When it comes to finding affordable shared hosting that doesn’t sacrifice quality for integral features (mainly reliability and customer service), our search has lead us to Canada-based hosting provider: Hawk Host. As a result, we conducted a Hawk Host Review to see how they stack up with some of the competition.
Originally founded in 2004 as Devoted Host and re branded as Hawk Host in 2008, Hawk Host has over 10 years of experience in the hosting industry, which cannot be taken lightly given how many changes have occurred in the industry since the company’s inception.
With unlimited bandwidth and domains coupled with SSD-powered storage highlighting just a few of the features Hawk Host provides, we can’t help but feel optimistic about their service. Keep reading our Hawk Host review to find out if they stand out among a crowded field!
Hawk Host Pricing & Plans
Focusing on low monthly rates with various discounts for longer terms, Hawk Host offers shared, VPS, semi-dedicated and reseller packages. All plans include free server migration as well as the aforementioned unlimited bandwidth, databases, domains, and e-mail accounts.
Shared hosting starts at $4.99 a month for the Primary plan (can go down to $2.99 for a two year term), which gives you the previously mentioned unlimited services (albeit with only 10 GB of disk space) as well as your choice of server location: Dallas, Los Angeles, Washington D.C, Amsterdam, and Singapore.
If you need greater flexibility or control of your site, VPS plans start at $20 a month ($18 for a six month period)for the Basic plan, which includes 30 GBs of disk space and 750 GB of bandwidth. It’s important to keep in mind however, that additional features such as CPanel, Softaculous Script Installer and Fantastico will run you a couple extra dollars a month.
Hawk Host’s dedicated plans are defined as semi-dedicated starting at $19.99 a month ($15.99 for an annual term), meaning that while you are given greater resources and management for your site, the server that you are using isn’t exactly your own. While we weren’t able to find out exactly how many people you would exactly be sharing the server with, we recommend that if you need a truly dedicated server for your business, check out WebHostingBuzz or Site5 for better options instead.
Hawk Host also offers domain registration services starting at $10.95 a year, which is quite affordable and comparable to popular domain registrars such as GoDaddy or NameCheap.
Hawk Host Speed and Reliability
Hawk Host is unique in the sense that they use LiteSpeed Web Server– their version of a replacement for Apache, the world’s most popular web server software. They claim that Litespeed is up to 9x faster than Apache when dealing with static content, while also being 50% faster when serving PHP requests. The added value of Litespeed is better management over your site’s resources, allowing you to better serve and handle traffic.
As a further sign of Hawk Host’s commitment to providing powerful hardware, all Hawk Host plans come standard with enterprise-grade SSDs and are powered by 12-core CPUs with a staggering 32 GBs of RAM.
Hawk Host has a page dedicated to their data servers where you can download test files to measure which location is faster for your site’s traffic. We decided to run a test download from their Amsterdam location (from our Budapest office), which resulted in us achieving a very favorable 39 MB/s download and 6.5 MB/s upload speed.
Hawk Host is also an official CloudFlare partner, meaning all of their data centers are optimized for CloudFlare CDN, allowing you to better serve your site’s visitors depending on their location and your content.
Hawk Host Interface and Security
CPanel comes as the standard interface for many shared hosting providers with Hawk Host being no different, giving you the comfort and ease we’ve come to expect with the popular control panel.
1 click installs of many popular platforms such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento and CubeCart are all supported through Softaculous, while SquirrelMail, Roundcube and Horde e-mail clients are featured as well.
Hawk Host offers their own site builder software as well, although we were disappointed to learn that this service is available for an extra $99 a month (this includes shared hosting), which is certainly quite a substantial amount when considering other providers either charge very little or nothing at all.
Hawk Host’s data centers are located in Dallas, Los Angeles, Washington D.C, Singapore, and Amsterdam. Each location is powered by Tier 1 and Tier 2 transit providers, thus ensuring optimal network connectivity for your server. UPS battery backups and diesel generators are present to ensure power redundancy, while on site security and 24/7 monitoring take care of the security aspect of your server.
If you have a high traffic or e-commerce site, you’ll definitely know what SSL certificates are and the benefits behind them, both from a conversion and security aspect. Hawk Host offers SSL certificates starting at $14.95 a year (AlphaSSL) and these can be quickly installed from the CPanel interface. SSH access and custom cronjob support is also available if you require greater management of your site.
Hawk Host Customer Support
Hawk Host claims to treat all their customers equally, meaning that everyone will be given the same level of support and assistance, regardless of their technical background.
While Hawk Host does offer 24/7 customer support, they do this through an extensive ticket system coupled with a knowledge base, rather than the traditional methods of phone and live chat support. While we were disappointed to learn of the omission of these support options, we were happy to see a multitude of positive tweets mentioning Hawk Host’s customer support track record.
Hawk Host utilizes R1Soft backup software for backing up your site, with seven day rolling snapshots covering everything from e-mails to entire databases.
As we’ve already mentioned, Hawk Host has a 30 day money back guarantee in place for all shared, semi-dedicated and reseller hosting packages.
Hawk Host Review Conclusion
- LiteSpeed Web Server
- Enterprise-grade SSDs
- Free server migration
I wasn’t so sure about
- No live chat or telephone support
- Site builder is $99 a month
All in all, Hawk Host is a provider that does most things right. While we were disappointed to learn about the lack of some of the customer support options we’ve come to expect in 24/7 phone support and live chat, a strong ticket system with a significant knowledge base did offer some hope.
Hawk Host’s hardware is all enterprise level and when you partner this with their included SSDs, they really stay true to providing a quality service at an affordable cost.
With free server migration, no setup fees, and a 30 day money back guarantee to ensure your satisfaction with their service, give Hawk Host a try today!