Are you a small business owner looking for a premium hosting provider for your new or existing website? With affordable prices and highly-knowledgeable support, WestHost might just be the right option for you!
We have conducted this WestHost Review to give you a better idea of what kind of hosting is being provided and how their service performs.
WestHost is part of the UK2 Group, which is responsible for a multitude of domain registration and hosting providers, including VPS.NET (check out our review), Resell.Biz, and 100TB. While most of the companies share similar attributes, WestHost stands out with a focus on premium hosting with affordable pricing.
Founded in 1998 and based in Utah along with several sister companies, WestHost has grown over the years to now host over a million websites. You have your choice of shared, WordPress, cloud, and dedicated server hosting to properly fit both your budget and your site’s requirements.
So, does this industry veteran and their web hosting plans stand out among a crowded playing field? Keep reading our WestHost review to find out!
- Free migration
- Free backups
- U.S based support
- SSH access comes standard
- Email sending limited by the hour in some cases
- No Windows hosting options
WestHost Pricing & Plans
WestHost’s plans is pretty standard when it comes to what kind of hosting you are looking for, with shared, cloud, WordPress, and dedicated (both unmanaged and managed) hosting available to choose from.
While some of the pricing may seem a bit higher than some budget-friendly alternatives, WestHost does include a free domain name with most plans, as well as free setup and site migration.
Shared plans unfortunately can’t be purchased month-to-month, with the minimum term being 3 months and starting at $8.00 a month for their starter plan. This plan includes one site, one TB of bandwidth, 50 GB of disk space, 100 e-mail accounts, and one MySQL 5 database. Advanced plans include extra features such as unlimited mySQL databases, free domain names, and included SSL certificates.
Fully managed VPS cloud Hosting is available if you need instant flexibility and scalability on a month-to-month basis, although their Burst Plan for $50 a month doesn’t compare that well to the offerings of WestHost’s sister company, VPS.NET.
Unmanaged and managed dedicated servers are available if you need full control and increased resources, with fully managed plans available for an additional $100 a month. All plans include 10 TB of bandwidth, up to 4 IP addresses, and your choice of Linux OS.
WestHost also has some additional services available depending on your hosting needs: a site builder and online store builder, WordPress hosting, an SEO service, CloudFlare CDN, and Sitelock.
While not valid for cloud or dedicated server plans, WestHost does offer a 30 day money-back guarantee for their shared hosting plans, allowing you to try out their service prior to signing up.
WestHost Speed and Reliability
One of the reasons WestHost stands out from other hosting providers is their focus on providing a premium hosting experience for your website. They own their own data center and all hardware, while any server configurations or upgrades are completed exclusively by WestHost staff rather than an unknown third-party.
WestHost’s data center in Providence, Utah is a Tier-3 data center, which guarantees concurrent maintenance and annual downtime totaling only 1.6 hours per year, which should equate to about 99.98% annual server availability.
So how does WestHost’s web hosting actually perform? We took a glance on social media to get a better idea of what past or current customers have been saying regarding WestHost’s performance. Unfortunately, we found quite a significant amount of negative mentions of WestHost’s availability (more than positive), which is certainly something to keep in mind prior to trying out their service.
Another disappointing revelation was finding that WestHost only offers an uptime guarantee for their managed dedicated servers, meaning that shared, cloud, and unmanaged dedicated server customers have no way of claiming a refund should they experience any downtime.
WestHost Interface & Security
WestHost uses cPanel as the hosting interface when it comes to managing your website, giving you the award-winning features and functionality of the web’s most popular control panel.
WestHost also has a separate members area where you can handle domain management, billing, view and restore site backups, and many other account management features.
If you are just getting started with hosting your own site, you might find that using a site builder is a lot easier than manually creating a website from scratch. WestHost does have their own site builder with over 100 responsive themes that they promote, although this service starts at an extra $6.95 a month (free domain included).
WestHost takes security seriously and includes Sitelock malware scanning with all plans to better defend your site from attacks. WestHost customers are also able to modify and create .htacess files to better protect and hide your site’s most critical data.
We especially liked that WestHost conducts daily backups of all sites on their servers, and you have the ability to restore backups through R1Soft in the main cPanel interface. It is important, however, that only the previous 3-5 days worth of backups are retained (unless otherwise specified).
WestHost Customer Service
WestHost offers 24/7 customer service in the form of a toll-free telephone number, live chat, and a ticket submission system. This is also supplemented with a knowledge base and guides. They also claim that all support staff is based in the U.S, meaning you will get a proper native English speaker when you need assistance.
With WestHost’s customer service team being U.S based (PST), we conducted a live chat test at 8 AM PST on a weekday in order to get a better idea of how their customer service’s response time and detail is. Considering our request was submitted pre-standard business hours, we were impressed to receive a response within minutes to our uptime-related query.
Social media also tends to give a pretty good indication of a provider’s customer service, so we took to Twitter to see what people have been saying about WestHost’s support. While there was an even mix of good and bad mentions regarding WestHost, it seems that most frustrations were directed towards a lack of support for more advanced issues. While this was slightly worrying, this also tends to accurate for social media.
While WestHost’s customer service might be a slight toss-up, you can try them out for yourself at no risk with a 30 day money-back guarantee.
WestHost Review Conclusion
- Free domain name with most plans
- Free setup and site migration
- Free backups
I wasn’t so sure about
- No month-to-month shared hosting plans
- Some concerns with reliability
- No uptime guarantee
While WestHost doesn’t necessarily go overboard with their offerings and keeps things pretty straightforward, they do provide a generally pleasant experience that makes it comfortable for the average consumer. Premium hosting usually also comes with a pretty high cost, and this is where WestHost sets itself apart from some of the pricier alternatives.
Still, it is important to remain wary of WestHost’s somewhat worrying past, with a notable incident involving the U.S Department of Homeland Security, as well as an infamous data center outage which resulted in an alarming 6 days of downtime.While these incidents are reason for worry, they also happened a relatively long time ago, with WestHost staying largely incident-free since.
So, does WestHost provide the same reliability as Digital Ocean (check out our review), or the additional features of FastComet (read our review)? No, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be the right budget-friendly choice for your growing site.
With free site setup, free site migration from your existing provider, free domain names with most plans, and free daily backups, WestHost is certainly a good choice if you want to go premium without breaking the bank. Take advantage of their 30 day money-back guarantee and give them a try for yourself.