Is this the right hosting solution for you?
You’re here because you’re a website owner, either frustrated with your existing web hosting service or simply looking for a new option for your new site.
Either way, a quick Google search shows that there are dozens of options out there, and that can seem daunting no matter where you are in the e-commerce experience barometer.
That’s why we’re looking at one web hosting provider: Hostwinds. Here, we’ll cover:
- Who Hostwinds is
- Main features
- Basic pricing plans
- Customer Support
- Hostwinds pros and cons
That’s a lot – so let’s get right to it!
Who is Hostwinds?
Hostwinds was founded in 2010 by Peter Holden. He was working as a back-end developer at a web development company. Frustrated by the difficulties of moving his employer to a new hosting brand, he decided he could do better himself, and came up with Hostwinds.
Hostwinds is a privately held company that tells potential customers that they “have begun to change the face of the hosting industry from the ground up with a new set of standards: offering quality hosting services at a reasonable price.”
Headquartered in Seattle, WA, the company has received several awards for customer service (see below) and has been recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the 500 fastest growing private companies. Not to mention, Entrepreneur also dubbed it the #1 option for hosting your startup website, and according to PC Magazine’s Editor’s Choice, it’s “one of the best overall technology products of 2018,” and Pinterest places Hostwinds in its Top Five Best Affordable Web Hosting Companies.
Hostwinds’ homepage claims that it offers:
- Fast servers
- Low prices
- 99.99999% uptime
- Customer service
- It’s also worth noting that Hostwinds has three data centers: Seattle, Dallas and Amsterdam.
That’s a lot of praise… so let’s see how it stands up to scrutiny!
Main features of Hostwinds
Hostwinds divides its features into four categories: Hosting, VPS, Cloud and Dedicated. There are different subcategories within these and separate sets of components within each subcategory.
If you select this option, you can choose from Shared, Enterprise, Reseller or White Label options – and each has its own pricing structure and set of features.
These are too numerous to cover separately in this article. But, what we can say is that no matter which hosting option you choose, you will definitely enjoy the following features:
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited disk space
- A free SSL certificate
- SSD disks
- Instant configuration
- Unlimited number of subdomains
- Automatic Softaculous installation
- Free IP address
The only variation of this rule is the White Label option. This is for those who want to create their own hosting company selling Hostwinds products.
For those considering the VPS option, you have four to choose from. Then, in each of these, there are different price plans and features.
The four options are:
- Managed Linux
- Unmanaged Linux
- Managed Windows
- Unmanaged Windows
Commonly shared features include:
- SSD disks
- Free website transfer
- Multiple locations
- Custom ISOs
- Enterprise Firewall
- 99.999% uptime
- 1 GBPS ports
After that, the features you have access to depend on the pricing plan you choose, namely RAM, storage, disk space, data transfer and bandwidth size. But, as you’ve probably guessed, the more you pay, the more you get.
If you prefer cloud server hosting, Hostwinds tells us it takes no more than 20 seconds to deploy your cloud server. Again, CPU, storage, RAM and bandwidth sizes vary depending on the pricing structure you choose, but commonly shared features include:
- Flexible payment options from hourly to three-yearly
- Full 24/7/365 management support, including live chat, phone or support tickets (with a real person)
- SSD drives to speed up your server, which means faster data processing
- Custom templates that you can configure yourself
- SSH key management, giving you the ability to create your own SSH keys or import SSH keys via the Hostwinds Cloud Control portal.
- Instant scalability, which means you can increase your cloud server space at any time, for example, more RAM or CPU in seconds.
The most customized option of all is the Hostwinds Dedicated Server program. Here you get your own fully managed server. This is an option for someone who wants total control over their server at all times.
Hostwinds will build you a server that meets your needs. Just specify the amount of RAM and type of CPU you need, and they’ll take care of the rest.
You can also customize the disk number and configuration. Here, the feature set is slightly different in that you choose the feature you want. What Hostwinds does say, however, is that they offer to everyone:
- Nightly backups
- Server monitoring in the rare event of problems
- Fully managed service
No matter which Hostwinds package you choose, there are several guarantees that the provider promises to all its customers:
- 99.9999% uptime
- Award-winning 24/7/365 customer service
- A wide choice of price plans
- A guarantee of usability
- A guarantee of excellence
- Zero tolerance anti-spam policy
- Pro-rated refund policy
Hostwinds Core Pricing Plans
As we mentioned earlier, Hostwinds pricing plans depend on the type of hosting you’re looking for. So we’ll go through the headlines to give you an idea of what you can expect to pay.
If you’re starting a new store and want something fast but cheap, the Hostwinds Shared Basic plan is probably your best bet, starting at just $3.29/month down from $8.99/month at the time of writing. For that, you get all the features mentioned above and a domain name.
Sticking with shared hosting, should you need to upgrade to a larger package as your business grows, their most popular and economical package (according to Hostwinds) is their Shared Ultimate plan. This starts at $5.17/month, starting at $12.09/month. For this, you’ll get all the features mentioned above and unlimited domain names.
