random username for your cPanel. While you obviously choose your password, this seemed like annoyance, because you will be assigned a name completely unrelated to you. But once you log in, you’ll be greeted with the standard, widely used cPanel layout. While there are all kinds of useful things, the real gem is a script library that’s filled with all kinds of goodies for every aspect of your website—from polls and surveys to ad management, e-commerce, RSS, frameworks, file management and more. The selection is filled with so many options that, like a kid in a candy store, you can blow a lot of time just browsing.
Email is given greater attention in the cPanel than with other hosting providers. A nice touch is the McAfee email protection, but there is an extra charge for it. There are also Google apps wizard, account level filtering, MX entry and more. You’ll have the standard choices of webmail software, so nothing is missing. And there are no limitations on the number of email accounts you can have. You’ll get to create your first account during the wizard setup.
Creating and setting up your website or blog
Since you are welcomed with the standard cPanel, setup is also pretty standard. You’ll be greeted with a welcoming wizard that will take you through the basics. If you chose to install CMS beforehand, you are almost set up, but if you didn’t, you will have easy one-click installation. If you transfer your old sites, there’s no fee for the transfers, and if you want to upgrade them with some scripts, there are many to choose from.
As we mentioned, you can install WordPress or PrestaShop while creating your hosting account. A nice touch that eliminates few extra clicks and saves a bit of your time. However, in their script library, which relies on Softaculos, you’ll see other open-source tools for blogging and microblogging, and content management systems, as well. Installing them is relatively easy, all you need to know is which in directory you want them to be placed. Drupal, Joomla, Magento and OpenCard are just a few of the CMSs, and although majority of users will go with WordPress, there are other tools like Serendipity and Dotclear. You just need to choose the one that suits you best.
Reliability and uptime
Web Hosting Hub doesn’t offer or showcase any guarantee about uptime. This should set off alarm bells. However, during our uptime test with Uptimerobot, there was 0 percent downtime. And we were testing the least-expensive plan. We imagine that more expensive plans get the same, or even better service, if that’s possible.
As usual, we did the loading test with Loadimpact. The server was located in Los Angeles, so for the majority of tests we focused on Ashburn, Virginia on the East Coast. The response time was just below the 0.8 seconds, which is slightly better coast-to-coast performance than the average hosting provider. Portland came in at slightly above 0.5 seconds and Palo Alto at around 0.3 seconds. However, what was really wonderful was the same response time no matter the number of users. The line was almost straight, like a calm sea before the storm. And the storm occurred around 15 percent of the time. and when it was bad, it was abysmally bad.
Although we were delighted with the U.S. loading tests, sometimes they looked more like a stormy sea. This occurred even more when it came to intercontinental tests. Sao Paulo had some problems with higher numbers of users and a maximal response time of 8 seconds. Singapore was slightly better with 4 seconds at its worse. But the most baffling response was from Sydney, which had problems with just a small number of users. When it works, it works great, but when it doesn’t work, it really doesn’t. Luckily, it works a tremendous amount of the time.
Help and support
When you click on the Help Center, you’ll probably expect to see chat or ticketing services. Not so. This page is dominated by FAQs and tutorials. This isn’t a bad thing. But when you have a serious problem, you may panic because you can’t find the chat or ticketing system. Relax, they are there, way down at the bottom of the page in a smaller font. However, in the account management panel, just below Help Center, again in a smaller font, is “Get Help.” There you’ll be provided with a few basic guides, chat, and the ticketing system.
Response time was a matter of minutes for the ticket and just seconds for chat. The staff was polite and efficient. If you have chat help, you’ll get a transcript of the exchange. That way, if you have the same problem in the future, you can skim through the transcript for your solution. The only thing that wasn’t fast with Web Hosting Hub support was their means of feedback. Instead of the usual questionnaire, you will be asked to send an email to their feedback manager.
Web Hosting Hub offers discounted rates for one year. At the end of the year, prices will increase by $2. An alternative is to buy hosting for 2 or 3 years and subsequently they will cost you one or two dollars less per month. There is no monthly payment plan for these two- and three-year contracts, but the long-term discounts make it an attractive option for some people.
|Spark:||$4.99 per month (includes first-year discount)|
|Nitro:||$6.99 per month (includes first-year discount)|
|Dynamo:||$8.99 per month (includes first-year discount)|
Web Hosting Hub—at a glance
- stabile loading time—most of the time
- excellent uptime
- 90-day, money-back guarantee
- long-term contract discounts
- when loading doesn’t work, it really doesn’t work
- telephone account verification feels out of place and time
- only shared hosting is offered
- no Windows servers
Web Hosting Hub isn’t one of the more prominent hosting companies. We wondered why. However, after using the services, we get it. Although it has a lot to offer, certain features are hard to find on their website. But the company still has a lot to offer. It may take a little time to get used to some features, but you’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly. When you communicate with their very friendly and helpful staff, you’ll be checked for verification of your account—a nice step to protect your online security.
