2019 November 21st
Hostway is aiming to provide world-class managed cloud hosting infrastructure to the top companies. But it surely is not limited only to the high-scale projects. Hostway also provides shared hosting services suitable for beginner users and small business.
Claiming to put customers and innovation first, Hostway promises fast, secure, and user-friendly hosting.
Can it make it true? Let's find out in our Hostway review.
What is Hostway?
Hostway is a hosting company providing mainly managed dedicated and cloud hosting solutions. For beginners and smaller companies, Hostway also has shared, cloud, and VPS hosting packages.
The provider also has solutions for email hosting, domain names, and eCommerce.
Recently, the list of services expanded even more. Hostway merged with Hosting.com and became one of the largest managed cloud services. The company now is able to provide different services to match specific industries, such as healthcare, needs.
And it seems to be doing pretty great.
Hostway hosts for over 600,000 customers and the brands include such giants like Samsung, Wix, and FoxNews.
So let's put Hostway up to the test and see, whether its shared hosting can be the right fit for you.
Hostway pricing starts at $6.95/mo for the shared Website Starter package. To use the famous cloud hosting you'll need to pay from $12.95/mo, and VPS pricing starts at $19.95/mo.
The shared hosting Website Starter plan is only available for Linux. While other options for cloud hosting or VPS include both Windows and VPS servers, that's not the case with Website Starter.
On the other hand, you get what is advertised with the Website Starter plan.
Hostway does not play any pricing tricks, and monthly pricing is $6.95/month. Even after the renewal.
But, choosing the longer billing period, you get a little discount. 1-month of either 12, 24, or 36-month plan will cost a bit over $5.70.
If you need more control over your server, FlexCloud Sites is an option. It has 2 more plans:
- FlexCloud Site for $12.95/mo provides 300GB of disk space, unlimited bandwidth, and 400 email accounts.
- FlexCloud Site Pro $29.95/mo gives you 1000GB of disk space, unlimited bandwidth, 1000 email accounts, and an SSL certificate.
Just keep in mind that the domain name is not provided and you'll have to pay separately for it. A simple .com domain with Hostway costs $9.95/year.
Apart from that, there are no upselling attempts.
But that's the catch - you won't get an SSL with any of the plans except FlexCloud Site Pro, domain privacy, anti-DDoS or anti-malware protection. Hostway only takes care of server maintenance - and does that pretty good.
So we've put all of the features Website Starter and FlexCloud Sites offers in one table, so you can check, which one might be right for you:
|Website Starter||FlexCloud Sites||FlexCloud Sites Pro|
|SSL||Not included||Not included||Included|
|Customer Support||24/7 live chat, email||24/7 live chat, email||24/7 live chat, email|
|Free Automated Backups||Not available||Not available||Not available|
As you can see, Hostway includes a lot of data even with the cheapest plan. Alongside the clear pricing structure, it might be its main selling point. On the other hand, you'll need to invest quite a lot for an SSL with the Website Starter and FlexCloud Sites plans, and other features.
For example, SSL certificate costs $50.00 Setup Fee + $ 119.00 SSL Purchase Fee if you decide to buy one from Hostway. On the other hand, you can install certain SSLs like Let's Encrypt for free, so there's walk-around the big prices.
All in all, you get a lot of data for a pretty good price. At the same time, you might need to invest extra for other services.
To get a better picture, we've put together all the pros and cons of the provider:
Hostway claims to put its clients first. And they do manage to provide stable uptime and industry-specific features.
Here are the details.
1. Reliable 99.97% Uptime
Hostway claims to provide 100% uptime. After several months of testing, we finally found that it can provide a stable 99.97% uptime. This is obviously a great output - leaving only around 3 minutes weekly for maintenance or unexpected downtime.
And while the provider does not achieve its guarantee (emergency maintenance allowed), the result is still great. Especially knowing, that most of the providers guarantee only 99.9% uptime which can lead to 10 minutes of weekly downtime.
