Given that more and more people tend to build business online, there are a variety of website building and hosting services springing up nowadays. Among those options, HomeStead is a familiar hosting solution which has been providing WYSIWYG site building tools since its commencement in 1998. Moreover, this company also devotes itself to eCommerce and online marketing services.
However, is HomeStead really excellent for building and hosting websites? To figure out this question is a difficult and exhausting task especially for some non-technical people. Thus, we will make a thorough analysis on this hosting provider from some top-concerned elements like features, pricing policy and support. For a start, let’s have a quick look at overall ratings on this firm.
How About the Packages & Pricing Policy?
To start with your website building, you need to choose a suitable package, which depends on personal demands and abilities. With HomeStead, there are three flexible packages – Starter, Business and Business Plus – which are designed for online web presence, small business owners and medium-sized businesses respectively.
To lure webmasters’ attention and dollars, HomeStead endows a 30-day free trial for each plan. However, after the initial 30 days of sign-up, this company charges users at the regular prices of $5.99/mo, $20.99/mo and $60.99/mo. To top it off, this provider only accepts a 30-day free trial via Credit Card, and in this ways it makes clients who forget to cancel the service be automatically billed. To be frank, this is a dubious upselling tactic.
How About the Built-in Features?
By all accounts, features affect website performance directly and play an important role in online success. However, we are astounded to find that HomeStead has set strict limits on server resources. More importantly, the lack of mobile options and inconvenient web design altogether make this company a headache for many registrants.
On the basis of price range, each plan is allocated with different resources. That means, if you want to have more advanced features, you will need to purchase higher-priced Business or Business Plus plans. In below, we make out a brief table to clarify the bundled resources in the plans, including web storage, hosted sites and bandwidth, etc.
|Web Storage||25 MB||5 GB||10 GB|
|Monthly Bandwidth||5 GB||100 GB||500 GB|
From the above table, it is evident that HomeStead has limited resources especially when compared with other reputable web hosting solutions. Take BlueHost for an example, it features unlimited disk space, data transfer, email accounts and hosted websites and charges for only $2.95/mo through the following promotional link.
Inconvenient Web Design
To pick a well-designed and gorgeous template is half done. With HomeStead, you are encompassed with 100 business categories including consulting, fashion and designer. Whereas, most of the provided templates are similar on basic design and set apart from each other only by a simple colour bar as is shown in below.
A big drawback is that all of the current pages and content on the site will be deleted if you change the existing templates. This indeed casts inconvenience and sometimes even costs you a big fortune once you switch templates by accident.
Outsourcing Mobile Options
Instead of providing a multi-functional mobile website builder, HomeStead just allows users to build a mobile-based website through the third-party software named as DudaMobile. Under the support of DudaMobile, your website will convert into a mobile-friendly version when someone visits it through mobile device.
Usually the free version just has a simple and basic web design, and the advanced Premium version gives a professional and beautiful look at the cost of $7.2/mo. Detailed pricing and specs are displayed as follows.
How does the Support Work?
HomeStead vows to give customer care highest priority via various support methods including phone call, community and online chat services. For another thing, this company sets in forth that their phone call is available only from 6:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Pacific Time) on working days, which is rather inconsiderate.
To make things worse, there is no support link to the online chat, and people are left to post their specific questions on the community support board. To top it all, some of the HomeStead customers point out that their sites have been compromised by malware and they can hardly find a customer service place to seek help.
Summary – HomeStead May not Be Favourable for Building and Hosting Websites
Having analysed HomeStead as is stated above, we can make a conclusion that this company is not a favourable site building and hosting option. For people chasing for a powerful and helpful web hosting solution at an affordable price, we have the following recommendations all of which offer easy-to-use website builders like Weebly for free.