Hostway, a global web hosting company, has been serving North American market since the inception in 1998. So far, the company has registered over 400,000 domains and meanwhile owns over 600,000 customers all over the world. Its offices have been spread throughout North American, European and Asian countries.
Though Hostway owns more locations than most other companies, it is not the largest one in the hosting industry. Overall speaking, this company just offers average hosting services, with focus on cloud and eCommerce hosting. In the following, we’ll reveal both the pros and cons of this web host, along with editorial ratings and customer feedbacks.
Hostway Cloud Hosting Products
For IT professionals and developers who want a more hands-on approach to build their own sites, Hostway offers a rich set of cloud hosting products. Generally there are shared cloud web hosting plans, private cloud hosting, cloud server hosting as well as hybrid cloud hosting. By the way, it still offers online marketing and “bespoke” web design as well as domain registration services.
- Cloud Server Hosting – Powered by FlexCloud servers, the most popular “Cloud Server Hosting” enables business owners to scale and create cloud instances with full root access. It runs on the latest version of Windows Server 2012 R2 and is ideal for web developers looking to migrate resource-intensive applications to the cloud. The price is $139/mo or $0.21/hr.
- Private Cloud Hosting – Hostway users can make use of all cloud infrastructures within a physically secure and isolated environment. It works best for applications that require advanced compliance and security. Depending on chosen resources, the price varies greatly.
- Website Hosting – This type of hosting is an ideal option for start-ups and simple websites like blogs, info sites and catalogue sites, etc. As shown, there are a total of three shared cloud web hosting plans – Website Starter, FlexCloud Site and FlexCloud Site Pro. Each plan is pre-installed with Linux or Windows OS without limits on monthly traffic. The price starts from $6.95/mo.
- Hybrid Cloud Hosting – It combines the strengths of both virtual and physical environments. The industry-leading NetApp and Dell components are used for storage and compute. Also, users should pay for what they allocate on an hourly basis.
1. Satisfying Network Uptime
Apart from the five offices in North America (Chicago, Tempa, Austin, Vancouver and Lauderdale), Hostway currently has European offices in Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and France, along with three Asian locations in India, Korea and Australia. More importantly, it provides all cloud hosting users with a guarantee of 100% network uptime by connecting each data center with powerful fiber connections.
The “Virtual Tour” option helps new clients understand the data center structures better. Some customers who ever experienced downtime issues also reported that they were given credits immediately, though this was not written on this web host’s front page.
2. Fast Loading Speed
The network infrastructures of Hostway are powered by a combination of routing hardware and software. It also takes advantage of CDN service and DDoS protection to ensure unparalleled reliability and performance. From below, we can see that its average loading time and page requests are 2.95s and 75 respectively.
3. Optional Hosting & Ecommerce Features
Hostway offers webmasters all the standard features from any other hosting companies. Taking the example of “Website Hosting” here, following are the built-in hosting features.
|Hosting Features||Website Starter||FlexCloud Site||FlexCloud Site Pro|
|PHP, Perl, Python, TCL|
|Shared SSL Certificate|
|Dedicated IP Address|
In the meantime, Hostway has a unique website building program that is called as “Bespoke”, but it is not free. In the highest priced “FlexCloud Site Pro” plan, there are various site builder tools, such as Facebook site creator, mobile site creator, website builder pages, 404 custom tool as well as unlimited pages. Also, each plan comes with multiple marketing tools like “Instant Business Broadcast” and “Newsletter Broadcast”.
1. Irresponsive Customer Service
Hostway sets out to provide informative and fast assistance for troubled customers. As is shown, the company guarantees 24×7-based phone and email support for all hosting products. Obviously, the chat support is only available for domain and website hosting users.
Based on collected feedbacks, the first-tier support from Hostway can’t solve anything but the most trivial problems. Often times, technical issues will be escalated to their advanced teams, and users usually need to make a third call to resolve the current problem. Do not expect anything to happen outside of business hours.
2. Confusing Refund & Cancellation Policies
To be frank, the cancellation is a hassle for most webmasters. To opt out the Hostway service or close an existing account, clients must call the Hostway Customer Service Team on working days from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. As this cancellation hotline is US-based, non-US customers can contact its service team only using emails. Pay attention that, cancellation request must be received at least 30 days prior to the end of current billing cycle.
3. More Need-to-Know Hostway Drawbacks
Apart from that, Hostway has the following drawbacks that also need mentioning:
- The shared cloud web hosting packages are somewhat much expensive than many other providers.
- Although the interface of control panel is visually attractive, there is no one-click app installer like Softaculous.
- It may Hostway several days to install SSL certificate and switch the sites from the default PHP 4.4 to PHP 5 version.
In Conclusion – Not Recommended
From above, we can conclude that Hostway indeed provides high performance and rich features for website owners. But this company is not a recommendable option for webmasters looking for a helpful and trustworthy solution at a reasonable price. Followed by the mentioned standards, we’ve selected out the best hosting companies – InMotion, BlueHost and HostMonster.