In the end, we can conclude that Web Hosting Hub can be slightly awkward and frustrating at times. But, if you’re looking for a great shared-hosting price, combined with good service, this is your place. If you need more, take a look elsewhere.
** Source : https://firstsiteguide.com/hosting/webhostinghub/
Comments Off on InMotion Hosting Reviews
Founded in 2001, InMotion hosting is an interesting company. It’s employee-owned and employee-operated, so there’s no heavy management level pulling the strings—for now at least. InMotion is based in Virginia and California and their support is outsourced exactly 0 percent. Yup, all help comes straight from the good old USA. But is everything really an American dream coming true? Let’s find out.
Shared hosting is found under “Business” hosting. There are three packages and all include unlimited disk space, bandwidth and shared SSL Certificate.
- Launch: two domains.
- Upgraded Power: six domains
- Pro: unlimited domains.
VPS hosting also has three packages. They all get unlimited domains and two IP addresses (although in the most expensive you get 3), but the rest vary.
- VPS-1000S: 60GB of disk space, 2TB of bandwidth and 4GB RAM.
- VPS-2000S: 130GB, 3TB of bandwidth and 6GB RAM.
- VPS-3000S: 200GB, 4TB of bandwidth and 8GB RAM.
Reseller hosting continues in a similar manner with three packages. They all come with RAID 6, SSD Drives, and a dedicated IP Address.
- R-1000S: 80GB of disk space and 800GB of bandwidth.
- R-2000S: 120GB of disk space and 1200GB of bandwidth.
- R-3000S: 160GB of disk space and 1600GB of bandwidth.
Dedicated hosting offers six packages.
- Essential: Intel Core I3-2120 2C/2T, 4GB RAM, 1TB 7.2K SATA3, and 6 TB data transfer.
- Advanced: Intel Xeon E3-1220 v2 3.1 GHz 4C/4T, 8GB RAM, a choice between 120GB SSD or 1TB 7.2K SATA3, and 10TB data transfer.
- Elite: Intel Xeon E3-1230 v2 3.3GHz 4C/8T, 16GB RAM, RAID-1 2x250GB SSD or RAID-1 2x2TB 7.2K SATA3, 10 TB data transfer and free 2TB SATA backup.
The next three packages witch gears to higher speed are next three packages. All offer 15TB data transfer.
- Commercial Class 500: Intel Xeon CPU E5-2430 v2 2.5 GHz 6C/12T, 16GB RAM and RAID-1 2x250GB SSD.
- Commercial Class 1000: Intel Xeon CPU E5-2430 v2 2.5GHz 6C/12T, 32GB RAM and RAID-1 2x500GB SSD.
- Commercial Class 2000: Dual Intel Xeon CPU E5-2430 v2 2.5GHz 12C/24T, 64GB RAM, and RAID-6 4x500GB SSD.
Around 10 minutes after registration, we still had received no email and the phone call we got was so muted that it was indecipherable. About minute after that, though, emails started to pour in, one containing the link for the confirmation. After a few minutes of holding our breath, we were ready to roll.
First, you will log in at the Account Management Panel or AMP. There you will find some of the basics related to your account. There are four main tabs: My Account, Billing, Domains, Add Services and Specials. While the first three are self-explanatory, Add Services is for adding new hosting accounts, designs for your website(s) and managed hosting, which is basically paid expert help. Specials are mostly for advertising credit plus a few more “freebies.”
The more website-related items are, of course, in the control panel, but there is quick access to some of the bare necessities right in the AMP. They’re hidden under the scroll-down menu in the My Account tab. You can access the control panel from the AMP or go directly to its page, because there is no automatic login to both of them. Security first. Oh, did we mention that you will get a free SSD? Now you know.
The control panel is pretty standard and easy to work with. If you do run into problems, Inmotion has a series of tutorials on cPanel features.You can log in to the cPanel via the AMP or by logging in directly to the url. Settings, databases, emails, logs, etc. are at your disposal, but don’t expect anything fancy.
Just like the cPanel, creating and using email is cut-and-dried. You will need to create a strong password, although InMotion standards may be a little lower than other hosts. The same password that ranked 90/100 here usually only ranked 60/100 with other hosting providers. InMotion offers the standard roster of webmail clients. It does, however, provide IMAP email, which enables you to access and sync your mail from multiple devices. Not all hosting services offer this.
