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Good reliable hosting, fast and good support, cheap, no bandwidth limits, lots of HDD space
Typical Hostwinds Prices
Hostwinds originates all the way back to 2010, where it started to change the way people perceive the hosting industry by offering quality hosting services at an affordable price point. They pride themselves on their customer service, 99.9999% uptime guarantee, and have their headquarters in Washington, Seattle.
To test all of these claims out, and see if they are genuinely friendly, I decided to make an account and set up a website; let us see how all of this goes. We’re taking a deep dive into the world of Hostwinds, and see if they live up to their reputation.
Getting Started With Hostwinds
Making an account at Hostwinds initially seems simple, but it got a bit complex for me. Let me explain.
On the homepage, you can click on Get Hosted to get started.
Here, a simple menu will greet you.
You need to enter your first name, last name, email, and password, and click on submit, simple, right?
And you even get an email, telling you that you have successfully paid.
However, I then got this.
In fact, when I logged in for the very first time, I was greeted by this screen.
What all of this essentially means is that, you need to send them your government-issued ID, a scanned copy of your credit card that displays your name, expiration date, last 4 digits, and you even need to fill out and submit a Credit Card Authorization Form.
I’m sorry, what? All of this, just to set up an account? I get it, they’re following Know Your Customer (KYC) standards, and this might be mandatory in some regions, but I genuinely did not feel comfortable sending them my ID and Credit Card just to gain access.
A lot of people might not mind doing this, but their competition does not require these kinds of documents. This is something I have to mention, as it should be clearly displayed before you even make the payment, not after. You gain zero access to any of the features if you do not submit these documents, which is just a horrible first impression in my opinion.
Everyone that does this should have a huge disclaimer on the home screen, and ask you to confirm that you are comfortable giving out this information.
With that out of the way, once you give them these documents, you will have access to everything and your account will be fully unlocked.
Setting Things Up at Hostwinds
When you log in for the very first time, you will end up seeing this screen.
Here, you can review your home, services, domains, billing, and support, and cloud control.
You can also review your active products as well as services.
Here you’ll gain access to My Services, Order new Services and View Available Addons.
On the Shopping Cart Tab, you can order different types of hosting plans.
You can also view the available add ons for your specific hosting option.
On the domains tab, you have Domains, My Domains, Renew Domains, Register a New Domain, Transfer Domains to Us, Unregistered Domains, Manage DNS, and Manage DNS.
On the billing tab, you have, Billing, My Invoices, Mass Payment, Manage Credit Card, Add Funds, Paypal Billing Agreements, Account Credits, and Manage Billing Dates.
On the support tab, you have access to Support, Tickets, Open A Ticket, Knowledge Base and Downloads.
- Cloud Control
Here, you have access to the Cloud Portal and Monitoring.
Now that we know what is available, let us see what the experience is like when we set things up.
Shared hosting has three plans, basic, advanced, and ultimate; you get unlimited bandwidth and disk space in either. You have features such as solid-state drive support, Softaculous auto-installers, instant setup, free website transfers, cPanel access, Unlimited Subdomains, Unlimited Email Accounts, Unlimited Databases, and a Free Dedicated IP, alongside free SSL Certificates and Weebly Site Builder access.
This essentially gives you access to faster speeds, higher traffic volume, fewer sites per server, and increased resources. You have three plans here as well, basic, advanced and ultimate.
This lets you start your own web hosting business, is fully managed, has instant setup, and nightly backups. You also have 24/7 tech support, and it is available in three plans, including basic, advanced and ultimate.
White label hosting is a service that other parties can re-brand in order to hide the connection to the company. In other words, you can resell the services, but make them seem as if they are your own. This can be a recurring revenue source, where you have your own clients, but the services of Hostwinds, and full access to WHMCS.
When it comes to VPS, you have:
Here, you get special features such as a redundant network, server monitoring, instant scalability, nightly backups, full management, and enterprise-level hardware.
On the Linux side of things, you can pick operating systems such as Debian, Fedora, CentOS, and Ubuntu.
