The quality of your web host plays a substantial role in determining the speed, reliability, and security of your web site. If you choose the wrong host, it can make your website a frustrating experience for visitors, negatively impact its SEO, and put your data at risk.
Fortunately, there are plenty of experienced web hosts offering high performance hosting at reasonable prices — including VendHost.
VendHost is an independently owned hosting service that was founded in 2003.
The company offers a range of cloud web hosting packages ranging in price from $7.84 per month to $17.74 per month.
But how does VendHost actually stack up? In this review, we’ll take a look at the performance of VendHost cloud hosting and the features which are included.
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Whether you are running a blog, eCommerce website, or web forum, there is a VendHost hosting package that will be suitable for your requirements. Here is some more information on the benefits of using VendHost web hosting.
Benefits Of Using VendHost
Virtually all modern search engines now use page load speed as a ranking factor. This means that your website needs to load quickly to obtain a higher ranking. Fortunately, VendHost does very well when it comes to website speed.
To test website speed, we installed the latest version of WordPress with a database filled with over 1,000 posts, along with a dozen categories. We installed and activated several plugins to make the website perform like a typical WordPress installation. The installed plugins included:
- Better Click To Tweet
- Google Analytics For WordPress
- MC4WP Mailchimp For WordPress
- Q2W3 Fixed Widget
- Responsive Menu Pro
- Sassy Social Share
- Sticky Menu
- Table Of Contents Plus
- W3 Total Cache
- Widget Options
- WP External Links
- Yoast SEO
In our testing, we found that VendHost performed very well. Load times were comparable with the cloud hosting packages found on Bluehost, GoDaddy, and A Small Orange.
Our test site loaded within 225 to 250 ms, which is a respectable figure, particularly considering the packages being tested were so reasonably priced.
Excellent Customer Support
One of the reasons why we were interested in reviewing VendHost is the outstanding reputation they have for customer service. Many of the online reviews we had seen have mentioned that the support team was responsive, professional, and helpful.
VendHost offers both phone and email support. At the time of writing this review, they do not offer live chat support. However, this may change in the future.
To test their customer support, we called the phone line and were put through to the support section. After a couple of minutes of waiting, we talked to a support guru who helped us deal with a plugin configuration issue.
We also used the email support desk and received a reply to a question within two hours. This is a remarkably fast response for a company that is offering an affordable hosting service. In our experience, similarly priced providers (Bluehost and Godaddy to name two) had much longer email support response times.
VendHost also has a comprehensive knowledge base and FAQ section. After browsing several of the articles, we can say that they are well written and provide solutions to the most common problems.
Industry Standard Security Tools
VendHost is a fully managed hosting option. This means there are experienced server administrators who take care of technical tasks like kernel updates, application patches, firewall updates, malware scans and so on. This is useful if you don’t have the time, patience, or knowledge to deal with day-to-day server security issues.
Other security features that are available include:
- Spam Assassin- The industry standard for spam protection.
- Automated malware scans – The server administrators informed us that several malware scanning applications are running on their cloud servers including ClamAV, Rkhunter, and LMD (although the specific packages used may change over time)
- Additional password protection of folders and files – This feature allows users to add another layer of protection to digital assets.
- Hotlink protection – Hotlink protection prevents other people from directly linking to files and pictures on your website.
- IP deny – The ability to prevent certain IP addresses from accessing your website.
- Shared or Dedicated SSL – All standard website encryption protocols are available.
- Dedicated IP – A unique IP only used by your website.
Tools For Developers
VendHost’s customer base primarily consists of small-to-medium businesses (including eCommerce and tourism sites), entrepreneurs, community groups, forum owners, and bloggers. They work closely with web developers to provide the tools they need to create and update websites for these clients more efficiently.
VendHost provides the latest versions of most web programming languages, database management systems and web applications including:
- PHP MyAdmin
- WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla content management systems
- PHP Gallery
- Plus over 100 other web apps
WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla can be installed automatically through the administration panel. However, the support team is also happy to take care of these tasks for developers.
VendHost also provides scalability solutions, load balancing, multiple PHP versions, FTP access, and DNS clustering. The support team told us that they are more than happy to work on server configurations to help developers create the environment they need for specific rollouts.
Site Migration Service
If you already have a website on another host, you may be dreading the idea of dealing with another server migration. Fortunately, VendHost does offer a migration service. They will transfer all of your CSS/PHP/HTML files, databases, and configuration settings to your new server on your behalf.
The cost of your migration will vary based on its complexity, but you can ask for a quote from the VendHost team at any time. If you already have the files zipped up and it is a straightforward installation of a WordPress or Joomla, the support team may be able to complete your website installation free of charge.
Going through VendHosts’s announcements, there have been very few major incidents in the past few years. This is a very good sign as most small-to-medium hosting companies tend to have one or two major problems each year.
All VendHost hostage packages come with a 99.9% Uptime Guarantee. This means you will be partially reimbursed if your website is down for more than 45 minutes (approximately) in any given month. However, given their track record and the fact these hosting packages are cloud-based, you can expect VendHost to maintain 99.9% uptime.