Creating and setting up your website or blog
One of the registration perks with InMotion hosting is the ability to install WordPress, Prestashop or Joomla on your account. That way, you’ll be spared some time and a few clicks. There are other CMSs that you can install with Softaculos, or if you are more of a DIY person, you can upload your own files. If you already have a website, you will get a free transfer with any package. If you want to build it from scratch, you can install and use their customized website builder; you’ll find it under the AMP “Install Popular Software” section. The good thing is that it’s totally free, but the bad thing is that it needs a bit of updating in the design department. Websites created with it will be nice, but tend to look a bit dated, and you will need another login detail.
There are few more options when it comes to blogs, but the greater number of choices are in the CMS area. There is also a nice roster when it comes to e-commerce solutions, but other than that, the choices limited. Don’t get us wrong, there are a decent number of scripts to choose from, but we’ve seen a bigger assortment with other hosts.
Reliability and uptime
We’re always pleasantly surprised when testing shows a host has 100-percent uptime. Sure, our tests weren’t conducted over a period of months, but InMotion tested better than most hosts tested in the same span of time. Although there was a spike in customer complaints about reliability a few years ago, complaints have dwindled since that time.
Our website’s server was located near Wichita, Kansas, so we couldn’t test coast-to-coast response times. We did have some surprises. Ashburn, Virginia had an excellent response time, usually around 0.25 seconds. However, it also had the most random and intermittent spikes that would go up to 0.8 seconds, independent of number of users. On the other hand, Palo Alto had a stable response and no irregularities, but its response time was longer, around 0.9 seconds.
The longest response time was from Singapore, which, at its worst was around 3.65 seconds. Surprisingly, InMotion had a relatively stable response globally. Tokyo was usually just below 2 seconds, Sao Paulo under 1.5 seconds and Dublin was usually slightly above 1 second. The reliability of servers was surprisingly good and stable with various numbers of users. That said, there were a few random exceptions with spikes that were still under 0.8 seconds on the West Coast.
Help and support
All kinds of help are available to you with InMotion, including chat, email, ticket, telephone, community and (video) tutorials. You can even create a Support Center profile, but we’re not sure if it does anything more than track your activity within the support system.
Response by all modes was fairly fast and helpful, with the exception of chat.The response from staff seemed a bit slow at times. There was more silence than chatting, but they were responsive when they had an answer. However, everyone was polite, problems were resolved in a quick manner, transcripts were sent, not to mention that once we got staff response within seconds of logging in. To conclude, there is very little to complain about here.
InMotion hosting is one of the best hosts to deal with when it comes to a money-back guarantee. Although some packages have a 30-day policy, most of them have 90-day policy, including the cheapest option we tested. There are many discounts that vary by the package and length of the contract. The longer the period of the contract, up to three years, the greater the discount. However, keep in mind that you’ll have to pay about 6 months in advance for certain packages. We tested one package that had a contract of 12 months, minimum.
It’s not that there aren’t any options for one month, but the prices go up significantly. Only reseller packages are cheaper to rent on a month-to-month basis, rather than six or 12 months at a time. Don’t ask, we’re also scratching our heads.
But to get down to actual prices of the concrete packages.
Shared/Business hosting is the is the least-expensive option.
|Launch package||$3.49 per month (25% discount)|
|Power package||$7.99 per month (20% discount)|
|Pro package||$13.99 per month (12% discount)|
|VPS-1000S||$29.99 per month (33% discount)|
|VPS-2000S||$49.99 per month (41% discount)|
|VPS-3000S||$74.99 per month (51% discount)|
|R-1000S||$13.99 per month (50% discount)|
|R-2000S||$19.99 per month (50% discount)|
|R-3000S||$27.49 per month (50% discount)|
Dedicated hosting While Essential, Advanced and Elite include a discount ($70 and up), the Commercial Class packages do not.
|Essential||$119.99 per month|
|Advanced||$159.99 per month|
|Elite||$229.99 per month|
|Commercial Class 500||$419.99 per month|
|Commercial Class 1000||$489.99 per month|
|Commercial Class 2000||$589.99 per month|
InMotion—at a glance
- pre-installable CMSs
- 90-day, money-back guarantee
- stable loading time, no matter the location
- unlimited email with every plan
- slightly outdated website builder designs
- telephone confirmation did not work
- additional login for website builder
- lack of lower-cost, monthly shared-hosting packages
There are many nice things to say about InMotion Hosting and very few bad ones. The only really serious drawback was the website builder. It’s dancing on the verge of becoming a “retro builder.” But with the option of installing other leading CMSs, this is not unforgivable. Finding a serious flaw was nearly mission impossible.
Great help, excellent loading time, flawless uptime—it could only be better if they delivered hot cookies to your door when you register. There aren’t many cracks in the system, and those that are present are more a matter of aesthetics and learning to navigate their site. Having said that, InMotion may be more pricey in a long run than other hosts. But this level of excellence justifies the slightly higher cost. If you’re on a really tight budget, you may want to look at other options, but if you can swing it, we think you’ll be pleased with InMotion.