Hostwinds Web Hosting: An Ultimate Review
Hostwinds is a long-established web host that proclaims enterprise-level solutions alongside personal-level support. However, is this provider the right option for your website hosting needs?
An Introduction to Hostwinds Web Hosting
A brand’s online presence requires a strong foundation, and that foundation comes with web hosting.
As a result, selecting a web host with the right combination of services, performance, and reputation is necessary. Although with so many providers, settling on one can be difficult.
As far as reputation goes, Hostwinds is one of the most established web hosts around. Operating since 2010, this US-based company has competitively priced hosting packages that make it a suitable option for those working on a budget.
Despite its affordability, Hostwinds isn’t lacking in terms of features. This includes free website migration, a free SSL certificate, and access to the easy-to-use – yet powerful – Weebly website builder.
Various hosting packages, from shared hosting to dedicated servers, are also available to meet the varying needs of businesses.
In addition, this provider places a particular emphasis on customer service, an area where it feels it stands out from the competition.
Add in its guarantee of 99.9999% uptime performance, and there are many reasons that, on the surface, make Hostwinds a top choice for your web hosting needs.
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Hostwinds Key Features
When it comes to features, Hostwinds has a lot going in its favor. Below are some of its main highlights:
1. An assortment of hosting solutions
Hostwinds offers various hosting options to meet the needs of website owners. For beginners and those just starting out, shared hosting supplies an affordable price tag alongside capable performance.
Hostwinds’ VPS hosting is appropriate for mid-size websites that require greater control and resources, while dedicated hosting is available for high-traffic sites with advanced needs.
Cloud server hosting is also an option where hourly billing ensures users can maximize resources.
Impressively, all shared hosting plans include unlimited disk space and bandwidth, whereas these aspects are on a scalable rate for VPS, dedicated servers, and cloud hosting plans, respectively.
2. Weebly website builder
If you’re a beginner in the world of website design and don’t possess the budget to hire a site developer, Hostwinds provides a suitable solution.
The Weebly website builder is an easy-to-use tool where even complete novices can build a slick, professional site that hits all the right marks – no coding required.
After picking from one of the numerous templates available and tweaking it to match your brand, this platform utilizes drag-and-drop functionality where it’s simply a case of selecting what elements you want to include on your site.
If Weebly is a little too restrictive for your needs, Hostwinds also gives clients cPanel combined with the Softaculous auto-installer.
This presents instant access to numerous other site creator platforms, including Joomla and the ever-popular WordPress.
3. Free domains, SSL certificates, and email accounts
Once someone signs up to a plan offered by Hostwinds, they gain access to numerous free additions – the types you’d normally have to fork out for with other web hosts.
This includes free domain name registration, where you can even enjoy unlimited domains if you opt for their ultimate shared hosting plan.
Another bonus you often don’t see included is free SSL certificates, which deliver added security measures, keeps user data secure, and communicates a simple message to visitors: your site is one they can trust.
Having a dedicated email address is another way for a brand to build trust and authority, along with being a conveniently central point to send and receive mail.
As a result, having this element free from an additional charge is another added perk.
4. 24/7 website monitoring
Even if someone takes every conceivable step to secure their website, there is still the possibility that issues can crop up.
If a site is compromised, this can understandably cause numerous issues – including significant downtime that can result in loss of visitors and sales.
Hostwinds aims to prevent that as much as possible with its 24/7 monitoring. Once an issue is identified, a ticket is automatically dispatched to one of the web hosts’ support engineers to resolve it ASAP.
Furthermore, backups are performed on a nightly basis. This means a client’s information remains safe and easily restorable if a cyberattack was successful in breaching their site’s security.
5. Dedicated support
When it comes to selling points, Hostwinds places a strong emphasis on its customer support. This is why their technicians are available at all times, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
This fully managed support is also supplied at no additional cost for its customers, which means it is even available for those paying for the cheapest shared hosting package.
As for how this support is provided, users can contact the Hostwinds support team by email, ticketing, or live chat.
Although before anyone does, it makes sense to venture into the hosts’ extensive knowledge base.
This features a vast assortment of tutorials and guides, which will answer most questions a customer may have that pertains to Hostwinds and their services.
Hostwinds Pricing Options
With an assortment of hosting choices available, naturally, there is a wide variance in the pricing options at Hostwinds.
Let’s first start with the shared hosting.
Shared hosting is the most affordable and suitable route for entry-level websites, and this makes it the most popular pick with those searching for web host services.
This is appliable for any web host company – and that’s why Hostwinds has ensured their pricing for shared hosting matches up well against the competition.
The basic shared hosting package starts at a reasonable $6.74 per month, advanced is $8.24, and ultimately makes a small jump up to $9.74.
The shared package selected is dependent on how many domains you need. If you only require one domain for the foreseeable future, the basic package makes a lot of sense.