VendHost’s web hosting plans have a 7 day money back guarantee on new accounts. This means you can create an account, install your website and test the performance of their servers. If you aren’t happy, you will receive a 100% refund.
Sophisticated Control Panel
All VendHost accounts have access to a powerful control panel, which makes tasks like adding new databases, installing web apps, and managing files simple.
Other Factors To Consider
As you can see, there are quite a few benefits associated with choosing a VendHost cloud hosting package. However, there are also a couple of drawbacks, including:
It Is Hard To Find Promo Codes
Because VendHost is a small-medium sized hosting company, they don’t have the advertising power of GoDaddy and other market-dominant players. Their size impacts the kinds of offers they are able to make to consumers. That’s why it is very rare to see a promo discount for VendHost hosting services.
Fortunately, VendHost’s prices are already quite reasonable. The cloud hosting packages are a similar price to GoDaddy and BlueHost’s standard price. VendHost also offers custom packages, where you should be able to negotiate an affordable price for the services you require.
Limited Support Staff
The VendHost support team wouldn’t be anywhere as big as one of the major hosting companies. If there was a major server or data center issue, they may be quickly overwhelmed with support calls. Having said that, VendHosts’s excellent track record suggests that major outages are few and far between.
Another drawback relating to support provision is that there is currently no live chat support available. This may be frustrating if you prefer to use this type of support service.
VendHost Hosting Plans
VendHost offers several types of hosting, including dedicated servers but we would recommend going with one of their cloud hosting packages.
What Is Cloud Hosting?
The traditional approach to hosting a website is to place all of the website’s files on a single server. Unfortunately, there are several issues with this approach:
- If the server or datacenter suffers a catastrophic failure, the website automatically goes down.
- If the server begins to perform poorly, then the website’s performance is immediately compromised.
- You are limited to servers hosted in a specific geographical location. If your server is in Texas, visitors who live in Europe may experience slower speeds.
Cloud hosting avoids these issues by distributing your website’s files across several servers in different data centers, referred to as the “cloud”. If one of the cloud servers goes down, it doesn’t matter as your website’s files can be instantly served from another location.
Your hosting company can also use the cloud to adjust for performance issues and traffic spikes. They can even configure the cloud so visitors receive website files from a nearby location, improving website speed.
VendHost Cloud Hosting Plans
Currently, VendHost offers four cloud hosting plans. They are the Starter, Standard, Business, and Pro Packages. All packages come with the same fast speeds, free setup, 99.9% uptime guarantee, control panel, and a raft of other features (listed below).
The key difference between each account type is the availability of disk space, bandwidth, email accounts, add-on domains, sub-domains, parked domains and so on. Here is a quick rundown of the key difference between each package:
Starter Package ($7.48 per month)
- Disk Space: 1GB
- Bandwidth per month: 25GB
- Add-on Domains: 1
- Email Accounts: 2
- Sub Domains: 5
- Parked Domains: 5
Standard Package ($10.97 per month)
- Disk Space: 2.5GB
- Bandwidth per month: 50GB
- Add-on Domains: 2
- Email Accounts: 5
- Sub Domains: 15
- Parked Domains: 15
Business Package ($15.59 per month)
- Disk Space: Unlimited
- Bandwidth per month: Unlimited
- Add-on Domains: 5
- Email Accounts: 10
- Sub Domains: Unlimited
- Parked Domains: Unlimited
Pro Package ($17.74 per month)
- Disk Space: Unlimited
- Bandwidth per month: Unlimited
- Add-on Domains: 10
- Email Accounts: 15
- Sub Domains: Unlimited
- Parked Domains: Unlimited
Features included in all packages
- DNS management
- Email features including IMAP, Webmail, Spam Assassin, Forwarders, Auto Responders
- FTP access
- Security features including hotline protection, IP deny, SSL, dedicated IP, malware protection
- Latest versions of MySQL, PHP, PHPMyAdmin, Pearl, ImageMagick/IonCube
- Over 100 apps including WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, phpBB, OpenCartr, and PrestaShop
- Free domain shield
As you can see, VendHost is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an independent hosting company with a great track record. Their cloud hosting service is packed with features and available at a reasonably affordable price.
The only downside associated with using VendHost is the relatively small scale of their operations which means that support may be harder to come by if there is a catastrophic failure.
That being said, the company has an excellent track record and has not had any major data center in several years. Additionally, because the service is cloud-based, it would take much more than a single server going down to crash your website.
It’s important to note there are some great advantages to using a smaller, independent hosting service. One of those advantages is that fact you can develop strong working relationships with server administrations and account managers. They will also be more flexible and adaptable to your needs, compared to a behemoth hosting company like GoDaddy or Bluehost.
If you are interested in learning more about VendHost, visit their website or drop them a line. In our interactions with the VendHost team, they were always happy to answer any questions. Because there is a 7 day 100% money back guarantee available, you can try VendHost without any risk.