2. Industry-Specific Hosting and Compliances
Hostway is a leading PCI- and HIPAA-compliant service provider and it happen to have 20 years of experience for that. Moreover, it is fully equipped with the certifications and needed expertise in this sector. Hostway will also help you develop and run your solutions according to your compliance strategy.
Some of their Enterprise level solutions include:
These solutions are designed for healthcare providers or healthcare-related industries that collect and preserve the information of patients. For this, they provide HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant solutions that will provide the highest level of security to preserve this information.
Additionally, Hostway is HITRUST certified, so it is fully capable of handling this information.
Sometimes meeting with strict Payment Card Industry’s necessities might cause security loopholes without any trusted source. But not with Hostway. It provides PCI-compliant solutions to help you deal with credit/debit card information.
Moreover, these solutions are geared toward organizations that deal with these types of sensitive information and needs more security.
Mission-Critical Saas Apps
Want additional support in the development of SaaS Apps? Well, Hostway might have a powerful solution for you. Other than providing PCI and HIPPA compliance, they also provide solutions just for the development of SaaS Apps.
So when your project grows, you'll have strong backing and tech architecture to host your own SaaS App.
3. 24/7 Customer Support
Hostway has all the essential customer support options - 24/7 live chat, email, and phone. And while a while ago we were not impressed with its performance, the situation seems to be improving.
First of all, we contacted the support via live chat to get all the details about the Website Starter plan. And while it took a while to get connected, we easily got our answers.
Later, we needed to solve a technical issue. In order to create a database, we needed approval from Hostway. So we went to the live chat again and were connected to the tech support agent quickly.
She was able to solve our problem quickly and we had our database functioning soon after.
So while Hostway might still have a couple of quirks in the customer support department, our interactions went pretty smoothly. Best of all, support is available 24/7.
Not everything Hostway promises is true. The server performance is pretty average and plans are not feature-rich as would seem from the pricing.
Check out the details.
1. Average Response Time
For this Hostway review, we've tested the provider performance. Hostway has an average response time ranging from 200ms-500ms and scoring a solid C+.
The result itself is not bad, the US times average at 56ms. However, other locations exceed 200ms. That means, that Google might rank your mobile pages down, as it uses 200ms as a benchmark for mobile page loading speeds.
So if you're hosting a website for the US audiences, your results will be great. On the other hand, Hostway is not the best option for Asia markets.
To get real-life results, we also set up a website, uploaded some content, and ran the speed tests. And the results were pretty good. A pretty heavy page was fully loaded in 3 seconds.
So while performance is pretty average worldwide, the actual results are not bad. Hostway will load your website and it will do it pretty fast.
2. Overpriced plans
Even though $6.95/month does look affordable and there's no price increase, you are missing out on a lot of features.
The shared hosting plan is practically barebones. You will not get even the minimum and completely essential features like SSL certificates or anti-DDoS protection. Not even if you're willing to pay. So $6.95 is not at all affordable - for the price you basically don't get anything. Except for huge data allowances, of course.
Also, when you look at other plans, the pricing is also exaggerated. Basic VPS hosting will cost you at least $19.95/month.
All in all, Hostway does not provide much for its expensive pricing.
Hostway Review – the Verdict
Hostway has a lot of hosting solutions to offer. But what we found out from our Hostway review, it might not be the best option for the budget-conscious.
Hostway provides a lot of resources even with the cheapest plan - servers should handle even the heaviest sites. However, the hosting essentials like domain names, SSL certificates, and other features cost extra. So you might end up with a pretty expensive package.
At the same time, Hostway has a great uptime record and a pretty average response time. In any case, neither should cause you problems. Customer support is on the path on improvement too which is great.
So if you need a reliable hosting provider with a lot of disk space, Hostway can be a good choice. But if you trying to fit in a tight budget, there are great cheap web hosting providers offering all the essentials too.
- 99.97% uptime
- Good Enterprise level solutions
- Overpriced plans
- Lacking customer service