If you need multiple domains, however, you should go with one of the other options.
Of course, if you demand more enterprise-level hosting, business web hosting is available at Hostwinds.
As described by the web host, their business packages are “much faster and more reliable” than their shared counterparts. The packages start from:
Basic business web hosting: $10.49 per month (one domain)
Advanced business web hosting: $11.99 per month (four domains)
Ultimate business web hosting: $14.24 per month (unlimited domains)
VPS hosting is another option at Hostwinds.
Unmanaged Linux VPS hosting begins at $4.99 per month, while fully-managed Linux hosting starts at $8.24.
Unmanaged Windows VPS hosting begins at $10.99 monthly, and the managed equivalent is $12.74.
Cloud hosting is operated on a pay-as-you-go basis, whereas dedicated servers start at $184 per month.
Learn more about Hostwinds Pricing Options.
There’s ample flexibility when it comes to payment terms for Hostwinds’ set plans.
You can pay on a month-by-month basis as you’d expect, but it’s also possible to pay every 3, 6, 12, 24, or even 36 months.
Plus, alongside accepting payment from expected sources like PayPal and major credit cards, Hostwinds remains on-trend by accepting cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Try Hostwinds now
Fast, helpful customer service
Their customer service is an aspect they heavily promote, saying it is an element that sets them apart from the competition.
Well, Hostwinds is right to go in that direction as their customer service is undoubtedly a highlight.
With their live chat support, you receive helpful responses in a fast manner. They’re also available 24/7, and you’re talking to a real person – no chatbots here.
An abundance of free features
The added free features, particularly with the shared hosting, are a particular bonus when you sign-up with Hostwinds.
As highlighted above, SSL certificates and domains are dished out free of charge for shared hosting.
Another aspect offered free of charge is website migration. This is particularly advantageous if the plan is to move your current site over to Hostwinds. The migration process is also handled entirely by their tech experts.
Unlimited bandwidth and disk space for shared hosting
Generally, shared hosting plans are affordable because they strip back in terms of features and bonus perks. This includes elements like bandwidth and disk space.
With Hostwinds, however, this isn’t the case. There are no limitations in terms of bandwidth and disk space, no matter what shared hosting plan you use.
While other web hosts will try and force you to upgrade for greater bandwidth/disk space limits, you can stick with the basic plan and not have to worry about either.
Are you a beginner to web hosting and using this type of service? If so, Hostwinds supplies a great starter point.
It has an easy-to-use, modern platform that is suitable for both those starting out and experienced users.
Navigation is easy and intuitive, which makes performing tasks – from managing domains to checking billing information – straightforward.
The platform is also combined with the industry-standard cPanel. It may appear a little cluttered at first, but it’s easy to find whatever you need via the search bar at the top of the page.
Solid performance with reliable uptime
When you’re searching for a web host, there’s one element that is more important than any other: performance
The good news is that Hostwinds hits some impressive numbers in that regard. Even with the basic shared hosting plan, website performance is noted as generally being fast and responsive.
In addition, uptime is also one of its strong elements. Hostwinds may not quite hit the 99.9999% uptime figure it proclaims, but it’s not far off.
It will be reliable for your site overall, to the point you’re unlikely to notice any significant downtime.
Limited data center locations
Perhaps the biggest negative against Hostwinds is its limited data center locations.
This isn’t much of an issue if you’re based in the United States and primarily targeting a US audience, as two of Hostwinds servers are located in Seattle and Dallas, respectively. However, they only have one other server, which is situated in Amsterdam.
As a result, if you’re based far away from any of these server locations or if you have an international audience, your website might struggle to hit the response speeds you want to achieve.
No money-back guarantee
A refund is possible with Hostwinds, yes, but this is only done on a prorated basis, meaning you only receive money back for the services you didn’t use.
For example, say you continued to use Hostwinds services for two weeks before deciding to cancel, you would only receive half of the monthly fee back. You are being charged for the time – aka those two weeks – which you used.
There are also certain services and products that are ineligible for refunds, including any purchases of SSL certificates, domains, IP addresses, and software licenses. Furthermore, anything bought with cryptocurrency is also not eligible for a refund.
Not the cheapest option around
Hostwinds is an affordable solution, to the point that its shared business web hosting will fall under most budgets.
Nevertheless, there are various other popular, highly rated web hosts that offer the same equivalent services at more affordable rates. If pricing is the primary factor in deciding which web host is for you, Hostwinds might not make the grade.
Hostwinds is an impressive web host. First and foremost, you receive high-quality performance along with great uptime results.
Beyond that, there are a number of added perks that push it towards the top.
Free SSL security, free domains, unlimited email accounts, the integrated Weebly website builder, that excellent customer support – simply put, there are many advantages to using Hostwinds.
It might cost a little more than other web hosts, and the limited servers can be troublesome depending on your situation, but overall, Hostwinds comes highly recommended.