Prices start to increase in the shared business web hosting plans, but only by a fraction. The basic plan starts at a discounted rate of $5.64/month (instead of $13.99). Again, this entitles you to a single domain, going up to an unlimited number of domains if you opt for the ultimate plan at $7.99 / month instead of $18.99 / month.
A quick look at the VPS pricing plans tells us that they are more expensive, but not by much. Four plans start at $5.17/month for Managed Linux or $7.99 for Managed Windows, rising to $23.97/month or $26.99/month, respectively. The unmanaged plans are extensive and depend entirely on how much CPU, RAM, storage and bandwidth you need for Linux or Windows.
For cloud server hosting, the prices again depend on the processor, RAM, storage and bandwidth you need. For example, if you were to go for the cheapest option with 1 CPU, 1 GB RAM, 30 GB storage and 1 TB bandwidth, it would cost you $0.006931/hr at the time of writing. The most expensive option is 16 CPUs, 96 GB of RAM, 750 GB of storage and 9 TB of bandwidth, for which you will have to pay $0.456931 / hr (at the time of writing this article).
Finally, if your ambitions are big and you want a dedicated server, it will cost you much more. The cheapest option is a discount of $79.50/month from $106.00/month, and the most expensive plan starts at $140.00/month.
Hostwinds Customer Support
Hostwinds has won numerous awards, especially for their customer service, so much so that the FindMyHost.com Editors ‘Choice award was given to Hostwind for their customer support and positive business practices.
On top of that, several review sites give them 4-5 stars, including The Real Yellow Pages, Hostingadvice.com, Sitejabber and Webhosting Geeks.
As mentioned earlier, Hostwinds offers customers 24/7/365 support in the form of live chat, support ticket, email and phone. There is also a knowledge base on their website where you can find answers to common questions. Topics include guides on storage, account issues, networking, control panels, etc.
A quick Google tour tells us that Hostwinds users and reviewers are both fans of this hosting service. There are several five and four star reviews and plenty of comments about how friendly and helpful the company is.
All Hostwinds servers are protected by what they call a “windshield hardening service”. Translated, this means that for an extra $25, you can upgrade your server’s security with even greater protection. Hostwinds technicians perform a security audit, configure your firewall and apply other server hardening methods to give your server extra security.
All different hosting options of course come with a free SSL certificate with shared, professional, reseller and white label web hosting accounts. They also provide RapidSSL and WildCard SSL credentials via GeoTrust for an additional $75 per year. In all cases, installation is free with 24/7 technical support and XNUMXj/XNUMX for all security issues and questions.
In addition, its data centers have their own security in the form of video surveillance, 24/7 staffed network operations centers, check-in stations at the entrances, and armed security XNUMXh / XNUMX and XNUMXj / XNUMX.
Speed of Hostwinds
No e-business owner wants to sit around frustrated with the slowness of their hosting company’s servers. It doesn’t bode well for anyone’s reputation and can potentially lose you, the customer.
Hostwinds says it is “designed with speed in mind”, offering the following:
SSDs with fast read and write speeds
Constant monitoring of its infrastructure and network
The latest versions of the PHP scripting language
Cloudflare CDN that reduces the distance between your server and your site visitors.
Litespeed web server that uses fewer resources, so faster speeds
In addition, Hostwinds regularly scans its outbound network paths and chooses the fastest one so that traffic to your site is routed as quickly as possible. If you’d like to test the speed of Hostwinds’ current data centers, there’s a dedicated page on their site that explains how to do that.
Whether you’re a newbie e-commerce entrepreneur or an old hand, you don’t want to struggle with a clunky interface. As with most hosting platforms, users have access to a control panel where they can access their accounts, billing information, initiate support tickets, etc. Hostwinds calls this the CPanel.
You can also edit your contact information here, manage your domains if you have multiple domains, add subdomains, create email accounts, etc.
We’re not able to provide more details because unfortunately when we tried to access the CPanel guide in the Hostwinds knowledge base, the link was broken, which is a bit of an oversight on their part.
Advantages and disadvantages
Now that we’ve covered the basics, here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of Hostwinds:
- They’re an award-winning company
- They offer incredibly affordable prices, especially for beginners
- You have access to a generous number of features on all their plans
- Access to discounted prices (at the time of writing)
- Excellent uptime guarantees
- Their servers are fast
- Their pricing structure is too complicated
- You have to pay extra for SSL on some hosting options.
- There are conditions attached to their refund policies (see terms and conditions)
Are you ready to use Hostwinds?
So there you have it. Everything you need to know about Hostwinds: we think that at first glance, Hostwinds is an affordable, fast and powerful option, whether you’re just starting out and want to grow, or you’re a veteran with an existing website. There is bound to be a plan to meet your hosting needs.
We hope you have read this review; you can better decide if Hostwinds is the right web hosting provider for you and your business. We’d love to hear your thoughts on Hostwinds in the comment area below. Let us know how you are doing!