On the Windows side of things, you can pick operating systems such as Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2016.
They also offer Cloud Server Hosting, where you can deploy a server in seconds, ranging from 1 CPU, 1 GB of RAM, and 30 GB of storage to 16 CPUs, 96 GB of RAM, and 750 GB of storage.
When it comes to the cloud tab, you can create your cloud server in seconds, customize your instances, and select your location.
When it comes to the dedicated servers tan, you can create fully managed servers with dedicated resources which give you full control. These can range from $90 up to $125 per server, and you can even customize the server yourself once you select it.
When it comes to the services, you have access to SSL Certificates, including 256-bit encryption, free installs for clients, and 24/7 tech support.
When it comes to their hosted data centers, they have three. These are located in:
Seattle, which offers 169ms as standard.
Dallas, which offers 136ms as standard.
Amsterdam, which offers 51ms as standard.
When it comes to backups, Hostwinds gives you the ability to order Web Hosting Cloud Backups when you order the services. This service is available for both shared and business web hosting services on Hostwinds and can be added throughout the order process, or through adding it as an add-on service.
These have monthly fees, and the base price starts at $3 per month, with a monthly storage price of $0.3 per GB, and you are provided direct access to your backed-up data.
Level of Support
When it comes to the support level, you can contact the support team in two ways, open a ticket and live chat.
You can open a ticket through the top navigation bar.
Here you can contact sales, technical support, or billing.
All you have to do is type the subject, and write the message, after which you can click on “Submit Ticket”.
Then you have the live chat support, which is always available to you on the bottom corner of the screen on the right side.
It took a minute for them to get back to me and start resolving the issue.
Keep in mind that if you want to request a refund, the refund request has to be made within seventy-two hours of the payment transaction time. Hostwinds will not grant refunds in advance, and the refunds which were requested prior to the cancellation or outside of the seventy-two-hour time windows are considered invalid and will not be eligible for a refund.
Keep in mind that you cannot request a refund for software licenses, domains, SSL Certificates, IP addresses, products or services billed hourly, ones that are terminated for violations of terms of service, and ones purchased using cryptocurrencies, tokens or digital assets.
Specific Features of Hostwinds
One thing you’ll notice at Hostwinds is that they have two guarantees that sort of stand out.
- 99.9999% UPTIME GUARANTEE
- FRIENDLINESS GUARANTEE
This means that your website should always remain online and that the support staff is friendly, at least that’s the way I perceive these pieces of information.
They specialize in the fact that they use cutting-edge software, as well as the newest technologies, have a high level of support, and are online 24/7/365 to guide you throughout any of their solutions.
It’s important to note that they offer free migration, and it is handled by their tech team. You can also get a free SSL certificate and free unlimited email accounts. The Weebly website builder will also streamline a lot of your website building process, and you get unlimited disk space throughout all of the plans which is excellent.
The cPanel has all of the standard features you need in order to manage your website, so it should be a breeze.
Performance Speed and Uptime
Throughout my testing, my website remained online, and I saw an average response time of 750ms. The control panel was easy to use, and as such, I could get the website up and running in no time. This is excellent and reliable.
In terms of pricing, you can expect to pay anywhere from $5.34 per month up to $42.74 per month on the most expensive package, giving you a lot of flexibility in between. You can buy shared web hosting, business web hosting, reseller hosting, fully managed Linux VPS hosting and fully managed Windows VPS hosting.
Hostwinds truly lives up to its name when it comes to affordability. You do get a lot for your money, and the support staff is excellent. However, the requirement of scanned private documents was an annoyance at the best, and downright time-consuming at its worst, something I did not appreciate having to deal with. With that being said, if you want a secure web host, that will help you in terms of support, this would be an excellent option for you.
Pros and Cons of Hostwinds
- Free SSL Certificate
- Unlimited Disk Space
- Amazing Uptime
- Free Migration
- Excellent Customer Service
- Limited to only three server locations
- You have to pay separately for a domain name
- Mandatory KYC (Know your customer) document scans
Hostwinds Prices, Plans & Features - 2021
Shared Hosting Plans