WestHost, a company established in Providence, Utah in early 1998, has so far grown quickly to keep up with the leaders in the current market. Since the inception, the company has set a goal to offer website owners the best technology and customer support in the world at a budget price.
Up till now, WestHost services cover domain registration up to shared, cloud, reseller and dedicated hosting. All of these hosting products are offered to better serve the customer needs. However, the prosperity proved short-lived though as their services go downhill very fast under the new owners. In this WestHost review, we’re about to share the Pros and Cons of the company as below.
Good Industry Reputation & Large Client Base
Reputation is important for a company. As such, WestHost gives a nice shoot and has had a reputation to be among the industry leaders in the web hosting field. From the official “Client Testimonials” page, we can easily notice a flood of positive reviews like below:
Other than that, the web host has been identified as one of the fastest growing Utah companies with over 100,000 domain names under the management.
Scalable Web Hosting Plans
As noted above, WestHost has tailored their company around different needs by supplying a full range of services. To sum up, the company currently provides those hosting plans:
- Web Hosting (Shared Hosting) – that is split into three flexible plans: Personal, Preferred and Business. The Personal is the most limited plan that includes 1000 GB monthly bandwidth, 50 GB disk space and 1 database; while the highest priced Business plan is largely unlimited. Preferred users can get a free domain name registration, and Business users get extra dedicated IP and SSL certificate at no charge.
- Dedicated Servers – that are available on both managed and unmanaged solutions. Either of the two solutions has total four packages, which are allocated with different resources. There is a side-by-side feature comparison chart for the Unmanaged plans, including everything from essential resources to advanced add-ons.
- Cloud Hosting – that includes three optional packages: Burst, Storm and Monsoon. The elementary plan, Burst, comes bundled with 20 GB disk storage, 500 GB data transfer, 1128 MB RAM and 1.2 GHz dedicated CPU; while the elite plan, Monsoon, comes bundled with 90 GB disk storage, 2250 GB data transfer, 3384 RAM and 5.4 GHz processor power.
- Reseller Hosting – that is comprised of three plans: Reseller Basic, Reseller Plus and Reseller Pro. Obviously, the features vary depending on what type of reseller hosting plan a client decides to use. For example, the lowest cost Reseller Basic plan offers 500 GB bandwidth on a monthly basis and 20 GB disk space as well as 1.2 GHz dedicated CPU.
Satisfying Load Time
Located in the south of Salt Lake City, the WestHost data center is armed with an array of robust facilities. To get its real network performance, we’ve used Pingdom speed checker to run a speed test. As below, this company has around 107 requests, and the load time averages 1.90s. This result is quite promising.
Security is a controversial topic for WestHost. Honestly, it’s reported to have provided all politically sensitive files and .org logs to the US DHS (Department of Homeland Security), along with a tracking system that keeps reporting a user’s Internet protocol address. What’s worse, the web host even supported terrorist organizations from Iraq.
In February 2010, WestHost underwent a major outage that was triggered by the release of Inergen, a kind of fire prevention chemical. It initially claimed the problem could be fixed within 6 hours, but this was later revised up to 6 days by the UK2 SEO – Jeff Hunsaker. The prolonged downtime indeed costs many owners a big fortune. More hidden details can be found via this Wiki Page.
Even for now, uptime still remains to be a big concern for WestHost customers. Some users now experience unexpected downtime at least 3 times a week, and a typical downtime period may last a whole day. To top it off, this company won’t acknowledge its problems even when clients show multiple screenshots and documents regarding the downtime. Really dishonest!
Deteriorative Customer Support
Support is provided 24×7 via multiple channels. The “Contact Us” page includes a green “Live Chat” button, FAQ section and US-based phone number. However, those published support documentations are fairly limited, and the current hold time for online support can sometimes over one hour. Plus, there’s no any clear clue showing that the support provided by WestHost is in any languages other than English.
Although the company values the experience of users, it has never offered a survey or published a contact for its SEO. In online forums, some WestHost customers complain the support personnel are poorly-trained and do a bad job providing accurate and helpful information. Overall, their customer support has been steadily going downhill for many years.
Low Staff’s Satisfaction
According to collected feedbacks, staffs from WestHost are treated sort of like McDonald’s employees. More importantly, it refuses to increase the pay for highly-skilled employees, which drives many talented employees away. This can be an indicator that this company pays no attention to the value of staffs. And the result is more and more hosting issues are “rewarded” with typical responses and arrogant attitude.
In Conclusion – Not Worth a Try
From above, WestHost is solid in providing various hosting plans and satisfying network speed. When the uptime, security and support aspects are taken into account, the company is truly not worth a try. In the following table, we’ve listed the top three hosting providers that ensure a secure and powerful hosting environment at a competitive price.